Documents that ADD VALUE

I would like to share a quote from the book ‘REWORK’ by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, taken from a section called Illusions of agreement.

“The world is littered with dead documents that do nothing but waste people’s time. Reports no one ever reads, diagrams no one looks at, and specs that never resemble the finished product. These things take forever to make but only seconds to forget.”

They argue that the problem with documents like this is they create illusions of agreement, everyone can read them but it’s like reading characters in a book we all see them differently in our minds. Just like this everyone will interpret the documents in a different way. In my experience everyone also learns and takes information in a different way so we need to also accommodate to this – hence I believe that documents should be interactive not just a file or poster on a wall.

It is the same when planning ISO9001 or putting systems into your business don’t just document the status quo think outside the box, ask your people how they interpret the information you are giving out. Find out if what you are doing is working, after all true communication is the response you get.

My advice to you is to treat every opportunity to revisit a process as an information gathering and value adding exercise before you set a system in place.




The formula for change – ISO9001

Mature Businesswoman helping client on laptop

So what’s holding you back? Yes that’s right; there is always some reason for not quite taking the plunge and going for ISO9001 even though we have been thinking about it for a while.

Try thinking about the all the reasons that come up that bring ISO9001 or structured systems to the forefront of your mind time and time again. Like the complaint that keeps reoccurring, or the rework costs that come back to bite you. Maybe it’s the time you don’t have to plan or the customer orders you can’t tender for yet because you haven’t got accreditation. There are so many reasons to decide to find a more disciplined way of working whether you decide to go for accreditation or not. But just how do you tip the balance to make that change?

I read a lot and some of the business books I have been introduced to lately are Brad Sugars from Action coach; his formula for change has stuck in my head.

Desire x Vision + First Steps > Resistance  

Think about it this way to overcome the resistance to changing the way you work you need to have three things:

  1. Clarify your vision – where do you need to be, what do you really want?
  2. Identify all those reasons why – stack them up an don’t wait until you are being pushed.
  3. Define your action plan – get help where you need it and clear the way with a carefully prioritised action plan.

You don’t have to wait until you lose that all important customer or things go down hill to far to force you into change. You have the power to start changing now and when you involve people and nurture the right culture the change your feared will become the norm.

Most importantly TAKE ACTION and if you don’t know how ASK.