Can there be a marriage between ISO and Lean?

On the Business901 podcast, Lindsay Jackson Nichols discussed the business benefits of ISO Certification and how it can be used in conjunction with continuous improvement. Lindsay is the CEO of MOCG, a management consulting firm specializing in implementing process improvement and ISO based management systems.

When you first think about, you may think that Quality Management and a continuous improvement methodology like Lean are one in the same. You may also think that they are willing partners. Many disagree with that thought. My thoughts are that I find the ISO standards as a way to involve people from all departments to ask them how you do things. As a result, procedures and documentation are created to evaluate the current method of doing things (the first step in standard work) against the requirements of a standard (ISO).  As a result, you develop performance gaps for continuous improvement. Others believe that this would hinder the development and flexibility of standard work documents and prefer that they are divorced from each other.  

I probed this question with Lindsay and on a Lean Blog Post on Standard Work. The answer I believe to be correct is that ISO 9001 should not be the continuous improvement strategy just that it should be one metric by which continuous improvement is measured. However, I still believe using ISO as a standard to start the process for developing standard work is not a bad place to start.

Download Podcast: Click and choose options: ISO and Lean or go to the Business901 iTunes Store

About LJ Nichols: Lindsay’s career has been entirely devoted to management consulting, working with Grant Thornton LLP ? the fifth largest accounting and management consulting firm in the nation, assisting them develop a ‘center of excellence’ for their quality, environment and regulatory practice, and P?E International plc/PE Handley Walker the largest management consulting firm in Europe, where she was integral in establishing their ISO presence in the US.

Related Information:
MOCGISO You Tube Videos
Agreeing on Standards in a Lean Enterprise
Is Standard Work needed in Sales and Marketing?
Where is the path in Continuous Improvement for Sales and Marketing?
Why does sales and marketing operate to a different quality standard?

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