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3 replies to this topic

#1 Roger Athlon

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 08:28 PM

Can I share an observation made within my company. I have worked for the same company for 18 years in various management positions. In the past 10 years we have had 5 'Quality Managers' and I have witnessed several changes to the Quality Procedures and Processes over the years, as Quality Managers have come and gone. This is the fault of senior management who truly don't believe in the principles of good quality management and the high turnover of staff is down to the lack of senior management support.

However we have achieved ISO accreditation during this period. Does this tell us anything about the 'Standard' and its failure to accomplish any real improvements in the Quality Standards of the British Packaging Industry?

We are too controlled by the financial constraints of budgets and profitability to really develop the theoretical visions of any 'Quality Gurus'. This website is excellent - but many of the management tools will never be used because British Companies lack the vision required to use many of the techniques described on the site.

Is there anyone out there who understands my point of view. If there is please let me know.

Roger Athlon

#2 Jim Wade

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Posted 16 January 2003 - 12:24 AM

Achieving an ISO 9000 certificate while also having a senior management team that doesn't implement - or even understand - the principles of good quality management is, amazingly, entirely possible.

There is no necessary correlation between having an ISO 9000 certificate and achieving any standard of 'quality'.

There is certainly a gap between 'normal' successful management practice and full-on implementation of the principles and practices of the 'quality' movement. That doesn't mean that those 'normal' managers are wrong or bad; they simply lack the education.

Isn't it the job of the quality professional to educate managers on the practical benefits of adopting those principles and practices? And isn't it their job to engage with managers on the immediate benefits the managers wish to see (often financial benefits)?

ISO 9000:2000 is not a bad tool to help with that job - as long as the whole concept is applied. One major issue is that many 'quality professionals' focus on certification, which brings into play only about 12% of the whole concept!

My article "Is ISO 9000 Really a Standard?" may be of interest - http://www.bin.co.uk/IMS_May_2002.pdf

rgds Jim

#3 Roger Athlon

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 11:18 AM

Thanks Jim for your interesting comments and shortcut to the article. Your interest is appreciated.
The Trotters

#4 Simon


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Posted 19 January 2003 - 09:19 PM

Hi Roger

Jim answered your points pretty comprehensively but I would like to add my two penneth for what it's worth.

I note that you say that you have worked for the same company for 18 years and in the last 10 years you have seen five quality managers come and go. This seems high and although you concentrate on the quality managers I wager that your company has a high turnover of staff in all areas of the business, with the possible exception of Senior Management. My question is how come you are still there? I mean the odds don't stack up!

I don't know the individual circumstances in your case but there are many reasons why a quality manger would leave a post - not least of which is lack of support from senior management, a quality managers position probably more than anybody's in an organisation requires it and is doomed to eventual failure without it - unless of course you are happy just to collect your pay cheque.

Even a good, experienced, busy, knowledgeable and personable quality manager needs at least 12-18 months in a post before they can start to have a positive impact on the business and this lack of continuity must have had a negative impact on your business.

At the end of the day though most organisations are measured by financial results and your organisation is I presume still in business. It's the ten years of unquantifiable, missed opportunities that frustrate so damn much.

Let's hope all five of them have gone on to bigger and better things!


Best Regards,

Simon Timperley
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