Ever since the appearance of the new revision of the ISO 9001 standard was published, I see incessant discussions of frightened Quality Assurance people on the differences between the revisions of 2015 and that of 2008, as well as a multitude of classes and trainings promising to help with the transition from the previous to the new.
However, as I am coming from a different approach, in my opinion, and of those who share my or similar approach, there is little real difference between the new, 2015 revision and the previous one. (more…)
Today I shall tell you another story about the Wise Men of Helem and solutions to problems. I know this one in Russian, beautifully translated from Yiddish, in which it was written by Ovsey Driz, a wonderful Russian Jewish poet and writer, as part of a cycle “The bead bookmark”. This poem-story is called “Helem traditions” (my own loose translation):
From times immemorial there were mice in Helem.
Not one, not two, not a thousand – but, perhaps, a million.
A short while ago we have celebrated Hanukkah, and at the party in my son’s school a few girls have staged and performed the old and well-loved song by Hava Frankel (lyrics) and Dvora Havkin (music), Hanna Zelda. To my delight, I have discovered a rather charming translation of this humorous song and bring it here (taken from ETNI website; translators’ names given as Ayala, Tanya, Menachem):
Oh Hanna Zelda, my beloved wife,
The Feast of Hanukka has come and arrived,
And at Hanukka, my soul really aches,
For to eat some sweet potato cakes.
In Quality Assurance, what is the beginning of any process? Its definition, born from need.
The ISO 9001 standard instructs us to identify the processes in our organization and record them. That is, to decide how we perform them and to write that down, so everyone may verify in the future, if they forget. We call that record “procedure”.
It is customary to think that running from responsibility is human nature. That people are willing to do no more than the barest minimum, that they are lazy and do not like their peace disturbed, and would prefer doing nothing over taking any sort of initiative. In Israel we have a phrase coined for it: a “small head”.
Naturally, it is customary to accompany this observation by a small side step, to exclude the freaks of nature among us, the suckers, those who actually like to “enlarge their heads”.
Most of you are well familiar with the feeling the Quality Assurance engineer/manager/person has in the majority of organizations: all this effort, overcoming all the resistance and then, upon leaving it unattended for a little while – everything just whams back into nothing, as if you have never done anything at all.
Great are the frustration and the weariness, the begetters of wear down. You’ve got to be kidding me, do it all over again? Why? Why can’t someone else make an effort, for a change, and keep up the results we have achieved? Why must it be your intervention to set the wandering off the path straight?