ISO Certification (Dec 31, 2006)
‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ was the catchy
title of a work on metaphysics of quality in early 1970s. A similar work in twenty first
century can be aptly named ‘QAM and the Art of ISO Certification’. The whole of services
sector is currently flooded with QAMs (Quality Assurance Managers) and quite ironically
quality has become the main casualty in the process. ISO (International Standards
Organisation or International Organisation for Standardisation) which created these
QAMs in the first place are now finding it difficult to handle these demons (mostly in coat
and tie). They resemble and have begun to act like the legendary demon let off the
ancient bottle by the poor farmer. QAMs want ISO to survive but ISO is dying because of
QAMs. If ISO does not find out a way to contain the damage caused by these QAMs
(aided and abetted by the so-called certification agencies), ISO might itself end up as a
dirty word. In this article, J. Ajith Kumar expresses his viewpoint on the forces at play in
the certification and recertification game, especially in the services sector.
Management (Mar 9, 2006)
The single most beneficiary of this erroneous concept of
Quality Assurance has been a set of professionals masquerading as Quality Assurance
Managers (QAM) in ISO certified companies. They first descend on the victims
(desperate for ISO certification) in the form of experts or consultants willing to assist in
getting the initial certification. It goes to their credit that they do a useful job at this stage.
In most companies, there will be severe shortage of expertise to document the
procedures they follow in a systematic manner. This vacuum is easily filled up by the so
-called ISO experts and consultants. In this article, J. Ajith Kumar expresses his viewpoint
on the quality assurance, especially in the services sector.
(Nov 25, 2005)
Organizations examine their structure and processes for
improvement constantly. Audits are one of the tools used to facilitate this activity. It was
observed, by a research firm, that more than 75% of companies in their study combined
audits with the certification process. Regulatory or standard audits are used to drive
efficiency while maintaining quality. It was also observed that one of these companies
combined its Sarbanes-Oxley audits with quality audits. In this paper, O.S. Balaji tries to
quell some of the audit anxiety.