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October 13, 2009

Some 'first round' view points

It is always exciting to learn something new. Today it is ISO and Excellence Model.

First let¡¯s talk about ISO. From Russell in 2000, ISO is an organisation that sets some quality standards for the products of companies to achieve. Therefore we have ISO 9000:2000, ISO 14000 and so on. What is more, the scope is quite narrow. ISO just concerns on the TQM system and the quality of the product. In other words, if your products can meet the ISO standard, you can apply for an accreditation for them. More from Russell, ISO just works internally in the EFQM, which means ISO can be a part of EFQM. Thus ISO cannot really help a company to improve itself. It can just give customers more confidence and company more profit.

From the EFQM website, the Excellence Model is a framework that helps a company to self-access based on mainly nine criteria. People divide the nine criteria into Enablers and Results. Enablers can cause Results and managers should monitor the Results, respond to the feedbacks and then improve the services, strategy and so on. The range of Excellence Model is quite wide and many aspects in a company are involved in it. The model can affect every part of a company and can bring a storm to it. However, if a company can use it well, it can keep improving for a long time and live a long life.

From Karapetrovic in 2001, ISO needs auditing, both internal and external. Auditing is a systematic process to evaluate a company¡¯s economic, quality and some other aspects to give results to the stakeholders (RAFFA P.C. 2003). It needs people from outside the company to find any problems, mainly in economy and quality. Also a company can have a department to be in charge of auditing. Auditing is a popular action for many companies to find any internal problems nowadays. Self-assessment is more like a DIY process. Managers get feedbacks from consumers and then give advise to the CEO to improve the company.       Auditing can be done once or twice a year while self-assessment can be used once a month. These two approaches are different.

The strengths of ISO are (Monsted and Fons, 2002): 1. it can promise a high quality company or product. It provides guidance of all aspects to a company and help the company how to reach a high quality. Once the company follows the conditions of ISO, it can achieve the ISO standards and make itself famous. 2. It can make the product perfect, to ensure high quality for customers. Therefore the company can make more profit. The weaknesses are: 1. the company might just concern on the accreditation but not a long term improvement of quality. The company can just make good quality goods this month for applying ISO accreditation, but once it is done, it might remain the same. Thus ISO is not very secure. 2. ISO might cheat the customers. Some products have ISO accreditation but actually its product line is not qualified at all. Thus this might cheat the customers but for the company itself, it can lead to a disastrous future. 3. Some corruption or immoral situation can be been. Some company really needs an ISO accreditation and the managers might use some immoral ways to treat the people from third-party and get what they want. This sounds terrible, but it really happens.

The strengths of Excellence Model are: 1. It is an interactive model that many people can take part in. Since managers should get feedbacks from Results, many people will involve and gives the company more contribution. 2. The model can be kept using and keeps the company alive. The model is just like a rolling ball keeps running. Once a company starts using this model, it can use it for life time and keep fulfilling itself. Therefore, unlike ISO standards, Excellence Model will never be out of date. Nevertheless, the model also has some weaknesses: 1. Too much resource is involved. Using Excellence Model is not a piece of cake, it needs all departments cooperate with each other and it is costly. Once the model is failed, the company cannot afford the loss. 2. Self-assessment can be failed. The Results can give wrong information. If the managers receive the wrong message and make wrong justices to the Enablers. Then, the result is dangerous. So this should be aware of.

My view points are not completed and there might be some mistakes. So please tell me any mistakes and give me some advice about this topic. Thank you.


1. Russell. R. 2000. ISO 9000:2000 and the EFQM Excellence Model: competition or co-operation? TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT, VOL. 11, NO. 4/5&6, S 657- S 665. Accessed at http:// on Oct. 12. 2009

2. EFQM. 2009. The EFQM Excellece Model.

3. Karapetrovic.S. 2001. Audit and self-assessment in quality management: comparison and compatibility. Accessed at http://www.emeraldinsight.comInsightViewContentServlet;jsessionid=76EC0E181838508D859F6DC0107131F0Filename=PublishedEmeraldFullTextArticlePdf0510160605.pdfon Oct 13.

4. RAFFA P.C.2003. HANDOUT 3. http://www.cof.orgfilesDocumentsEducation_CollaborationsAudit%20Conference%20Call%20Handouts3_Levels_of_Attestation_Services_Defined-HANDOUT_3.pdf on Oct 13

5. Monsted.M and Fons.T, 2002. A comparative assessment of the EFQM Excellence model and the ISO 9001:2000. Accessed at http://pandcomm.irdownloadpdfcomparative%20assessment%20of%20EFQM%20and%20ISO.pdfon  Oct 13

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