The majority of people knew nothing of computers. But many of them had heard about this magic machine of the 20th century. But those who knew a bit more had apprehensions too. That is why some of them kept warning those top optimists about the dangers of the 'rubbish- in- rubbish- out' (RIRO) kind of situation that is likely with the computer dominated world.
In my life time I have seen this transformation taking place. I have also seen the riro situation also that got developed in the world in most of the work areas. The computer helps in reducing work loads of some and simultaneously enhances the load in other areas !
Anyway, that is what I wanted to write in this blog. It is some thing else which got developed in the 20th century in a big way for giving benefits to the society. Here too I find it as a coin having two sides !
I refer to the modern Quality Management Systems generally now known as the ISO 9000 series.
Before starting what I am going to say, let me apologize sincerely to all the modern management consultants , consulting companies and a host of their institutions and organizations worldwide who keep producing massive documentations and presentations so vigorously and painfully that have helped immensely to make the Art of Management of the past to the Management Science of the present !
The practice those days was something like this. If I needed a person to be recruited for doing a work in my department, I make a projection for 5 people, get it studied by the IED who eventually cut it to three based on their 'scientific work-time studies' and the two got further bargained at higher levels and ultimately I getting a minimum two instead of the one I really needed. A win-win situation for all concerned ! Had the management trusted the actual man concerned they never would have needed all those management time wasting carried out for months to decide 100 percent extra man-power !
But trust is a word which does not exist in the management dictionary !
Modern management and management systems are devised on the presumption that people cannot be trusted ! If you say that a wild lion cannot be trusted it is understandable. But if you say that a human being of the 21st century cannot be trusted then what is being said ultimately would equate man and beast on the same level.
The IED of the 20th century has reappeared now as various systems of management now emerging under one umbrella called the ISO 9000 series .
Is it doing any good ?
Of course! But that is perhaps for its practitioners and advocates !
Recently, a customer asked an expert opinion from an engineer working in an ISO 9001 certified engineering consultancy company.
Our engineer knows how to satisfy his customer by giving his expert advice in a moment.
In earlier years he had done that many times.
But now his organisation follows approved systems and procedures in accordance with the ISO certification. Unfortunately this kind of an advice is not listed now in the approved procedures .
Our engineer explained in detail his helplessness to the customer.
Poor customer ! He is slowly understanding what ISO means !
It is time for all those companies who pay through their nose and keep spending their time and efforts to get and maintain this ISO certification to do a rethinking.
I am just initiating a thought process !
[A special note added on 20-11-12: Mr Gunnar Rundgren, former CEO Grolink AB and the present President of IFOAM has authored a blog ' Quality management is a management fad elevated to divinity' in support of what I have written above. He has made a comment below giving the link to his article which I am providing here, conveniently clickable.
The major problem why the QMS under ISO 9001 would eventually bring about disasters for the organization is because of the luke warm or half hearted approach of the top management. QMS under ISO 9001 is envisaged as a management system standard where top management commitment, honesty and competence is of prime importance. I would like my readers, who are interested, to read this article : The Rise and Fall of ISO9001 written by Mr Ashok M Thakkar, President & CEO of ITTI Llc Roswell, Georgia.]