“How do you know that any of this improves what we do?” Em…


ISO management standards are to quality what Teletext is to the internet.

You have read previously the lack of proof that accreditation works.  But it’s not just for this reason that quality managers are understanding the error of their ways:

Things I used to believe in and no longer do – ISO9001

ISO9001!

God, what was i thinking? I was a qualifed lead auditor, and i loved it. I know, really.

Sadly, here are the reasons I loved ISO9001

I didn’t have anything else. I thought that would do it. Not JUST that obviously, but it was A Recipe For Success to follow, and if you did what was needed you’d get what you deserved. A certificate to put on the wall saying you had ISO9001.

A man sat opposite me asked me “how do you know that any of this improves what we do?” Jealous he was. Couldn’t he see my certificate? Someone comes along at regular intervals to check my manuals and forms! There is external validation!

Turns out he was right. Thankfully my training (week long cramming on the contents of a dry legalese document) mentioned Deming, and in between form filling I was curious and googled “quality deming iso9001″ and in those days, that combination of words would bring up John Seddons case against ISO.  And that was that.

I ignored it, thought he was an idiot and forgot all about it. Until I came crawling back to read some more. And after a time, or a few times, hatefully came to the conclusion that he could be right. And another blog was born.

EDIT
There is a whole blog devoted to the myth of ISO9001, ISOwatch! Good for him I say. I am slightly surprised that it’s still around.  Like seeing Ceefax (or is it Teletext?) on a telly. Surely everything is  SKY+ these days?

There’s a lot of good thinking in this blog.  You should learn from it too.

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