ISO: Setting Standards for Consistency
The ISO has been around since 1947, and many companies are certified in one or another level of ISO standards. It trains groups of employees to function consistently in performance of job duties in order to ensure predictable outcomes. Whether or not your company achieves ISO certification, the wise supervisor appreciates the importance behind a standardization process.
Why is it so important to practice consistency? Consider the last time you took a cardiopulmonary resuscitation class. You learned that if you come upon an unconscious victim, there is a series of steps through which you must proceed if you want to pass the course (and, of course, revive the victim). You cannot bypass the seemingly simple steps; you’ve got to check that the environment is safe, you must shake and shout to the victim, and next call 911. Only then can you perform the seemingly more important steps such as checking for breathing, tilting back the head, and giving your initial rescue breaths. But by learning each step in order by rote, you are learning a mnemonic; if need to put your skills to use in a true emergency, you will automatically perform all the correct steps.
The same applies to standardization of procedures within a company. It’s wise to review policies and procedures across all departments and determine where cross-training will render your employees able to act uniformly and efficiently, whether it applies to product development, customer satisfaction, or any other area of procedure. Uniformity of process can result in vivid, satisfying achievements.