About Jane Bennett
My focus is on making quality management systems simple.
As Director of Mapwright, I derive an enormous amount of pleasure from management systems that are practical, simple and that support the people who work with them.
Unfortunately, it happens all too rarely.
To get results, I use a wide and sometimes eclectic range of skills and techniques. Sources include research, education, experience, learning and studying what works and what doesn't. Mixing consulting, analysis, presentation and coaching with examples, common sense and humour, I aim for clients and customers to achieve their goals and get results as fast as possible but with the least amount of effort.
Why emphasise speed and minimal effort? Because I always seek maximum results for the lowest possible effort and cost. 'Working with slender means' one client called it.
I work with businesses as well as non-profits to help them improve their quality management. While most want certification to ISO 9001, others just want to make an existing system better, usually meaning less clunky. By choice, I mainly work with medium and smaller organisations, particularly in services and project environments (vs manufacturing or very technical).
I want real value and results for my clients, so I only work with businesses and organisations where this is possible. The clients I do work with have a desire to improve and high standards of ethics. If we don't have these in common, the consultancy won't work for either of us.
My particular expertise, skills and experience:
- interpreting and applying the demanding requirements of the ISO 9001 Standard
- suggesting solutions that are practical and effective
- helping people and organisations to improve what they do, to get measurable results and become more effective.
This Mapwright site has lots of free information about ISO 9001 and quality management. It's also the home of my DIY ISO 9001 Kit. I have another website for my services as an ISO 9001 consultant.
- Honesty: I tell the truth. This includes putting my client's interests first - if you don't need it, or my services or products aren't right for you, I'll tell you. I'm not interested in just grabbing a sale, I want you to get what you need.
- Excellence: doing the best work I can.
- Commitment: you can depend on me to meet deadlines and do what was agreed
- Value: if it isn't valuable, I won't do it, let alone charge for it.
For more than 35 years I've worked in the world of business as consultant, quality manager, business analyst, technical writer, process analyst, business owner, business coach and communications consultant. In a previous life, I was a teacher of communications and English, mainly to adults.
I'm a Bachelor of Arts, a Diploma of Education, and a later Graduate Diploma of Business Information Technology, a qualified Lead Auditor anda certified Business Coach. The post-graduate IT diploma extended many self-taught skills, and enables me to understand analysts and developers. I can translate function-based 'geek speak' into information that people actually understand, and more importantly, use and act upon. Systems and technology can be wonderful, but they should serve people, not the other way around.
I've worked across Australia and New Zealand for clients in Australia's top 50 ASX: highlights include seeing diamonds in the rough mined near Kunnunurra, the vast landscape of the Kimberley, watching the sun set over the Arafura Sea in the far north, and the wildly beautiful landscape of Tasmania.
I've worked for the big end of town, as well as the small and medium. I've worked on projects from formal engineering feasibility studies, process re-engineering, Year 2000 rectification, major systems developments and implementations involving massive changes through to designing and redesigning online help, corporate intranets and a wide range of web sites.
As for documenting: policy, processes, procedures, from functional specifications and test reports, to codes of conduct, guidelines, business cases/strategies, business plans, quality plans, formal reports, tenders, post-implementation project reviews, if you can name it then I've probably planned, analysed, written or reviewed at least a couple. If not many more.
And then of course quality systems.
The Road to Quality
While working on business processes and management systems, I came to the conclusion that ISO 9001 was a sensible standard, but there was a real problem in how it was put into practice. Most systems were based on the typical old-style manufacturing model. That model certainly didn't work well in service companies or project-based ones. (It often didn't work very well for manufacturers either, but that's another story.)
There just had to be better, easier, more practical ways of doing ISO 9001.
For a start, those doorstop manuals had to go. And the culture of forms and bureaucracy. The clunky, dense language that no one could understand. And the lengthy written procedures, often saying far too much and in excessive detail. People shunned such things, all for good reason.
I started with the belief that a successful organisation already had a functioning quality system. It just "wasn't ISO" yet.
I drew on my experience as business analyst, presenter, technical writer, teacher, trainer and coach to find new ways to do quality management systems. Over a period I gradually refined my unique approach as I learned what worked and what didn't.
Example: a small but successful consulting firm had already failed the ISO 9001 hurdle twice, leaving behind a very sour attitude toward "quality". A turn-around in attitude was essential: I used a cultural change management to get the whole company involved, and 'buy-in' from a few key players.
We picked a problem area where the only consistency was the frequency of problems that cost time and money. With the crucial involvement of key stakeholders, it was re-engineered. Out went the 2 massive volumes of detailed procedures, and the third they were struggling to complete. Because a business of 25 people simply couldn't afford to maintain such a large system, and it didn't need to.
How much would they need? The people were competent and experienced: they didn't need lots of detail. So the massive volumes were replaced with a single, concise handbook of about a dozen flowchart procedures. From 400+ pages down to about 40 (and this was for the 1994 Standard).
In less than a year, the coveted certification was proudly achieved. With a dynamic and 'skinny' system, flexible enough to support a rapidly changing company with multiple clients and projects.
Another example: I was Quality Manager for Unisys on the Year 2000 Rectification Program in ANZ Bank: a multi-million dollar, 3½ year effort spanning business units across Australia and internationally. Their existing ISO 9002 system was cumbersome and bureaucratic: again, an old-style 1994 manufacturing QA model, groaning under a mass of documents, quality stamps, quality forms and too much red tape.
I stripped it. Aimed for fewer and much shorter documents. Dumped all the excess. Joined formerly isolated separate procedures into end-to-end processes, applying a process approach well before the 2000 Standard. Not only was the number of procedures down by 40% but at last, people saw how what they did fitted into the bigger picture, and how their work affected that of others. And of course I reduced the time spent on revising and maintaining all those documents previously.
The revised, simpler, more practical system worked well for the project team. We could rapidly bring in new personnel and get them up to speed on processes and requirements. Multiple external audits gave it high praise. Later, I applied a similar model to ANZ's Group-wide Program Management Office - this was awarded one of the first Australian certificates to an updated version of ISO 9001 only months after its release in the year 2000.
Other project management expertise includes developing common standards, structure and content for the launch of ANZ's original Project in a Box, an intranet project management system: standard processes, templates and procedures for their major projects.
Intelligent Quality Management
In 1998 I set up my own company. The name - Mapwright Pty Ltd - refers to creating new ways of doing things (paths or maps); no connection with cartography. In 2007 I began trading under the business name of Intelligent Quality Management to describe my approach more accurately. The feedback from clients confirms the value.
At times I work with some of my network of experienced consultants and associates, to ensure clients receive the highest possible levels of service. Any associates are personally selected, highly skilled in their field and carefully monitored to ensure client requirements are met and my own exacting standards.
When not working, I enjoy learning, walking, visiting galleries or museums, singing, investing, travelling, reading, computer games, permaculture gardening, cooking, listening to music and spending time with friends.
Author: Jane Bennett