Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Standards and implementation

There are many standards being used nowadays to help improve the performance of an organization. Starting from ISO, Six Sigma or even TPM. Many companies claim to practice one of those standards and improvement method, one way or another. However, not many gets certified and even less that actually embodies the culture well. Easiest of all, arguably, is an ISO certification. ISO needs tonnes of documentation with the hope that the documentations allow standardization of work. New employee can simply breeze through the training by following the process and quality manual. Process will be alright by following the standards and documentation provided.

Yet, although so many files and stacks of documentations are produced, efficiency and productivity of a company may not be improved. It's simply due to the lack of employee's involvement. Many times, certification is a mere certificate. No souls is injected into it. Employees turn out to be ignorant. After all, human generally dislike adding work into their already existing burdensome job. Very few people loves adding documentation to their daily job. It's useless, right? Well, that's the challenge. Unless those standards and certification can be inculcated and grafted well into the company's culture, nothing will result from the certification except the additional work, useless type of job. Unless the top management understand and practice the documentation step, nothing can be done to improve the religiosity of the bottom level worker in adhering to the standard.

The top management needs to clearly understand why standards are made and processes are to be followed. Only after having a strong desire to implement the system and an almost zealotry understanding of the system that top management should preach the goodness of it to the lower level guys. Those guys down there, the ones arguably working their asses off, need to see the usefulness of the system. They need a lay man term and PROOF that those documentation can help them to achieve higher productivity, improve their skills, shorten their waiting time, improve their values, and so on. Only by then that standards are useful.

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