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ISO 9000 in the Project

Promotional institutions and co-operation organisations could also use the ISO 9000 quality management system. "Target groups" are turned into "customers," whose expectations must first be identified in order to satisfy them in the best and most efficient way. At the same time, the organisation's management is improved.

Why should an international co-operation project take the trouble to implement ISO 9000 in its organisation? Wasn't this quality management system designed for industrial enterprises? Furthermore, development projects have quality and management assurance tools, such as operating plans, a Logical Framework, and Project Cycle Management (PCM), etc.

What do industrial and service enterprises have in common? The end purpose of both organisations is to satisfy their customers' expectations. A promotional agency and a development project can also be considered organisations whose task is to satisfy the needs and expectations of their customers (of their "target groups," in other words).

According to the ISO, quality encompasses "all of the characteristics of a product or a service that is capable of satisfying specific needs. This means that we must be able to define the characteristics that are associated with quality.

The ISO 9000 is a Quality Management System - QMS whose purpose is to maximise customer satisfaction efficiently and effectively. To that end, ISO 9000 optimises organisational functions and structures through a process of continuing improvement.

Promotional organisations and development projects should institute ISO 9000 as a QMS for the following reasons:

  • It is an excellent quality assurance management tool

  • It builds up trust in the target groups and national and donor institutions: ISO 9000 is internationally recognised as a standard of organisational quality

  • It ensures that the activities of the supported institutions and organisations will be sustained over time

  • It motivates and trains institutional and project personnel

  • Management is improved in an ongoing process

ISO 9000 is compatible with project management systems or instruments that are in use, such as the Logical Framework / ZOPP, PCM, and SWOT analyses, etc., which can be integrated into the system.

The ALA/93/57 Project (Peru), financed by the European Commission, implemented ISO 9000 and was awarded SGS certification by Belgium in February 2001. The Project published a brochure about its experience.

Copyright © 2012 Heiko Windolph, Berlin
Last update: June 2012