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  • support 3:16 am on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corrective action plan ISO 9001, , , ISO 9001, , , root cause analysis,   

    Effective Use of Your Corrective Action Plan In Quality Management (QMS) 

    A corrective action plan is far more than picking up the phone to call another department to report a defect.  In this video training clip, we feature BIZPHYX SVP, Bob Clancy providing tips on how to strengthen your organization’s corrective action plan.

    He discusses data collection and analysis to support “lessons learned” and as a way to prevent problems in the future. Bob details how to verify if you have a formal corrective action plan that includes true root cause analysis and how to maximize that process.


    For further assistance please contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

  • support 7:07 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ISO 9001, ISO standards translate good intentions into results, Rio+20,   

    ISO Standards Translate Good Intentions Into Results: A Focus On Rio+20 

    This week people descended on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to attend Rio+20, the United Nation’s Conference On Sustainable Development.  Sounds great because “sustainability” is a good thing, right?  Unfortunately, in the events leading up to primary conference which ends tomorrow on June 22nd, the US and other emerging, large economies took a little bit of a beating by being portrayed as entities that live beyond their “environmental means” as outlined in the Inclusive Wealth Index, presented by the UN.  We featured this breaking story on our Twitter feed.  You can (read about it here).

    Certainly there will be disagreements about how individual, sovereign nations deal with sustainability and environmental challenges vs. how to integrate these approaches into a singular, global framework with other countries.  This United Nation’s Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) was organized pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236).

    The priority of Rio+20 is to focus on 7 key areas: decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.  These 7 priorities are packaged neatly in 2 themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.  In this modern time–what organization, company, city, state, nation or individual isn’t already focused on these priorities, right?

    Well brace yourself, because what comes out of Rio+20 can impact us here in the United States in a big way.  The Rio+20 Conference was envisaged as a conference at the highest possible level and includes heads of state and representatives of world governments.  The conference will result in a focused political document.  How we will be bound by that political document is unknown.

    At the end of the week everyone will go home to his or her respective countries and companies.  They will come down from the high of being in Rio and be faced with the elephant in the room—the realty of implementation.  How do we implement and measure these environmental, sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals or edicts?

    For the purpose of our article this week, we want our clients and readers to focus on the “wheel”.  Let’s not reinvent the wheel.  We hope that ISO standards will be considered as a key tool in the Rio+20 tool chest.  There are varied approaches to these complex issues and thousands of ISO standards already exist to help organizations manage these challenges.  However, “enviro-entrepreneurs” are always coming up with new “green” techniques, standards, certifications, regulations, etc.  Many of these are proliferated through NGOs and they often compete with each other.  In reality, if an organization of even the smallest size (less than 5 people) implements ISO 14001 (the environmental management standard), they will be addressing most of these issues in their own way, at the micro level.  If we all don’t do our part to participate at the micro level, then a macro resolution may be forced upon us someday.

    ISO.org did a great job of trying to bring attention to their role as a solutions provider in this global quest for sustainability by publishing a document prior to Rio+20 (you can access it here)Forging Action Into Agreement: How ISO Standards Translate Good Intentions About Sustainability Into Concrete Results logically explains how the 19,100 ISO standards and guidelines already provide solutions in all three dimensions of sustainable development-environmental, economic and societal.  They further clarify that what makes ISO so effective is that it provides a non-political, non-partisan platform where “standards are developed with open, transparent processes by representatives of the people who need them, implement them, are affected by them–and who can review and continually improve the results of their implementation.”  We couldn’t phrase it any better.

    So let’s hope that when it comes to translating good intentions into actions that the big brains at Rio+20 don’t attempt to reinvent the wheel.  Simply put, implement existing ISO standards in your organization.  No matter how small you are or even if you’re a service organization, begin with implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and you’re on your way to being an individual contributor to this global effort while radically improving the efficiency and productivity of your organization.  Yes, good intentions can be executed along with realizing tangible results in your bottom line.  They can be mutually exclusive!  For more information on implementing ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and TL 9000, the telecom (ICT) quality management standard, e-mail info@bizphyx.com

  • support 1:16 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ISO 9001, sustainability surveys,   

    The Sustainability Leadership List 2012: How Do Telecom and Energy Brands Rank? 

    If you follow BIZPHX on Twitter and Facebook, you know that we often provide links to relevant news articles that impact our world of quality management.  In particular, we follow trends in TL 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and corporate sustainability.  We recently provided a link to this study featured on one of our favorite blogs, GreenBiz.com.

    Each year, the results of The Sustainability Leaders — a GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey of sustainability experts is released.  This survey includes corporate, government, NGO, academic, research and service organizations in 75+ countries.  The 2012 survey results were released this month.

    The survey poll asked respondents to name up to three companies that they consider to be leaders in integrating sustainability into their business strategy.

    The top ten brands (in order) for 2012 are:  Unilever, Interface, GE, Patagonia, Walmart, Marks & Spencer, Natura, Nike, Novo Nordisk, Siemens, Toyota, IBM and Nestle.

    This survey is often criticized for a variety of reasons ranging from a popularity contest to basing the rankings on a single metric.  Some have trouble reconciling results with what other sustainability rankings show.  The very nature of The Sustainability Leaders Survey is competitive.  Respondents have to pick one or just a few companies who they think are top performers above others.

    However, two points are always proven to be clear:

    • Companies remain concerned and driven to advance sustainability objectives, whether by intelligent business design or due to consumer demand or government regulation.  This trend is advancing not reversing.
    • The leaders have clearly defined messaging which they integrate into their business strategy.  Their plans are concise, focused, transparent and easy to communicate to stakeholders and employees.  They are able to leverage their brand’s awareness as a result.

    What then, does it take to crack the top-ten most frequently named leadership companies in the poll?  It’s not quite that simplistic and we encourage you to read the article and survey presentation in its entirety.  You can also access a podcast interview with executives from GlobeScan, Unilver and Patagonia at 2degrees network.

    Unilever ranked #1 is a consumer goods giant and on the list are big pharma, automotive, food and retail conglomerates.  For the purpose of our article we are more focused on the industries represented and the gap that exists in the telecom and energy sectors.  Specific to telecom, what can we do to drive our TL 9000 and ISO 14001 quality management systems to tackle the elusive business challenge of corporate sustainability?  These are not buzzwords anymore.  They are critical business realities in a global economy.

    Siemens is as close as it gets in 2012.  This Munich, Germany based multinational corporation is the largest European-based electronics and electrical engineering company.  While they have an IT Solutions division, they are not focused solely in the ICT sector.  There is no telecom leader on this list.

    However, let’s take some pointers from Siemens.  Their goals are clearly defined and their objectives are driven at the employee level, which we know propels any successful QMS.  Visit the sustainability section of their website, which is very easy to find on their main landing page.  Also watch the brief video presentation from Barbara Kux, their CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer).

    ICT and telecom industries touch so many aspects of our personal and business lives.  As business operators in this space, we must learn from the leaders on this list and raise our own sustainability goals.  More importantly, we need to articulate objectives in a way that resonate with our consumer public and employees.

    In terms of quality management, we should look for ways to integrate these goals within the scope of our ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001 frameworks to drive continual improvement in these areas. Specific to TL 9000, we have the ability define measurable outcomes and track them against benchmarking data.  It’s then more likely; we’ll see a telecom leader on a future list!

    For information on ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 140001 implementation, contact info@bizphyx.com.


  • support 11:40 am on April 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ISO 9001, ISO Service Standards,   

    ISO Standards And Their Increasing Traction In The Services Sector 

    For over a decade, we’ve been leading clients to ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001 certification. Well over 60% of our customer base is in the services sector.  While we work with many different types of companies such as EF&I telecom suppliers and IT outsourcing firms, we’ve also had the privilege of leading accounting firms and advertising agencies to ISO 9001 certification.  As mentioned in a previous article, we recently led ARTÉMIA Communications in San Francisco to a triple quality management certification to ISO 9001, TL 9000 and ISO 14001.

    BIZPHYX has been on the front line of a continuing trend–the increase in ISO certifications in the services sector.  In the March edition of ISO Focus+, ISO dedicates nearly the entire issue to this global trend.  You can access the online edition here > or visit ISO.org.

    So why now? Why this time and place for the services sector?  First and foremost, we are now part of a global, interconnected world economy.  Second, services represent the fastest growing segment of the global economy and service enterprises are also the largest component of GDP in the US and internationally (source: World Trade Organization).  Finally, consider for a moment that you cannot distribute manufactured goods without service infrastructures and devices supported by ICT (information communication technology) services.

    All of these market forces intersect to fuel the need for global standards that ensure quality, consistent business practices, uniform communications and sustainability in global supply chains.  While most corporate executives are generally familiar with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (the environmental standard), many don’t know that there are dozens of industry specific ISO standards (that build upon ISO 9001: 2008) with many new standards currently being developed for the services sector.

    Some of these new standards include guidelines for the financial services, mobile person-to business payments (mobile commerce), network services billing, IT service management and even tourism.

    We encourage you to read the articles in the March edition of ISO Focus+ to learn about many of these new standards and the stunning trends regarding ISO certifications in the services sector.  Pay particular attention to the centerfold entitled “Services In Every Day Life”.  ISO states, “Trade in services is at present the fastest growing area of international commerce, creating new jobs and extending activities in areas running from the IT sector to tourist areas, each with its gamut of sub-services such as car hire and hotels, camping and accounting, among many others.”

    If you’re a service organization and part of a global supply chain, certifying to an ISO quality management standard will not only benefit your business in terms of reduced costs, improved productivity and better customer service–it may become a business inevitability.

    One guaranteed result from certification is that you will gain a significant competitive advantage.  In next week’s article we’re going to reveal the results of a case study BIZPHYX recently published that documents how a group of diverse service suppliers increased their top-line revenues as a direct result of ISO 9001 and TL 9000 certification (the ICT quality standard).

    For more information on ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and TL 9000 certification, please contact info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 1:01 am on April 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Information and Communication Technologies, ISO 9001, ISO/IEC, ,   

    ISO By The Numbers and The Force Multiplier For ICT Innovation 

    This month, we have added some new resources to our Knowledge Base, including papers on ISO By The Numbers and The Force Multiplier For ICT Innovation.

    In 2011, references to ISO and its standards on Internet media sites increased by 128,937 compared to 2010, with a total of 467,830–presenting a rise of 38% according to ISO.org.  This is of particular interest to our clients who work so hard to achieve their TL 9000, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications.  There’s clearly a global interest and buy-in on implementing the important ISO standards.

    In a recent article from ISO, in 2011 ISO published 1,206 new or revised standards, bringing the total number of current standards in the ISO catalog to 19,203.  According to ISO, thirty-eight ISO national member bodies provided the administrative and technical services for the committees developing standards.  The demand for new standards is also on the rise.  In 2011, 1,419 new projects for ISO standards were registered, raising the number of items in the work program to 4,007.

    To really understand the depth and scope of ISO standards throughout the globe, you can obtain the full publication, ISO in Figures from the ISO store.   A complimentary summary brochure can be downloaded from ISO.org or you can download a copy from the BIZPHYX Knowledge Base.

    Also of interest to our clients and readers is another publication recently released from ISO and IEC (The International Electrotechnical Commission).  The IEC manages Conformity Assessment Systems, which certify that equipment systems or components conform to its international standards (semiconductors, fiber optics, nanotechnologies).  Their joint technical committee (ISO/IEC JTC 1) has placed an emphasis on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).

    The thoughts and findings that will continue to result from the JTC 1, the multiple subcommittees (SCs) and the working groups (WGs) will certainly have an influence on TL 9000, the telecommunications quality standard, which is evolving to reflect ICT.  We have a copy of this paper called The Force Multiplier For ICT Innovation on the BIZPHYX Knowledge Base.  This PDF outlines how the JTC 1 is hard at work integrate standards and guidelines for all these complex technologies.

    Just consider for a moment the interrelation of the multitude of communications and software products and services–and what that means for the volume of standards that include security.  In that overlay or “force multiplier”, you have products and services that integrate with smart cards, bar codes, information security, biometrics, cloud computing and so much more.

    It is in the ISO/IEC JTC 1 where the heavy lifting begins.  This is where the basic “building blocks of new technologies are defined and where foundations of important ICT structures are laid” (more than 2,400 standards and related documents).

    Clearly, it’s clearly all about ICT.  In fact, QuEST Forum has recently redefined its value proposition, “… QuEST Forum unifies the global ICT community through the implementation of TL 9000, an industry specific quality management system that is built on ISO 9001 and the eight quality principles.”

    QuEST Forum’s IGQ Work Group is hard at work preparing to release R5.0 of the TL 9000 Measurements Handbook (possibly by the end of 2012).  The IGQ team has already proposed changes to the Product Category Tables A-1 through A-3 and these revisions are currently out for review by certified member companies.

    We’ll see what develops in the next few years from the ISO/IEC JTC 1 and what influence the outcomes will have on the evolution of TL 9000.  For more information, please contact info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 7:41 pm on January 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ISO 9001, ISO Survey Of Certifications,   

    ISO Survey Of Certifications and The Year Ahead 

    In December of 2011, ISO released their latest edition of The ISO Survey of Certifications.  The yearlong study conducted during 2010 outlines the global relevance of the ISO management system standards for quality, environment, medical devices, food safety and information security.  The study results reveal an increase in certificates of 6.23% for a worldwide total of 1,457,912 certificates and users of one or more standards in 178 countries.

    A key aspect of the study is the trend line involving certain standards.  The biggest increases in certification are to the sector-specific ISO 22000:2005 food safety management system standard which is up by 34% and to the issue-specific ISO/IEC 27001:2005 information security management system standard which has risen by 21%.  However, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 (environmental) and ISO 13485:2003 (medical devices) all saw strong increases and are reflective of industry trends in the USA.

    ISO stated that the attraction and stability of the ISO management system model, pioneered by ISO 9001 for quality management, has helped other sectors face specific challenges in both public and private organizations.

    ISO 9001:2008 (which gives the requirements for quality management systems) remains firmly established as the globally implemented standard. The 2010 survey represents an increase of 4% over 2009.

    ISO/IEC 27001:2005 gives the requirements for information security management systems.  At the end of 2010, at least 15,625 ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certificates had been issued in 117 countries and economies.  The 2010 total represents an increase of 21% over 2009.

    ISO 14001:2004 (which gives the requirements for environmental management systems) retained its global relevance for organizations wishing to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner.  Through the end of 2010, at least 250,972 ISO 14001:2004 certificates had been issued in 155 countries and economies which revealed a year over year increase of 12%.  According to ISO-China, Japan and Spain are the top three countries for the total number of certificates, while China, the UK and Spain are the top three for annual growth.

    We see many of our clients looking to expand their existing ISO 9001:2008 and TL 9000 certifications to include ISO 14001 and we have created a unique dual certification program to help new organizations achieve this goal.  Please visit our ISO 14001 page for more information.

    If you would like to access The ISO Survey (which includes data from 1993-2010) you can obtain a free “principal findings” version available on our Knowledge Base or here at ISO.  The complete study including industry breakdowns is available for purchase from the ISO store.

    Other important ISO news was released at the close of 2011 and some of these stories may be of interest to you as well.  Click on these links to access additional articles at ISO.org:

    ISO 19011 (Updated Edition Of The Auditing Standard)

    New ISO Standard Regarding Emergencies At Nuclear Facilities

    Faster and Better ISO IT Standards and The First ISO IT Forum

    New ISO Standard For Emergency Management

    ISO Focus + On Sustainability

    This year we will be addressing many aspects of environmental quality including occupational health (OHSAS 18001).  In addition, we will help you better understand the proposed refinements to TL 9000.  TL 9000 is becoming an even more comprehensive communications standard due to next generation networks and the “hand-in-glove” relationship between network systems and information technology systems and products (ICT).

    In 2012 we will also help frame ISO/IEC 27001 and CMMI’s relationship and integration with TL 9000, the telecommunications quality management standard.  Next week we will provide and update on TL 9000 from the 2012 QuEST Forum Annual Leadership Summit and Executive Board Meeting.  For more information on implementation, training or internal audit of the standards mentioned above please contact us at info@bizphyx.com.

  • support 4:17 am on December 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ISO 9001, , ,   

    TL 9000 Project Planning (4): Managing The Project 

    In past articles, we have discussed project planning techniques including “backward planning”, managing key milestones, intervals and contingency or risk planning. In this article we will discuss managing the plan so that you give yourself the best chance to succeed.

    The project has certain outcomes that include a successful registration audit and on time delivery to a planned date.  In order to meet these objectives, it will be necessary to have a systematic method to review and revise the plan.  In order to make the plan work and hold people accountable, at a minimum you will need to identify in the plan:

    •    The process owner for each phase or activity
    •    The due date for completion of each phase or activity
    •    Deliverables that constitute a complete phase or activity
    •    A status of the phase or activity

    There may be other information that you want to track during the plan such as actual completion date, revised planned completion date and comments.  You’ll need a tool to record the plan.  There are many tools available ranging from a yellow legal pad to sophisticated project management software and you need to select what works for you.  For the most part, I use Microsoft Excel because nearly everyone has the tool or can open a software version of it and most people can find their way around this tool.  I used project management software years ago, but found that I had to copy it into Microsoft Word or something else, just to send it to people.  Almost nobody had the tool or knew how to use it effectively.

    An Excel-based project plan can also give you a quick status of the project if you will set up a column with a pull down that includes Red, Yellow, Green and Closed.  I use Red to mean the completion date has passed, Yellow to mean that the completion date is within a week away and is not complete and Green to mean that the activity can still be completed on time.  These, plus the “Closed” category can be sorted and summarized to give you a quick status dashboard.  You can also calculate the total plan interval and compare each status period to the amount of interval that has elapsed versus the number of completed tasks.

    If the percentage of the project interval and the percentage of completed actions are somewhat close, then the project is in pretty good shape unless there are actions that specifically cannot be closed, which will be revealed by the Red, Green, Yellow status.  If the project interval is 70% expended and you have only completed 10% of the actions, then you are in big trouble.  These metrics comprise an effective, high-level status of the project at any given time.

    Once you have the project plan recorded, it is usually a good idea to meet either in person or via conference call to status the plan and determine actions that may be needed to keep the plan on track.  This is where you need to be strong as the manager of the project and hold people accountable for their assignments.  Two big risks to completing the project on time can be a lack of strength on the part of the PM and/or the process owners not being open and honest about problems in meeting the plan and their resulting solutions.

    We hope you found this 4-part series on project planning helpful.  If you require further assistance, please contact bclancy@bizphyx.com.

    The support desk will be closed for the holidays and we will begin a new series on January 17, 2011.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from BIZPHYX!

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