Re: ISO follies

Subject: Re: ISO follies
From: quills -at- airmail -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 01:15:06 -0600

At 7:23 PM -0600 3/4/02, Alex Silbajoris wrote:

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.
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?


There is not "good" reason for her to dictate font, font size, or justification.

The ISO guidelines do "NOT" specify this. For good reason. ISO wants you to document your procedures and follow them.

If she is saying that there is a mandate from the ISO to format in this manner, she is off her rocker.

This is more a case of micro-management, lack of understanding of her duties on her part, and lack of understanding of how to document ISO procedures.

The less detail you have about inconsequential things, the better off you are.

Unless you like to get gigged by an inspector for not following a procedure that does not affect quality of your end product.

Font, size and justification do not belong in ISO procedures.

As far as the ISO flowcharting goes, well if she isn't amiable to constructive suggestions about problems, maybe your boss has some clout, or her boss. How much do you really want to pass the ISO inspections:?


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ISO follies: From: Alex Silbajoris

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