ISO 9000 compliance at AT&T

A book review by Rasa Rajeswaran, ISO Central Secretariat.

Using ISO 9001 to improve business processes is based on extremely useful information drawn from the successful experience of AT&T organizations and factories during their implementation of ISO 9000.

Some 138 AT&T organizations competing on global markets have already become registered to an ISO 9000 standard.

The case studies included the following categories of AT&T Business unites:

The following lessons learned are worth highlighting:

  1. The compliance philosophy should go well beyond just satisfying the standard.
  2. Internal quality audits, corrective action, and management review are critical to maintaining and improving the quality system. Auditors view these processes as being extremely important.
  3. Tracing requirements through the design and development process is commonly used tool for determining the effectiveness of processes.

The book includes a chapter on ISO 9000-3, Quality management and quality assurance standards - Part 3: Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001 to the development, supply and maintenance of software, and on the United Kingdom-operated TickIT software industry certification program.

Finally, the elements of ISO 9001 and their relationship with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria are considered.

This book is very stimulating to read, as it has a very practical emphasis. Sections could be used as checklists for implementation of ISO 9000, for internal auditing and also for continuous quality improvement.