Eskom Transmission division, like many other organisations has implemented a quality management system according to the ISO 9001 standard. The ISO 9001 standards provide the foundation and development of a quality management system. The implementation of a quality management system (QMS) enables organisations to define and manage processes that ensure delivery of product or services that meet customer requirements and needs. Some of the main requirements of the ISO 9001 standard are to plan and manage internal audits, control non conforming products, manage and implement corrective and preventative actions, and conduct management reviews.
These above requirements are managed using the system called Transmission Action Management System (TAMS). The TAMS system is a web-based collaboration tool. This system is mainly used as a tracking tool and is instrumental in satisfying not only the quality requirements but other operational processes. The issue of sustainability of a quality management system and the retention of ISO 9001 certification is critical for Eskom Transmission and lies partly in the users’ acceptance and willingness to use TAMS. Understanding why employees accept or reject information technology is one of the most important issues in information system research.
The technology usage and its effective implementation depends upon users, having positive attitude towards it. Although the number of registered users of the system has grown recently, there is some evidence that TAMS acceptance is faced with problems. This evidence is supported by the number of outstanding non conformance reports and unclosed findings that remain open in the system for a long time. The overdue action figures from TAMS database are listed in Appendix A.
Quality management initiatives in Eskom Transmission division started in 2002 when it was noted that the maintenance management process was not performing as anticipated. The then Maintenance Management Portfolio manager gave this process a priority to be addressed. In 2003, Eskom Corporate conducted a maintenance management audit. The main recommendation was to adopt the ISO 9001 quality system across all Eskom business units.
The first attempt at ISO 9001 certification registration in 2006 was unsuccessful. The reason for this was the lack of systematic management of quality related issues. These issues according to the assessment report (DQS, 2006) pertain to the management review, internal audit, corrective action and preventative action processes which were verified and found to be ineffective. Prior to the quality management initiative, the application called Finding Audit System (FAS), built on Microsoft Access, was used to manage and track findings once an audit was conducted with Transmission division or its business units. This was a standalone system installed on the employee’s personal computer. The employee managing the system mainly relied on feedback given and thereby updated the FAS.
Since this was not an effective way of managing audits, and also the fact that there is a drive to have ISO 9001 standard certification, a new system was sought out. This then brought about the Transmission Audit Management System which was enhanced to include non-conformance management and other related management issues that needed to be tracked. This system gave birth to Transmission Action Management System (TAMS) is which is mainly an Audit Finding and Non Conformance reporting tracking tool. It is a web based information system. .
The TAMS was first developed in 2006/7 and has had many enhancements since then. During the ISO 9001 audit in 2007 and subsequent issuing of the ISO 9001 certification the same year, TAMS was highlighted as a good system that Transmission has in support of QMS requirements.
Obtaining the ISO 9000 certification is necessary but not in itself a sufficient condition to an effective...