Monitoring, Measuring, Analysis and Evaluation (9.1)
The order of this heading has always puzzled me. In my world, I typically take measurements first, to have some data to monitor. Here, however TC 176 still insists on this order, and who am I to complain? I wasn’t at the table, and have only myself to blame! It’s been this way since the beginning and is not likely to change. Or maybe they’ve got a reason.
Most of the clauses in section 9 (Performance Evaluation) will be familiar to you, but there’s a stronger call to determine (besides the methods) ‘…when the monitoring and measurement will be performed…’. To me, this is a useful addition to your management system and will create a more ‘planned’ approach to measurements. The results will make it easier for your organization to demonstrate ‘Improvement’ if, in fact, things have improved. The worst-case scenario will be the one where management pay is tied to this performance measure. ‘Management by Numbers’ doesn’t work any better than ‘paint by numbers’. It looks OK from a distance, but when you get up close you can see that it’s fake. In fact, it often drives behavior opposite to what we’re after.
In the next section on customer satisfaction (9.1.2 – our reason for being, if you will) the only nudge comes in the requirement to evaluate the data obtained ‘… to determine opportunities to assess and enhance customer satisfaction..’. A step up, in my view, from having to ‘…improve the effectiveness of the Management System’ in our current version. This is more specific and we should see more specific examples of customer focus.
The ‘Analysis and evaluation’ (9.1.3) section is much more general than the current list. I think it lends itself to a broader range of data analysis, too. This will surely help, if done carefully and if focused on value added measurement and analysis. I hope we stop measuring stable processes and wasting valuable time, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”.
Internal Audit (9.2)
No surprises in the Internal Audit section, but a welcome addition of including Quality Objectives in the planning of the audit along with customer feedback. This will add breadth and value to Internal Audits for those of us not doing this yet.
Management Review (9.3)
One notable addition here is the requirement to be ‘… planned and carried out, taking into consideration…changes in external and internal issues that are relevant to the quality management system including its strategic direction…’ I’m glad to see us moving closer to a ‘Business Management System’ rather than just a Quality Management System. This movement is further enhanced with integrated systems that include other Standards like ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, both ‘coming soon to a system near you’ in the new ‘Annex SL’ format that defines a high-level structure for all management systems. This means that even though each International Standard has its’ own set of unique requirements, the structure, or headings will be the same, or at least consistent. I hope this does away with multiple, time wasting systems where an integrated system would be much more of an asset. I’m not sure all the Registrars will like fewer billable audit days, but they will be delivering more value to us.
Author: Jim Moran