ISO Survey for 1999 Reveals Biggest Rise in Certifications

certlogocolorThe 1999 version of The ISO Survey reveals that certifications/registrations of conformity to the ISO 9000 series of quality management standards and the ISO 14000 environmental management standard experienced their biggest ever annual increases.

ISO 9000 certifications issued worldwide totaled 343,643, an increase of 71,796 or 26% over the previous year, the highest percentage increase recorded since the survey was launched in 1993.

The number of new ISO 14000 certificates issued worldwide in 1999 was 6,219, an increase of 79%, bringing the total to 14,106.

A few highlights of the survey include the following:

* Australia experienced the most growth in ISO 9000 certifications, with 8,663 new certificates, followed by the United States with 8,067, China with 6,864, Germany with 6,095, Japan with 5,951 and Britain with 4,737.

* Countries where certifications were awarded for the first time are Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Madagascar and Samoa.

* Japan, with 1,473 new certificates, experienced the strongest growth in ISO 14000 certifications. Britain was a distant second with 571.

* New countries represented in the ISO 14000 survey are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Macao (China), Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, St. Lucia, Syria, Trinidad & Tobago, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.

The survey is compiled annually by the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, the developer of the two standards families. The full survey includes world totals, regional and country breakdowns, and for the first time, industry sector breakdowns by country.

All of the survey is available free from ISO national member institutes (the American National Standards Institute at 212-642-4900 in the United States) except for the industry sector breakdowns by country. The free portion can also be downloaded from www.iso.ch.

Benchmarking Study Issued On Change Management Practices

The number one contribution of top management to the process of change management is the ability to define and communicate the vision, according to the 2000 benchmarking study results, Best Practices in Change Management, which was released by ProSci, a professional science research firm.

Other major findings include the following:

* Most companies find dealing with resistance the most difficult part of a project.

* Many change agents find their biggest obstacles are the same people who initiated the change in the first place.

* A major reason companies use outside consultants is to avoid political agendas and biases from within their companies.

The report is the second installment in a two-year effort that began with a primary study in 1998. The studies detail the experiences of more than 250 companies in 40 countries on six continents during change management initiatives. The report incorporates methodology, communication, training, top management roles, success factors, and reward and recognition programs.

The objective of the extended study is to gain insight into managing the human side of change and to create executive sponsorship. Topics include:

  • Top management's role during planning, design and implementation.
  • Criteria for team structure and team member selection.
  • Communication methods and ideas.
  • Successful ways to recognize desirable behavior.
  • Biggest contributions and mistakes of top management.

Industry segments studies include finance and banking, service, development and manufacturing, telecommunications and health care.

For a copy of the study, call ProSci at 800-700-2831 or visit www.prosci.com.

Scholar Exchange Program Offers Engineering Opportunities

The Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty and professionals is offering more than 54 awards in engineering for lecturing or doing research during the 2001-2002 academic year.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

The awards are for 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. U.S. citizenship is required for this specific program. Non-U.S. citizens should contact the Fulbright agency or U.S. embassy in their home countries.

For information, visit www.cies.org, where the award listings and application materials are downloadable. Or request a printed version by e-mailing apprequest@cies.iie.org.

PBS To Document Unsung Guru, Japan's History of Quality

A documentary exploring quality in Japan after World War II is in the works for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Based on his Internet article "Stranger in a Strange Land" (www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20000525.html), Robert X. Cringely says the project offers an explanation of why it took Japan decades to adopt total system and zero variation methodologies after the foundation was laid by American experts.

As a corollary, the work of Homer M. Sarasohn, a little-known quality guru Cringely calls "the father of the Japanese electronics industry," will be documented. Sarasohn was the 29-year-old radio expert chosen specifically by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to rebuild the communication infrastructure of Japan.

In 1946, Sarasohn was asked to move to Tokyo where product defects were considered the norm. By 1949, the American increased the quality and availability of radio equipment in Japan. He reopened factories that had been shut down due to the war, created the Electrical Testing Laboratory to ensure quality in radio products, developed a thorough quality control course for Japanese managers and co-authored the textbook Fundamentals in Industrial Management with Charles Protzman.

When Sarasohn and Protzman returned to the United States in 1950, they looked for another American to continue their work in Japan. According to Cringely, Sarasohn and Protzman wanted Walter Shewhart to take over their courses, but settled on W. Edwards Deming as Shewhart's health was too poor for such travel.

Cringely says he plans to involve Sarasohn, who is retired and living in Scottsdale, AZ, as the documentary moves into production. The columnist hopes it will air on PBS's Nova series, but at the time of press, a broadcast date had not been set.

For more information on Sarasohn, the history of quality in Japan or to read Cringely's articles, see Quality Web Watch (p. 28) for applicable Internet links.

Juran Center for Leadership In Quality Announces Board Members

Minnesota's Juran Center for Leadership in Quality announced the members of its latest Executive Advisory Board. The 10 individuals on the board are charged with directing the center's scholarship efforts and keeping the center's research efforts aimed at the critical problems of business and society.

The committee consists of the following members: Wayne Fortun, president and CEO of Hutchinson Technology Inc.; Robert Galvin, chairman of the executive committee, Motorola Inc.; David Kidwell, dean of the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota; Roger Milliken, chairman and CEO, Milliken & Co.; Glen Nelson, vice chairman of the board, Metronic Inc.; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and CEO, Carlson Companies; Paul O'Neill, chairman of the board, Alcoa; John Pepper, chairman of the board, Procter & Gamble; Donald Petersen, retired chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Co.; and Mark Yudof, president, University of Minnesota.

The Juran Center for Leadership in Quality is part of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Best Practices Reports Six Sigma Case Studies

A new case study from Best Practices LLC explains how General Electric used Six Sigma over the last five years.

The report updates a 1997 study of Six Sigma implementation at GE. The updated report reexamines the best practices in Six Sigma implementation and the program's financial results at GE and other companies.

Building Six Sigma Excellence: A Case Study of General Electric provides detailed descriptions of how problem solving skills and techniques mastered at GE can boost the impact and efficiency of all business activities. "The power of the study is the comprehensive and concise profile of successful practices at several top GE business units, including GE Medical Systems and GE Capital," says Best Practices.

Key concepts detailed within the report include:

  • Winning executive support for Six Sigma initiatives.
  • Linking Six Sigma with succession planning.
  • Defining critical objectives for a Six Sigma program.
  • Demonstrating the impact of quality initiatives on customers.

In order to view an executive summary of the report, visit www.benchmarkingreports.com/businessoperations.

Russian Software Developer Receives ISO 9001 Registration

ArgusSoft, a computer engineering firm, says it is Russia's first custom software development company to be registered to ISO 9001. The certificate was issued by United States based Perry Johnson Registrars.

Located in Moscow and employing more than 200 software developers and analysts, ArgusSoft is an offshore development center for Frederick, MD, based Software Technology and Consulting Inc. and ATL Corp.

The Russian firm has developed custom software for U.S. and European clients for more than nine years using rational unified process methodology and rapid application development technology. Vladimir Kurbatov, ArgusSoft vice president, says the registration has resulted in improved quality, a decrease in project development and repair time, and increased profits.

NCQA Database Expanded To Include Satisfaction Results

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a private nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, has released Quality Compass 2000, an expanded version of the database that features performance data and satisfaction survey results based on submissions representing 466 managed care plans.

The report is designed to provide benefits managers, health plans, consultants, the media and others with easy access to comprehensive information about health plan quality and performance.

Quality Compass 2000 is available on CD-ROM or as an electronic data file in Microsoft Excel or SAS formats that can be purchased by calling 800-839-6487.

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