Re: What did you do? (Why standards exist)

Subject: Re: What did you do? (Why standards exist)
From: Kyle Simmons <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:50:58 +0000

I haven't checked in on this list in some time, but coincidentally we had
our annual ISO audit last week for the 9001, 14001, and 18001 standards. I
personally love vague standards. I don't want to be told specifically what
to do. Whether it's ISO or FDA or whatever, I look at it as if I am in
dialogue with these entities. They aren't telling me what to do, but they
are communicating their expectations. It's my job to interpret their
expectations, execute to those expectations, and provide evidence that I'm
doing the right thing. Documentation is just a by-product of doing the
right thing, albeit a crucial by-product. The standards are extremely
workable and common sense, but you do have to engage them in order to
unlock real value. The problem I've experienced is an unwillingness to have
meaningful discussions about how these standards are reflected in the
business strategy.

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:27:46 -0400
> From: "Annette Reilly" <annetterieee -at- gmail -dot- com>
> To: "'Robert Lauriston'" <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>,
> <techwr-l -at- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: RE: What did you do? (Why standards exist)
> Message-ID: <007b01d1fd4a$84b05190$8e10f4b0$ -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> This is a surprisingly generic comment about standards--surprising to me
> because techwr-l replies are usually experience-based, specific, and
> positive. In standards, there's always the tension in standards between
> heavyweight over-specification that would not be applicable internationally
> and describing things in a YMMV "as applicable" way that doesn't provide
> anything helpful.
> In the new 2015 version of ISO 9001, there is no such requirement to
> document every process or procedure to obtain certification of a quality
> management system.
> Here's the current version:
> 4.4.2 To the extent necessary, the organization shall:
> a) maintain documented information to support the operation of its
> processes;
> b) retain documented information to have confidence that the processes are
> being carried out as planned.
> The requirement for that documented information is what keeps most of us
> in business.
> The basic premise is that dependable quality results from having
> repeatable, improvable processes--not a bad premise for developing and
> maintaining user assistance.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:19:14 -0700
> From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: What did you do? (Why standards exist)
> Message-ID:
> <
> CAN3Yy4AiBHt-Wwpr5r_+SXpQdtNSkJWVYhoZ6fgY98ffzdgT4w -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> My specific personal experience was looking at several ISO/whatever
> standards that seemed relevant to my work, thinking they would be of
> practical value, and finding the opposite.
> My tentative explanation of why such documents exist is based on
> discussions with several tech writers who went through the ISO-9000
> process and had to produce similar docs to satisfy the bean counters.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 6
> Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 19:05:14 +0000 (UTC)
> From: deloaa <deloaa -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: What did you do? (Why standards exist)
> Message-ID:
> <1579890121 -dot- 980018 -dot- 1471979114137 -dot- JavaMail -dot- yahoo -at- mail -dot- yahoo -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> ISO requires that a process be repeatable. ISO neither requires that a
> process be of a high quaility nor does it require that the documentation
> describing said process be well written.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 7
> Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:27:57 -0700
> From: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
> To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: What did you do? (Why standards exist)
> Message-ID:
> <
> CAPnOPiGai-b1C8JQcKx3Qe0f1vBwc+jtyWLYXp8Na7_udJ6d0A -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> And this is customary in many organizations where the implemented processes
> are counterproductive make work projects that are unable to solve the
> doumentation problems that inspired the adoption of the process.
> -Tony
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