Revised Quality Management Principles

The ISO 9001:2008 standard states that the eight quality management principles described in ISO 9000:2005 were considered during the development of ISO 9001:2008. According to the committee draft of ISO 9001:2015, the revised standard is being developed to make more explicit use of the quality management principles.

ISO 9001:2015 includes an Annex A that introduces the seven quality management principles upon which the revised standard is based. The annex provides a “statement” describing each principle and a “rationale” explaining why an organization should address the principle.

The draft seven quality management principles are listed below, followed by the eight current principles shown in italics.  Note that current principles 4 and 5 have been merged into the revised principle 4, reducing the total number of principles from eight to seven.

QMP 1 – Customer Focus

Statement
The primary focus of quality management is to meet customer requirements and to strive to exceed customer expectations.

Rationale
Sustained success is achieved when an organization attracts and retains the confidence of customers and other interested parties on whom it depends. Every aspect of customer interaction provides an opportunity to create more value for the customer. Understanding current and future needs of customers and other interested parties contributes to sustained success of an organization.

QMP1 – Customer Focus
Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations.

Change: The revised principle continues to focus on meeting customer requirements and striving to exceed customer expectations. It adds that you need to look at every customer interaction for opportunities to create more customer value. It also adds that sustained success is achieved when you gain customer confidence.

QMP 2 – Leadership

Statement
Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the quality objectives of the organization.

Rationale
Creation of unity of purpose, direction and engagement enable an organization to align its strategies, policies, processes and resources to achieve its objectives.

QMP 2 – Leadership
Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives.

Change: The revised principle continues to focus on leaders establishing unity of purpose and direction, as well as, creating conditions to involve people in achieving quality objectives.  It adds that this leadership approach will enable your organization to align its strategies, policies, and resources to achieve its objectives.

QMP 3 – Engagement of People

Statement
It is essential for the organization that all people are competent, empowered and engaged in delivering value. Competent, empowered and engaged people throughout the organization enhance its capability to create value.

Rationale
To manage an organization effectively and efficiently, it is important to involve all people at all levels and to respect them as individuals. Recognition, empowerment and enhancement of skills and knowledge facilitate the engagement of people in achieving the objectives of the organization.

QMP 3 – Involvement of People People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit.

Change: The revised principle still describes the involvement of people at all levels. It adds that it is essential for these people to be competent, empowered, and engaged to create and deliver value.

QMP 4 – Process Approach

Statement
Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system.

Rationale
The quality management system is composed of interrelated processes. Understanding how results are produced by this system, including all its processes, resources, controls and interactions, allows the organization to optimize its performance.

Principle 4 – Process Approach
A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.

Principle 5 – System Approach to Management
Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives.

Change: The current Process Approach principle and System Approach principle have been combined into this one revised Process Approach principle. It continues to focus on understanding and managing activities as interrelated processes within a system.  It clarifies that understanding how results are produced by the processes, resources, controls, and interactions allows your organization to optimize its performance.

QMP 5 – Improvement

Statement
Successful organizations have an ongoing focus on improvement.

Rationale
Improvement is essential for an organization to maintain current levels of performance, to react to changes in its internal and external conditions and to create new opportunities.

QMP 6 – Continual Improvement
Continual improvement of the organization’s overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization.

Change: The revised principle uses the term “improvement” instead of “continual improvement”. ISO 9001:2015 is being developed to make more explicit use of the quality management principles, so you would expect it to move to the term “improvement” to align with the revised principle.

However, the text in Annex SL to be used for all management systems standards uses the term “continual improvement”. Moving to “improvement” would result in a deviation from the required Annex SL common text. Therefore, the committee draft of ISO 9001:2015 was prepared using “continual improvement”, but with the “continual” being shown in strike-though text format (to highlight the need for resolution of this issue).

The revised principle also changes from improvement of overall performance as a permanent objective to a focus on improvement as being essential to maintain current levels of performance. It also expands to cover the improvements needed to react to changes in internal and external conditions and to create new opportunities.

QMP 6 – Evidence-based Decision Making

Statement
Decisions based on the analysis and evaluation of data and information are more likely to produce desired results.

Rationale
Decision-making can be a complex process, and it always involves some uncertainty. It often involves multiple types and sources of inputs, as well as their interpretation, which can be subjective. It is important to understand cause and effect relationships and potential unintended consequences. Facts, evidence, and data analysis lead to greater objectivity and confidence in decisions made.

QMP 7 – Factual Approach to Decision Making
Effective decisions are based on the analysis of data and information.

Change: The revised principle still addresses decisions that are based on the analysis of data and information. The rationale section refers to the uncertainty and subjective nature of decisions. It adds that understanding cause and effect relationships and the potential for unintended consequences is important.  In addition, it states that evidence-based analysis leads to decisions with greater objectivity and confidence.

QMP 7 – Relationship Management

Statement
For sustained success, organizations manage their relationships with interested parties, such as suppliers.

Rationale
Interested parties influence the performance of an organization. Sustained success is more likely to be achieved when an organization manages relationships with its interested parties to optimize their impact on its performance. Relationship management with its supplier and partner network is often of particular importance.

QMP 8 – Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships
An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.

Change: This principle has expanded from supplier relationship to relations with interested parties. The revised principle states the supplier and partner network is of particular importance, but there can be other interested parties. For example, the draft ISO 9001:2015, clause 4.2, identifies possible interested parties as direct customers, end users, suppliers, distributors, retailers, and regulators.

Note: For more information on the current quality management principles, see our May 2013 and June 2013 newsletters. These newsletters describe the eight principles, as well as, their benefits and application.