What To Do When The Virtual Auditor Comes…

As you all know, ISO certified organizations need to have surveillance audits at least annually to keep their certificate valid. Covid has made face-to-face encounters very dangerous, but the audits must be done to keep supplier organizations’ certificates valid. These audits will now have to be performed virtually until health risks start to decline. This […]

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The Process Approach – What’s In It For Me?

John Seddon has been promoting Systems Thinking for years – I’ve been following him for nearly 30 years now and I’ve used the Vanguard Method approach to management system design since the early 2000s. A number of Federal Departments in Ottawa still have them in place. This post is based on the last part of

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Are Our Measurements Helping Us Understand Customers?

John Seddon (vanguard-method.net Tactics for Getting Started) has been helping companies improve processes for decades. He has improved organizations with ‘Systems Thinking’ based on Deming’s work and the Toyota Production System that Taiichi Ohno created in post WWII Japan. He is laser-beam focused on the customer and it shows. In this instalment, we’re going to

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Smooth Operator – ISO Clause 8

This is the ‘Rubber Hits the Road’ clause, especially for ISO 9001. The EMS and OHS standards both include the ‘Emergency and Preparedness’ in this section – Operations. By using a flowchart to illustrate your workflow you’ll be able to meet the requirements of 4.4.1 a) and b) – show what the processes are, inputs

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Risky Business

Tackling Clause 6.1 in ISO 9001 can be structured by using Ishikawa’s fishbone diagram. You can ‘reverse engineer’ it to create a framework for a simple risk approach. Ishikawa discovered that most non-conformances typically have their ‘root cause’ in one or more of these four areas: People (he called this category Man). This relates to clause

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The Customer Communication Crisis!

Without doubt, our customers need to be the focus of our efforts. You’ll find that the word ‘customer’ appears 88 times in ISO 9001:2015. Some of the places it  appears are in the ‘General’ section, Quality Management Principles, the Process Approach, Scope, and these clauses: 4.2 Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties; 4.3 Scope; 5.1.2

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Structure Your Continual Improvement

For years we’ve had to demonstrate that we’ve improved the effectiveness of our management systems. It’s a great money-maker for the Private Sector and improving a management system helps the Public Sector work within their budgets. Easy words to say; hard to implement without some effort. Here’s a way to structure your strategy to systematically

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Give Me What I Want!

In 1980, The American Council of Retailers did some research on why people stopped doing business with various organizations. Here’s what they found in 1980: 64% left because they felt ignored 12% left because they were treated badly (that’s our policy) 11% didn’t feel the organization was empathetic 9% found a lower price 3% moved

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What’s your ‘Purpose’?

John Seddon has been a Systems builder since the 80s. He bases his work on the genius of Taiichi Ohno – The Toyota Production System – Beyond Large-Scale Production. Seddon has been successful adapting Ohno’s TPS approach but using it in services. There’s always a temptation to set targets and try to convince people to

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Two Management System Mistakes We Make

Seth Godin is one of my favourite authors – a great thinker and terrific business person. Even though he’s not ‘ISO’ his thoughts on ‘systems’ fit beautifully. The first mistake we make is the underestimation of the importance of something. Think of the internet. We assume it’s stable and will always work. We don’t really

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