Chapter 8. ISO 9000: Getting Certified

O.C. Tanner had the most advanced quality management systems in our industry. I'm not just saying that; we had statistics that backed up this claim. No question, we were the quality leader. But our competition had something we did not have, namely an ISO 9001:2000 certification. Even though our quality metrics exceeded our competitors, lacking this certification put us at a competitive disadvantage. We decided it would be prudent to secure an ISO 9001:2000 certification. Internally, we called the project ISO 9000—a kind of generic name for the type of certification we were seeking. ISO 9001:2000 is part of the family of the ISO 9000 certifications.

Strictly speaking, ISO 9000 certification is not an IT project. I included it in this book because it has a technical orientation and, in addition, ISO projects typically include IT processes.

ISO CERTIFICATION: WHAT IT IS

For those unfamiliar with ISO certifications, let me briefly explain them. The organization that oversees ISO certifications is the International Organization for Standardization, founded in 1947 and based in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO seeks to establish standards within industries that are benchmarks by which organizations can measure themselves. Typically, these standards are technically oriented.

There are various ISO standards. The two best known are ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, with the former addressing quality issues and the latter addressing environmental standards.

The ISO 9001:2000 ...

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