Quality Management Principle 7

The Introduction section of ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems – Requirements, notes that the standard was developed based on the eight Quality Management Principles listed below. These principles can be used by top management as a framework to guide their organizations towards improved performance.

1. Customer focus
2. Leadership
3. Involvement of people
4. Process approach
5. System approach to management
6. Continual improvement
7. Factual approach to decision making
8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

The eight principles are briefly defined in ISO 9000:2005, Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary, and more fully described in Annex B of ISO 9004:2009, Managing for the sustained success of an organization – A quality management approach.

Principle 7: Factual approach to decision making

Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.


This principle allows management to make more informed decisions. It provides an increased ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of past decisions through reference to factual records. This factual approach provides an increased ability to review, challenge, and change opinions and decisions.


Applying the principle of a factual approach to decision making typically leads to:

  • Ensuring that data and information are sufficiently accurate and reliable
  • Making data accessible to those who need it
  • Analyzing data and information using valid methods
  • Making decisions and taking action based on factual analysis, balanced with experience and intuition.

Three other articles in this June 2013 newsletter address principles 5, 6, and 8. The first four quality management principles were described in the May 2013 newsletter.