Apply ISO9001-2000 to your daily life!

Have you ever considered taking the tenets of your ISO9001:2000 quality management system and applying them to your daily life? At first glance you might think this is just absurd. However if you take a moment to think about it, it might not be such a crazy idea.

Now I’m not proposing you write yourself a personal quality manual and set of procedures, and I’m hopeful no controlled forms need be involved. But let’s take a look at some parts of ISO9001 and see what we can use.

Say what you do, and do what you say. Yes, I know this isn’t exactly in the ISO9001:2000 standard, but it’s a popular catch phrase when describing an ISO9001 quality system. And it works great in daily life too. Do you have friends who flake out on you? Do they say they’ll show up at your party, or help you move, but then don’t show? Pretty annoying, eh? After a few no-shows, are you going to be inclined to keep these insensitive folks as your friends? Probably not.

Check out your vendors. In ISO9001:2000 it’s necessary to check out your vendors to ensure quality before you purchase things. Nothing could be more true in your personal life. Haven’t you ever researched the purchase of a car, a TV, an audio system, a house? You can definitely save yourself lots of headaches and money by doing a little research before you spend your hard-earned paycheck.

Corrective actions. I’m not proposing a formal written procedure of course, but you’ll likely find more success in life if you recognize your mistakes and take conscious action to correct them and prevent them from happening again. Years ago I impulsively bought a used motorcycle that sure looked cool, but had some serious internal engine problems. That $1000 motorcycle ended up costing me twice that much. I made a mental note that future purchases would undergo a much more thorough inspection process, and I got some formal training so that I’d know what I was looking at. Not only have I not made that mistake again, but friends now ask me to come along when they’re looking at a used bike.

Contract review. Before quickly agreeing to something, take a moment to think about it and make sure you can live up to what you’re about to promise. Even if you need to call the person back tomorrow, its far better to make sure you can live up to your obligation before you commit to it. Better to lose a deal you’re unsure of than to accept the obligation and screw it up.

There are many more examples of how ISO9001:2000 can apply to your daily life. Can you think of any?

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