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Change Management and ISO 9001:2015

What does Change Management and ISO 9001:2015 have in common?

Restaurant Bookings, Change Management, Basic Customer Service….And ISO 9001:2015

Recently we were going out with some friends to a new restaurant we saw that had a good write up in the local newspaper. Our friends live about 40 minutes’ drive from us and the restaurant was about mid-way so it was good for both couples. We rang to see if they took bookings and they said no – just turn up – so we arranged to meet at 6:30pm.

At about 5:30pm I came down with a bug – it was a shocker, I felt awful. So the call was made to our friends that we weren’t able to make it, they said “that’s fine, hope you feel better soon, and we’ll try to do it again in the future”.

An opportunity arose again 2 weeks later, and after checking Facebook where we saw that nothing had changed with the restaurant, a phone call was made to our friends and we arranged the same as last time, that we would meet at 6:30pm.

We arrived at the same time as our friends, all walked up to the front door, where we were greeted by an enthusiastic team member. And the conversation went something like,

“Hello, welcome, do you have a booking?”

“No – you don’t take bookings”

“Yes we do – we just changed last week”

“Oh we didn’t know – but do you have a table anyway?”

“I’m sorry but we’re full”

“But we’ve driven quite a way, there are plenty of empty tables, and we’re sure some people won’t turn up – and we did check your Facebook page and it didn’t say anything about having to book a table, or else we would have rung. Can you squeeze us in please?”

“I’m, sorry we’re full – would you like to make a booking for another time?”

“But we’ll be quick and there are lots of empty tables”

“Sorry, but they are all booked”

“OK then, we’ll have to go and find somewhere else”

…and that was it – we didn’t have a booking and we weren’t getting in. So we left, got in our cars, drove for about 10 minutes and found a Thai restaurant that none of us had been to before. On approaching it, it looked pretty full, but we thought we’d ask. This time the conversation went something like,

“Hello, do you have a booking?”

“No – but we're hoping that you could fit us in”

“Sure – I’ll go and get your table sorted”

…and that was that – in an already full restaurant, a table was cleared for us, chairs were found and we were promptly shown to our seats.; and it was lovely, really nice surroundings, good staff, and the food was great too.


So what are the lessons here?
  1. If you’re going to change something – make sure you tell people. In this case, update your website and Facebook page.
  2. Have a backup plan for people that didn’t get the message about the change. In this case, find us a table or at least give us something to entice us back again – 10% off next time, a free second meal, or even put us in a raffle. Just do something to entice us back.

As it stands now, we are very unlikely ever to go back to the first restaurant but I expect we will almost definitely go back to the Thai restaurant.

What is the ISO position on things like this? …and how can standards help?

Now you might wonder what ISO does about this type of thing? Considering it is the customer that we’re dealing with, the ISO standard that we need is ISO 9001:2015 Quality management system requirements, and there are two sections that cover changes within an organization.

6.3 Planning of changes

When the organization determines the need for changes to the quality management system, the changes shall be carried out in a planned manner. 

The organization shall consider:

a) the purpose of the changes and their potential consequences

b) the integrity of the quality management system

c) the availability of resources

d) the allocation or reallocation of responsibilities and authorities.

8.1 Operational Planning and control

The organization shall control planned changes and review the consequences of unintended changes, taking action to mitigate any adverse effects, as necessary.

The key words here are “the potential consequences of change” therefore, when you’re looking at implementing a change at your workplace don’t just think of the positive aspects of the change – think about what might go wrong and who might be negatively impacted too, and develop and implement strategies to control any potential damage.