TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: ISO 9000 From:Heli Roosild <HeliR -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 27 Jan 1994 09:43:00 PST
I used to work for a US company that was bought out by a UK firm that was
big on Quality and ISO 9000. Here's my tale of woe (:-):
Before the buy-out, morale at the development group I worked with was
generally positive and enthusiastic. Sure, everyone grumbled about lack of
management, but those who wanted to could forge ahead, add neat things to
the product, or make other improvements as they saw fit. Everyone seemed to
work to a personal standard of excellence, and the product was good.
Then came the buy-out, and, eventually, the requirement that our group also
become ISO 9000 certifiable (:-).
Everyone had to take assorted Quality Improvement classes. Many became
participants in Quality Improvement committees with long, drawn-out
meetings. Some were tasked with reviewing existing Quality manuals and
writing new ones.
Suddenly, we all had an additional and not insignificant work item added to
our already overloaded plates. And the company did not hire more people but,
in fact, failed to fill openings when anyone left.
Results? Yes, we did pass the Quality audit eventually. But the effort
towards Quality drove out the personal efforts towards true excellence in
the product. Most of us worker-bees became cynical and disillusioned.
Quality became a running joke.