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Cartoons Management System Standards

A Cartoonist’s perspective of ISO Management System Certification Standards

The standard, in its most common form, is defined as norm, convention, requirements. In essence, these are mutually agreed way(s) of doing something. As such, the standards would cover any activity under the sun, provided the concerned interested parties agree to a way of doing that thing.

The standards can be categorized into 4 major types:

    1. Fundamental standards – which concern terminology, conventions, signs and symbols, etc.;
    2. Test methods and analysis standards – which measure characteristics such as temperature and chemical composition;
    3. Specification standards – which define characteristics of a product (product standards), or a service (service activities standards) and their performance thresholds such as fitness for use, interface and interoperability, health and safety, environmental protection, etc.;
    4. Organization standards – which describe the functions and relationships of a company, as well as elements such as quality management and assurance, maintenance, value analysis, logistics, project or system management, production management, etc.

For the subject of today’s article, we have confined our discussions to the technical standards, in general, and Management System Certification (MSC) standards published by ISO, in particular. We have also consciously stayed away from explaining the subject specific terminology, since we intend to address the article to non-ISO–MSC- standards practicing people as well.

The trigger for compiling the cartoons on ISO MSC is the  World Standards Day  – Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as International Standards.

Every year a very relevant theme is selected around which the celebrations of Day are planned.  The theme for World Standards Day 2019 is Video standards create a global stage – The video compression algorithms standardized in collaboration by IEC, ISO and ITU have been honored with two Primetime Emmy Awards, recognizing that these standards are central to industry’s ability to meet rising demand for video, one of the most bandwidth-intensive applications running over global networks.

International Standards meet industry demand for powerful compression capabilities. They also enable smooth transitions to the next generation of video compression technology, helping industry to maximize return on each wave of investment.

Having standards recognized and respected all over the world means that video encoded on one device can be decoded by another, regardless of the device being used. This introduces economies of scale that help to grow the market, giving innovators the confidence to invest in new video applications and services.

To create the innovations of today and tomorrow we have to work together, but first we need to understand each other. To exchange knowledge, to make things compatible, ISO standards are the solid base, the common language that humanity can rely on. (EN, ES, FR, DA subtitles)[1]

ISO has published around 22812 International Standards on wide ranging industries and subjects.

With so much of the background information, we will now gradually switch over to our core topic.

Cartoon, being a medium to communicate in a humorously graphical art form, this tool is now very systematically and highly professionally is used to promote and popularize ISO standards .

 

One of the cartoonists who do such graphics for ISO, Cartoonist Alexane. Rosa, tells: “With a little imagination and humour, the human dimension of technical standards can usually be communicated through cartoons and colourful graphics.”

The cartoon graphics are also very effectively used as training aids for easily explaining the contents of the standard as well as an aid-de-memory for maintain that understanding for a longer time.

Source credit: ISO Training Institute

These graphical curation-oriented tools are also used to convey the practical benefits of implementing the ISO standards in the organization.

The following graphic is used to covey the concept – “New standards become new ideas”. It graphically conveys what is textually conveyed as “Once we have found new ways of doing things, we incorporate them in our Quality Systems. ISO 9001 was the foundation, now we start to build the house.’

Source credit © Richard Duszczak

And now we take up the cartons that inherently have a satire embedded into the message it conveys. The message may be a soft satire or a pithy punch, but in the ultimate analysis, it tells ISO-MSC practicing professionals what to-do and, generally, what not-to-do.

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Here a famous fable of an elephant and five blind man is used as a metaphor. This picture is used to convey that different people will look at the standard in their own -subjective-way. It is also used convey that different people in an organization will have different perceptions of risks and opportunities that organization needs to address at any given time.

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As is the general prevailing practice, every country has its own standard, and some times several industries, and several organizations in an industry will have their own standards.

Source credit: https://xkcd.com/927/

This is the genesis of ISO coming into existence, to act as a central, international confederation that builds and publishes common, universally applicable, international, standards.

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Many professionals (mistakenly, of course) treat the standard as a gospel!

Source credit: ISO Standards – The backlash Martin Wakeman

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One major intent of the way the international standards are written is to present the content of the standard in as easy as possible manner to understand, leave the minimum possible room for too many possible alternative interpretations. But, by the time that gets explained and / or and implemented by The Experts, it becomes more and more garbled.

Source credit: Summarized ISO Standards = Levi Roundy

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The most telling satirist commentary comes from the Dilbert (which incidentally is a subject that can be taken up for an independent, full-scale, discussion). The following strips are self-explained punches:

source: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-10-04/)

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As the years of implementation of the standard build on, the practice of application of the core principals of the standard become more cliched, which then (so unfortunately) gets demonstrated as the ‘Philosophy of BIG corporations’.

Source credit: gnurf

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The organizations associated with practice of implementing, auditing or certifying the management system standards must keep questioning about the outcomes of application of management systems – . “Is certification benefiting the operation of business operators?” “Isn’t certification processes obstructing the real ISO mission? …In other words, unless it is a system to improve and create sustained success for your business, management system is worthless.

This positive attitude, performance oriented and people centric guideline sparked the revised design of new structure of the ISO standards to come up for revision or being published first time after 2012. The new High Level Structure now seeks to make the standards proactive, responsive and wider-eyed than was the case of the standards designed before.

Before 2012:

Expected post-2012

Source credit: https://www.enms-doc.com/index31.html

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As we reach the celebrations of Deepawali, I take this opportunity to wish a bon voyage to the ISO MSC fraternity in their search for the sustained success of the organization by implementing the standards in their true spirit….

[1] Dare to dream BIG: Standards empower innovators

 

Categories
Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs Management System Standards

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – December, 2016

Welcome to December, 2016 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We have already taken up the following topics for the familiarization of different elements of new version of ISO 9001-

For the present episode we will take a brief look at The Road beyond ISO 9001:2015.

Role as a Management Tool

The business performance has several dimensions. One can delve deeper into ISO 901: 2015 and can find ways and means to link up the standard with each of this business dimension. However, within the bounds of our present post, we will cover only a few selected examples that would serve as cases of illustration.

Role in The Strategy:

  • The Business of Innovation – Use ISO 9001:2015 to build innovation into your business strategy – There are still people who carry with them the outdated ideas of the standard and only think linearly… The updated ISO 9001:2015 requirements, more specifically “Leadership” (Clause 5), “Risk Based Thinking” (Clause 6) and “Context of the Organization” (Clause 4), have many components linking QMS standards to business management systems, leadership involvement, and strategic planning that were not previously required. The newly required alignment involves the entire organization, a more comprehensive approach to improved performance, process, and quality…
  • Harnessing Quality and Standards as a Business Strategy – Quality and standards are fast becoming strategic business imperatives in a rapidly evolving global economy. Learn how three local companies adopted standards to help them build trust, enhance their brand image and stay ahead of the competition.

Role in Business Process Management

Role in Financial Domain-related Issues:

Role in Sustainability:

Role in CSR domain:

  • Sarbanes – Oxley Act – Threat or opportunity for Quality professionals is a succinct treatise for CSR and Quality professionals to work in unison.
  • Leveraging ISO 9001 system to Sarbanes-Oxley complianceMaureen McAllister ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are not financially focused. However, their systems, procedures and practices offer a ready-made platform to help demonstrate SOx compliance. ISO standards provide a vehicle for ongoing risk assessment and management. Their internal auditing requirements back up these procedures and assessments with cross checks that ensure proper practices are actually being followed. These standards can put some real teeth into SOx-required attestations about internal controls.
  • A Pathway to ‘CSR Excellence’: the roles of ISO 9000 and ISO 26000 – The paper discusses the roles of ISO 9000 and ISO 26000 quality and social responsibility standards in a journey toward Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Excellence.  ISO 9000 plays the role as an operational building block and the ISO 26000 that of a tool to review strategic positioning and operational maturity of organisations.
  • ISO standards for business – An essential link to integrated reporting  – Kevin McKinley 2011 –  Business cannot focus only on satisfying direct customers’ needs – stakeholders in all their forms are becoming more critical of businesses that do not adequately address expectations of good governance, environmental stewardship, sustainability and social responsibility…Standards deal not only with topical business issues, but can also provide rules and guidance for assessing how related business requirements are implemented. Such conformity assessment standards can provide benefits to all links in the value chain.

With this, we will conclude our current series of articles on ISO 9001: 2015 and the articles on elements of QMS that we had been pursuing in previous two years as well.

I plan to revert back to our original model of reviewing the articles/ blogposts on the current topics related to quality and /or quality management from January 2017.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

ASQ CEO, Bill Troy in his ASQ’s Influential Voice  in conjunction with ASQ Communications introduces Belur Nanjundiah Jagadeesh Prasad. Jadesh Prasad has applied his knowledge of quality creatively by composing several quality themed poems.

We now watch two of the latest ASQ TV  episode:

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems for the month of November, 2016:

6 Rules for Improved Standards : Standards can be a part of continuous improvement efforts, with a few key rules that should be considered whenJim's Gems working with internal documents or external standards.. Bottom line, we should encourage everyone to get involved in making standards the best they can be. It can really be a rewarding task to do because standardization is a significant component of an organization’s continuous improvement initiatives.

Clarifying Consensus, Surveys and Polls: How do we really know what people think? In trying to find out, there’s a lot of confusion created. Some of the confusion is intentional, some confusion is an unawareness of fundamental math, some of the confusion is created by a lack of understanding of what data is telling us, or maybe just simple lack of knowledge of how to collect the information.

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey in exploring the happenings across quality management blogs…………

With best wishes for a very happy, healthy and meaningful 2017

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.