Standards

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

Compliance is an unfortunate word in connection with standards because it suggests something arduous, unpleasant, costly, and annoying that one must do to “get the certificate.”

Denise Robitaille’s picture

By: Denise Robitaille

The ISO 9001 requirements pertaining to preventive action would get a lot more attention if people grasped the very simple fact that this is all about managing risk—which is really about managing the consequences of change. Whenever we change something, even for the better, there are consequences—ripples across the waters through which we navigate our quality management systems. Failure to anticipate the consequences of those changes is how we end up with bad things happening.

Mary H. Saunders and Nick Sinai’s default image

By: Mary H. Saunders and Nick Sinai

Imagine a world where shoe sizes were not standardized, or where golf balls came in a variety of sizes and weights. What if your favorite CDs didn’t fit in your friend’s CD player? None of these things are problems today, thanks to an army of unsung heroes known as standards.

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

Any improvement effort ultimately faces the issue of standardizing processes, in many cases under the intense pressure of an impending certification audit. Ask yourself: Is your rationale for standardization merely to pass the audit, or is it a serious effort to improve quality?

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

Because many organizations are trying for formal certification, the pressure is on to standardize and document processes. This is also true for any robust improvement effort. Organizations are currently drowning in processes that have evolved over time and consequently become rife with confusion, conflict, complexity, and chaos. There are wide gaps between how these processes should work and how they actually do work.

Mark Ames, Reg Blake, Michael J. Caruso, Phil Heinle’s default image

By: Mark Ames, Reg Blake, Michael J. Caruso, Phil Heinle

Management system standards trace their beginnings to the use of simple preventive practices that were developed and used at the beginning of the industrial revolution. These preventive practices included responses to common problems, for example, ensuring changes are communicated to everyone who needs to know about the change, and attacking the cause of a problem, not just the symptom.

Mark Ames, Reg Blake, Michael J. Caruso, Phil Heinle’s default image

By: Mark Ames, Reg Blake, Michael J. Caruso, Phil Heinle

In part one of this two-part article, we looked at the history of management system standards. Part two details some of the evidence that supports the assertion that these standards add value to organizations.

Mark Ames, Reg Blake, Michael J. Caruso, Phil Heinle’s default image

By: Mark Ames, Reg Blake, Michael J. Caruso, Phil Heinle

More than ever, businesses need ways to improve their operations to better gain, serve, and retain customers while reducing costs and improving margins. Implementing management systems and attaining third-party accredited certification can help businesses achieve success on all of these fronts. For many years, various media have discussed anecdotal information concerning the value of third-party accredited certification to management systems.

Ryan E. Day @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day @ Quality Digest

Standard: “A document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context” (ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004—“Standardization and related activities—General vocabulary”).

Steven Ouellette’s picture

By: Steven Ouellette

Although we may use the define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) mnemonic to help guide us through our problem solving, that doesn’t really give us a lot of specific direction (as I bemoan in my Top 10 Stupid Six Sigma Tricks No. 4). Good experimental design technique is critical to being able to turn problems into solutions, and in my experience Black Belts have not been introduced to a good process to do this.

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