What's so funny about ISO 9000?

Why not have some fun along the way to ISO 9001 certification? Here are a few jokes about the process. Please send your original joke or funny ISO 9000 related story to Simply Quality at info@simplyquality.org

Arguing with an ISO 9000 auditor is like wrestling with a pig in mud . . .
Sooner or later you realize the pig enjoys it!

More Cartoons

How True Is The Story ?

This is one of those stories that get circulated via fax from time to time. Could the aerospace company described below get ISO certified? What are your thoughts?

Once upon time, an aerospace company in Maryland and a Japanese automobile company decided to have a competitive boat race on the Potomac river. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance. On the big day they both felt as ready as they could be.

The Japanese won by a mile.

Afterwards, the American team became very discouraged by the loss and morale sagged. Corporate Management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A "Continuous Measurable Improvement" team was set up to investigate the problem and to recommended appropriate corrective action. Their conclusion:

The problem was that the Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering, whereby the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering. The American Company Steering Committee immediately hired a consulting firm to do a study on the management structure. After some time and millions of dollars, the consulting firm concluded that "Too many people were steering and not enough rowing!"

To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the team's management structure was totally reorganized to four Steering Managers, three Area Steering Managers, one Staff Steering Manager and a new performance system for the person rowing the boat to give him more incentive to work harder. "We must give him empowerment and enrichment. That should accomplish our Total Quality Management goals!!"

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the aerospace company laid off the rower for poor performance, sold the paddles, canceled all capital investment for new equipment, halted development of a new boat, gave a "High Performance" award to the consulting firm, then distributed the money saved as bonuses to the senior executives.

Eschew Obfuscation

Available in a poster suitable for printing and displaying.

A Little Story

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!

Paragraph 5.5.1 of ISO 9001:2000 requires "that responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated within the organization" to prevent this from ever happening again.

Dilbert Does ISO 9000

The comic strip "Dilbert" has poked fun at ISO 9000 on several occasions. They were printed on December 6, 7, 8, 1994, September 25, 26, 27, 1995 and November 7, 1995. The four most recent of these are available at: Dilbert on ISO 9000.

A reader reported seeing the following on a Dilbert site under things bosses have actually said.

Boss to ISO Auditor : "We use a random number generator to create batch numbers on our packing slips, to make it look as though we're lot-tracking"

An example ISO 9000 Procedure on how to have fun on the job!

A not entirely serious, yet not entirely frivolous, example of an ISO 9000 procedure.

An Automatic Procedure Writing Program!

Write some all-purpose procedures and have a little fun.

Special Circumstances

ISO 9000 is series of quality management standards used throughout the world, except in Beverly Hill, there they use the ISO 90210 system.

Cost Cutting

In an effort to cut costs, some organizations are choosing not to implement ISO 9000. Some are implementing ISO 900 instead. Under this standard every tenth thing they do gets done correctly.

An ISO 9001 Pencil

In an effort to get registered, an organization had written, rewritten and written again many of it's manuals, procedures, process descriptions and control documentation causing one of the staff to ask "what's the difference between a regular pencil and an ISO 9001 certified pencil? "

Answer: The ISO 9001 pencil has an eraser on both ends.

We certainly hope you don't have this much difficulty meeting the requirements of the standard, and also recognize that the standard applies to organizations, not to products.

Control of Monitoring and Measuring Equipment

Kokatat designs and manufactures very technical apparel for work and play activities on the water – garments like drysuits and life vests. Even though our gear is technical, very little of it requires measurement precision that requires calibrated equipment. In fact, most measurements are made with simple tape measures. We summarize our Control of Monitoring and Measuring Equipment Procedure in this way:

Take me to your ruler. I want to meter.

ISO Glossary:

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