ISO is shrouded in myths and misconceptions. A common theme is that “quality management” or developing a “quality management system” will be bureaucratic, involve lots of paperwork and is best suited to some geeky or nerdy person who loves admin.
In this series of blogs I will talk about just some of the things that have been said to me on initial visits with customers:
“Can’t stand all the jargon”
Neither can I. Don’t use it; I certainly avoid it whenever and wherever I can. To be fair to the ISO people they are writing an international standard and given the problems of translating into many languages it is perhaps inevitable that only some precise jargon can get the message across in all countries. But unless you’re a multinational you don’t need to worry about that so leave the jargon out. Of course there needs to be an understanding of what the jargon means, but trust me that can be achieved without too much hassle, but when it comes to developing your quality management system then do it in your business’s everyday language that everyone understands. Just as with leaving out clause references, leaving out the jargon – expressing your quality management system in your everyday language – increases the accessibility of your quality management system and with that the chances of everybody buying in and using it to guide your business activities. Again, it has been argued to me that an Auditor will use the jargon when he comes along and it will be easier for him to do his job if he finds it in your quality management system. Well I refer you to my previous comments. Fit ISO to your business; don’t expect your business to fit to ISO.