July 26, 2010

ISO - Standard OR Business - 1

I am going to write a series on ISO system, its implementation practices, effectiveness, it's claims etc. in several parts in the form of a series. Anyone can put their frank opinion & comments on these write ups. We are not going to comment on ISO as organization but we are commenting on the systems, its effectiveness & industries which are implementing it.

Again this is not for criticism of any agency or organization; it is my experience sharing on actual implementation & loop holes in the system & its effective implementation.

I will show - How the basic purpose of this standard is defeated by standard itself - And my real experience no standards management expert or ISO expert who is responsible for its implementation is concerned about it - even after accepting these problems

For reality purpose, we are referring the website quotes or matter from ‘ISO’ website.

1. Why Standards Matter?

This is the first question, the official website of ISO present to us, in a very nice & surely positive manner. It is soon justified that without ISO systems the product quality, incompatibility, cost and, safety are compromised.

One better paragraph on site says that - "ISO standards contribute to making the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner. They make trade between countries easier and fairer. They provide governments with a technical base for health, safety and environmental legislation. They aid in transferring technology to developing countries. ISO standards also serve to safeguard consumers, and users in general, of products and services - as well as to make their lives simpler." (Source : ISO Website)

Read on further claims - "When things go well - for example, when systems, machinery and devices work well and safely - then it is because they conform to standards. And the organization responsible for many thousands of the standards which benefit society worldwide is ISO." (Source : ISO Website)

Yes, Standards do matter & definitely help in making processes efficient, safer & cleaner as claimed but the difference do not lie in making a "voluminous standard", it lies in actual implementation & practice. The way ISO is implemented is totally useless as standard itself provides ways & means to enjoy bypasses to the spirit of the standard.

Therefore, it is neither helpful in making processes efficient as some or the other way is available to bypass the system nor safer or cleaner. ( How - You will see it through examples in the next parts of this series - Be patient).

There is no health, safety & environment improvement by implementing ISO....In fact, it is creating more problems to the environment - by using more papers - more documents - more consumption of power due to late sitting of ISO staff in organization to complete the time targets - late sitting for preparing for audits - many formats but only one line on one paper sheet - etc. etc. etc....

Even though I am not saying ISO system is bad - Mind it I am repeating - I say, ISO system needs further improvements in terms of its effectiveness.

The first problem I see is - to allow the manufacturer to go selectively. We will discuss this in next part.....

Disclaimer - This is a series of my personal views on ISO systems, its implementation, Effectiveness etc. They do not carry any legal issue related to my personal views under the human right of "Freedom of Speech".

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Narayanan said...

Of course your thoughts are valid. In many organizations I worked, this document is just for the sake of getting the company certified.

Main reason for ISO document bypassing is because of the cost. An elaborate validation system and procedure requires more reports& documents and authorization. Definitely requires more man power and paper.

Budget limitations of most contracts, will not allow the procedure to be followed, allocating more manpower and paper.

If the ISO standards are totally implemented , quality of work will improve; However the company will be closed because they wo'nt get any contracts because of higher price quoting.

If they get work and try to implement ISO they will make loss and cannot meet schedules.

I had discussed this with some....they all say ISO standards certification is only a proof that companies have a procedure . Procedure is there well documented. Audit reports and corrective action reports also will be there.

But all for name sake.

kumar said...

If the ISO standards are totally implemented , quality of work will improve; However the company will be closed because they wo'nt get any contracts because of higher price quoting.

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