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I've written ISO documentation for companies -- basically, it's a
description of what a
particular workgroup/division/company does. Part of my preparation was to
review the docs produced by other companies -- they were in different fonts,
produced on different machines, using different word processing packages.
What they all had in common was that they followed an exhaustive outline
which allowed people to find out what was done, and where the specific
information about that task was filed.
I think you're getting run over by conflicting definitions of "ISO
documentation is supposed to look like this". It's supposed to follow this
outline -- not be typed like this.
From: Alex Silbajoris [mailto:alsilba -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2002 2:24 PM
Subject: ISO follies
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
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.
Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
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Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002. www.ehelp.com/techwr
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