Govind Ramu Receives ISO Excellence Award

In October 2021, ASQ fellow and frequent QP contributor @Govindarajan Ramu was awarded an ISO Excellence Award by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 176 for his dedicated work with and excellent management of the Working Group (WG) that lead ISO 10014:2021 from a simple design specification to a timely standard publication. He also kept the subcommittee (SC) and global community informed about the progress of standard development and ideas in ISO 10014 through publications in ISO and ASQ journals, and conference presentations. His convenorship was cited as guidance to others on how to market ISO standard development.

When Ramu attended the September 2017 ISO international meeting at Bali representing the American National Standards Institute, the foundation for revision was laid with only two additional experts. Soon he realized that there wasn’t public awareness about the standard. It is ironic that ISO 9001 is the most popular standard with 1.2 million implementations worldwide. The guidance standard to realize financial and economic benefits from quality management systems, however, is practically unknown even though it has existed as a technical report since 1998 and international standard since 2006.

ISO 10014:2006 was a solid document technically, and was packed with quality management tools, mapping to quality principles, a comprehensive self-assessment and a glossary. This was a 25-page document with a number of flow charts and tables. The problem was that the standard was targeted to top management. Communications to top management should be brief and clearly articulate business impact. If the document is too long, top management may delegate to junior staff to read and deploy as they fit.

ISO TC 176/SC 3/WG 23 set out to simplify the document, address it to top management using business language, and make it relevant to all industry sectors, types, sizes and complexities. WG 23 also wanted to provide useful content to demonstrate organization maturity, and applicability examples to manufacturing, service and small business, for example. It was a major undertaking to revise the entire document, but WG 23 successfully accomplished and delivered a simplified yet impactful standard on time. Ramu’s collaborative and inclusive approach to standard development was highly appreciated by the WG and other technical committee members.

Ramu has published six Standard Issues columns in Quality Progress, and given various presentations at ASQ sections and other venues to bring awareness to ISO 10014:2021 and its progress at various stages. After the standard was published in April 2021, his LinkedIn posts further drew thousands of views, reactions and comments.

His leadership and efforts to develop a standard that is valuable to the user community, and also widely publicizing and bringing awareness to the standard, was recognized through this ISO Excellence Award.

Standard Issues columns related to ISO 10014:2021 include:

● “Paddle Like the Dickens” (May 2018).

● “Prove Your Worth” (December 2018).

● “A New Perspective” (November 2019).

● “Always Be Prepared” (August 2020).

● “To the Point” (April 2021).

● “Demystifying Cost of Quality” (September 2021).

Presentations related to ISO 10014:2021 at ASQ Sections and other venues include:

● ASQ Los Angeles Section presentation (September 2018).

● ASQ Fort Worth Section presentation (January 7, 2021).

● TC 176 US TAG presentation (January 12, 2021).

● Google—quality professionals community (February 19, 2021).

● ASQ Phoenix Section presentation (April 8, 2021).

● TAG 279 invitation to present (May 17, 2021).