ISO follies

Subject: ISO follies
From: "Alex Silbajoris" <alsilba -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 19:23:30


Our company is in the process of obtaining ISO certification. I have no problem with documenting and following procedures, but I'm becoming increasingly annoyed by the approach taken by the coordinator of the effort.

I doubt she would know what a procrustean bed is, but that's what I have to confront when I deal with her. One example is her insistence that all ISO documentation be formatted in fully-justified 12 pt Arial. You can imagine the effect of "rivers" of white space we get in the documents.

(It doesn't help that she adopted another company's template in MS Word, whose Normal style was given the shadow attribute ... quit laughing at me!)

But that isn't the end of it. We have templates; the templates are considered "forms" under this ISO scheme; the ISO forms "shall" be in fully-justified 12 pt Arial; so she wants me to put all our templates into that format.

But wait, there's more ... we use Visio to create data flow and network diagrams. She has adopted a set of standard flowchart shapes to document ISO processes. OK so far. However, I absolutely cannot make her understand that some of these charts are not documenting ISO processes, but automated processes among systems. The ISO shapes address procedures, inspections, quality records, etc., but there is no shape for a data file, or program, or for many of the things we need to illustrate.

My question for the list is, has anyone else had to deal with this situation? Is there some outside authority I can cite to her, to help raise her eyes?

(Please don't bother to respond to me directly, as the spam pressure on this address has made me switch it to "exclusive" acceptance of only a very few senders, such as this list.)

Thank you, and I hope your Monday is going better than mine.

- A


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