How Quickly Can I Get ISO?

There are many factors that affect the answer to this question.  But generally the answer is “very quickly”.

Although philosophically ISO is about discipline, control, organization and improvement, this is achieved in part through the documentation of processes.  Thus larger and more complex organizations (more and more involved processes) will require more time to complete an ISO project.    Smaller and simpler organizations are relatively easier and can be completed more quickly.

Another important factor is the experience and expertise of the people implementing the ISO program.  If the project is being undertaken completely in-house with limited experience then the project is likely to be slower.  In-house people usually have other important tasks to do and not unsurprisingly ISO is a somewhat involved project.  It is not uncommon for in-house projects to take years to complete (just this week I spoke with two different organizations where the person I was talking with had taken over the ISO project about a year ago from somebody who had been working on ISO for 10-15 years).

The expertise factor has a substantial impact on an ISO project.  Not only does it affect timescales but it impacts  other important factors such as how conforming the project is and how easy the ISO system is to maintain.

Cavendish Scott can complete a full consulting project (where we do all of the work) in about 3 months for a company of up to about 50 people without too much strain.  Obviously the quicker a project is completed, the more compressed the effort.  Much quicker is possible.  We have completed a project for an organization of about 200 people in 30 days.  It required 4 of us to devote ourselves fairly constantly during that time – but it is possible.

So most projects could take between 3-6 months and very rarely do we allow projects to take 6-9 months.  Where they do drag on there is a concern that the project will lose momentum.

In house projects will typically take 3-4 times longer than what we would achieve.

Projects can be completed too quickly.  It is ideal to allow enough time for reflection on the way processes work in the organization.  Frequently we find that organizations have complex processes or that the best way to interpret a requirement requires a little thought.  Where processes are defined immediately within an extremely short timescale you don’t get this luxury.

Cavendish Scott is capable of short timescale projects but is aware of and manages any dangers that are created in this situation.