TQM and Standards (long)

Subject: TQM and Standards (long)
From: Margaret Gerard <margaret -at- TOSHIBA -dot- TIC -dot- OZ -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1993 21:27:38 EST

Hi Techwriters,

The TQM thread has been very interesting. I wanted to post on this subject last
as we are part way towards gaining accreditation to AS3901 (clone of ISO3901)
but got tied up on job and then went off to the ASTC Seminar 93 for 2 days.

One of the Seminar sessions was devoted to "Quality and Standards" and an
presentation was made by Cheryl Stevens on "What a Quality System means to you".
It was interesting because she clarified the role, as she sees it, of the
technical writer. Cheryl has a tech writing background but now works as a
quality systems consultant developing and implementing quality systems.

Her material crystallized some ideas that I had been mulling over last week, so
I got
her permission to post some of the information she presented:

"What a Quality System means to you" - Points extracted from a paper written and
presented by Cheryl Stevens, Quality System Consultant, tel 61 2 9795583,
fax 61 2 9796858.

- A Quality System is a documented system of procedures, processes,
structure and responsibilities that ensures your product conforms to the

- Quality is fitness for purpose. Any activity that relates to the quality of
goods or
services must by covered by the Quality System.

- Relationship of AS3901 to TQM. TQM is the application of analysis, total
involvement, tools and metrics to the organization with the objective of
satisfaction. AS3901 lays the foundation for TQM and provides the mechanism for
continual improvement by ensuring workplace activities and changes to activities
understood and implemented.

- The following are stages required to achieve a Quality System in an
and suggested techwriter involvement:

Stages Writer Involvement

1. Management states a policy that commits Obtain/draft the management quality
to the implementation of 3901. policy.

2. Current practices are defined Interview staff and gather information
(if not already) Document current practices
Check for inconsistencies between
departments and procedures
Check for illogical procedures
Flow-chart processes

3. Current practices are compared to 3901 Assist with the evaluation

4. Procedures are developed to meet 3901 Identify areas of conflict between
different procedures.

5. Documents are prepared that describe the Take procedures written by non tech
Quality System and the procedures writers and turn them into professional,
easy to follow documents
Organize the current practice info
received so it flows logically and is
clearly understood

6. Quality System is implemented Prepare training material
Update procedures

7. Internal audit Update documents as required for
correction of problems

8. External auditing by recognized accreditor


There seems to be plenty of scope for the involvement of techwriters. Dr.
commented that their involvement in this process in the US had been less than

Cheryl Stevens commented that the idea that quality procedures are difficult to
and implement might be connected with the lack of writing expertise of those

Margaret Gerard

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