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Keshav Ram Singhal

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Preservation of Product

It is the intention and purpose of ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard that the organization needs to ensure to appropriately handle the product to prevent damages and mix-ups. It is the intention of the Standard that the product, during all stages of product realization from acquiring from the suppliers to the delivery to the intended destination, must be protected. Clause 7.5.5 of ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard mentions the relevant requirements for preservation of product. According to the requirements of the Standard, during internal processing and delivery to the intended destination (= during product realization processes and also during delivery process), the organization must preserve conformity of product. This preservation must include identification, handling, packaging, storage and protection; and must apply to the constituent parts of the product.

It will be good if following precautions are taken:
(i) Mark designated area for storing product (that conform to requirements)
(ii) Mark designated area for storing nonconforming product (to avoid its mix-up with conforming product)
(iii) Store the conforming product and nonconforming product in their designated area
(iv) Control inward receipt at every stage of the product realization process
(v) Control outward release
(vi) Make proper attention to identification by marking appropriately
(vii) Make proper attention to packaging
(viii) Periodically review storage, packaging and delivery methods to intended destination

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal

Monday, May 20, 2013

Understanding the meaning – Continual improvement …. Constant improvement …. Continuous improvement

I was addressing a group of participants in a training programme on ‘ISO 9001 QMS Awareness’, while discussing and telling requirements relating to continual improvement, one participant asked me about ‘continual improvement’ phrase used in ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard and relevant meaning of ‘continual improvement’, ‘continuous improvement’ and ‘constant improvement’ for QMS implementation.

“Continual, constant, continuous all refer to a succession of occurrences. The two adjectives ‘continual’ and ‘continuous’ are synonyms, but not equivalent. The word "continual" incorporates "continuous" and not the other way around. People use ‘continuous’ and ‘continual’ as if they are exact synonyms, but there is difference between them as we have seen from the above and we can understand distinguish between these two. In the eyes of many QMS Consultants there is no difference between ‘continual’ and ‘continuous’. The concept of ‘continual’ improvement has always been used by Deming in reference to the general processes of improvement. Continual improvement is broader in scope than continuous improvement. We can say that ‘continuous improvement’ is a subset of ‘continual improvement’. The word ‘continual’ incorporates ‘continuous’ and not the other way round.” – This opinion is based on the following:


(1) Happening without interruption or cessation
(2) Continuous in time
(3) Of regular or frequent recurrence
(4) Often repeated
(5) Very frequent
(6) Duration that continues over a long period of time, but with intervals of interruption

Synonyms of Continual
(1) Unceasing
(2) Ceaseless
(3) Incessant
(4) Uninterrupted
(5) Successive
(6) Recurrent
(7) Repetitive
(8) Repetitious

(1) Continuality
(2) Continualness

(1) Continual misunderstanding between nations
(2) Continual improvement is a requirement of ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard.
(3) The organization must continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.
(4) Continual improvement of the system
(5) The continual street repair disrupted traffic for nearly two years.


Constant implies always recurring in the same way, under uniform conditions, with similar results, and the like.

(1) Constant repetition of the same mistakes
(2) Constant pressure


(1) Being in immediate connection
(2) Being in immediate relation
(3) Uninterrupted in time
(4) Without cessation
(5) Duration without interruption

(1) Continuously

(1) Continuousness

Continuous emphasizes the idea that the succession is unbroken, but successive recurrences are not very close together as observed in continual.

(1) The continuous life of the universe
(2) A continuous pattern of dots
(3) Continuous coughing during the concert
(4) The continuous humming of the fluorescent lights provided him a headache.

ASQ Basic Concept

ASQ basic concept states, “Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once. ….. The terms continuous improvement and continual improvement are frequently used interchangeably. But some quality practitioners make the following distinction: Continual improvement: a broader term preferred by W. Edwards Deming to refer to general processes of improvement and encompassing “discontinuous” improvements—that is, many different approaches, covering different areas. Continuous improvement: a subset of continual improvement, with a more specific focus on linear, incremental improvement within an existing process. ….”


Accordingly, following conclusions are relevant for implementing any management systems (such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 etc.):

(1) “Continual, constant, continuous all refer to a succession of occurrences.
(2) The two adjectives ‘continual’ and ‘continuous’ are synonyms, but not equivalent.
(3) Whether the word ‘continual’ incorporates ‘continuous’ or ‘continuous’ incorporates ‘continual’, it is irrelevant for a management system professional to find the answer.
(4) People use ‘continuous’ and ‘continual’ as if they are exact synonyms.
(5) In the eyes of many Management Systems Consultants there is no difference between ‘continual’ and ‘continuous’.
(6) The concept of ‘continual’ improvement has always been used by Deming in reference to the general processes of improvement.
(7) For all practical purposes for implementing any management systems in any organization, the phrases ‘continual improvement’, ‘continuous improvement’ and ‘constant improvement’ are, to all intents and practical purposes, the same thing.
(8) It may be 'nice' to understand the etymology of these phrases but it has little practical application when implementation is more important.
(9) We often do ourselves no good in the Quality Profession, in managements' eyes, when we (endlessly) debate the correct phrase usage, instead of delivering results.
(10) The important thing is to continually apply an improvement culture. Promote it, support it and move on.

- K. R. Singhal

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

‘Oxebridge’ Calls for Temporary Halt to ISO 9001:2015 Development

‘Oxebridge’ Calls for Temporary Halt to ISO 9001:2015 Development

Christopher Peris

‘Oxebridge Quality Resource International’ (‘Oxebridge’) is a quality management implementation boutique started by Christopher Peris, a process engineer, in 1998. I am impressed with his passion to quality management implementation as he believes that:

- ISO 9001 QMS implementation should not shut down the operations of the organization that implements the QMS,
- ISO 9001 implementation should not require endless meetings, over-calibration or unnecessary documentation
- ISO 9001 consultants should do the implementation work themselves, not require the client to do it.

His approach to implement QMS is different from others that has a right direction philosophy: 'Implementation should be fast, low-impact and highly effective.'

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is in the process of developing ISO 9001:2015.and 'ISO/TC 176 Sub-committee 2' has already issued working draft for ISO 9001:2015. Many QMS professionals feel that development work lacks many points; however, Christopher Peris has taken the lead to mention those ‘converging factors’ that will damage the QMS standard. In this connection ‘Oxebridge’ has released a paper ‘A Public Call for Temporary Cessation of Work on the Development of ISO 9001:2015’ on April 15, 2013 citing four ‘converging factors’ that it feels will damage both ISO and the ISO 9001 QMS Standard, if the standard is allowed to proceed. One of the factors is: ‘Failure to fully develop the foundational Quality Management Principles prior to drafting of the Working Draft.’ 'ISO/TC 176 Sub-committee 2' has already issued working draft for ISO 9001:2015 and the foundational quality management principles are yet to be developed.

Those interested to know more in this regard may read the article on the subject at http://www.oxebridge.com/emma/?p=1589 .

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fundamentals of Quality Management System

ISO 9001:2008 QMS standard is a generic standard that provides requirements for quality management system. It also refers to ISO 9000:2005 as normative reference. ISO 9000:2005 is a standard that belongs to ISO 9000 family and its title is 'Quality management system - Fundamentals and vocabulary'.

ISO 9000:2005 standard describes fundamentals of quality management system and also specifies the terminology used and eight quality management principles. There are twelve fundamentals of quality management system that has been mentioned in ISO 9000:2005 standard. These are:

1. Rational for quality management system
2. Requirements for quality management systems and requirements for products
3. Quality management systems approach
4. The process approach
5. Quality policy and quality objectives
6. Role of the top management within the quality management system
7. Documentation (value of documentation and types of documents used in quality management systems)
8. Evaluating quality management systems (evaluating processes within the quality management system, auditing the quality management system, reviewing the quality management system and self assessment)
9. Continual improvement
10. Role of statistical techniques
11. Quality management systems and other management system focuses
12. Relationship between quality management systems and excellence models

Think about the above twelve fundamentals and make use of them for strengthening your organization's quality management system.

With best wishes,

Keshav Ram Singhal