ISO 9000

Subject: ISO 9000
From: David Locke <locke -at- SUGAR-LAND -dot- ANADRILL -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 11:04:25 +0000

On 23 Sep 1996 14:54:57 you said:
>ISO 9000 was based on an already existing British standard.

Back before ISO 9000, I documented some manufacturing processes that had to
meet ASME standards. An ASME inspector had to approve the processes based
on the documentation.

Quality Assurance was the whole point behind these standards. Customers
required that every vendor in the supply chain meet ASME standards. Every
vendor had to document their processes, be inspected, and maintain
traceability of the products they purchased and sold. All of that was
required before ISO 9000. It is the same process as that embodied by the ISO
9000 standards.

Your point about an existing British standard ignores the fact that every
ISO contributing nation, including the U.S. already had like standards as
well. If the national standards bodies do not have a like standard, an ISO
standard is not approved. There very few ISO personnel. The representatives
that do the approving are people that worked on the national standard like
ANSI. And, those people are representatives of the various professional
organizations concerned with the standard like ASME.

Note that the ASME standards meant that those vendors that did not meet ASME
standards could not sell to a company producing an ASME compliant product.
This put pressure on the vendors. The same thing is happening with ISO 9000
and ISO 9002. There is a very real possibility that SEI standards will be
forced on the software industry as well.

Complying with these ISO standards creates a competitive advantage for the
early adopters. When everyone in the market is certified, it ceases to be an
advantage. While the book _Fad_Surfing_in_the_Boardroom_ makes a point about
the short-term effects of adopting management fads, the adoption of TQM has
focused attention on other issues in the documentation industry like end
user focus, and usability.

David Locke
David Locke Locke -at- sugar-land -dot- anadrill -dot- slb -dot- com
P.O Box 386 (409) 925-8012
Santa Fe, TX 77517

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