Eight Principles of a Quality Management System

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) outlines eight quality management principles called the ISO 9000 series of standards. These principles are guidelines used by many companies for quality discipline purposes. They aid companies in achieving long-term quality performance.

Customer Focus

  • Organizations should understand their customer’s current and future needs. The customer focus principle states that organizations should strive to surpass the expectations of customers. This principle involves understanding the customer’s needs and expectations, communicating the needs throughout the organization and managing customer relationships.

Leadership

  • This quality principle describes the responsibility of leaders within an organization. Leaders should lead by example, understand and respond to changes and consider all stakeholders' needs. Leadership also includes establishing a clear vision for the company’s future and encouraging and inspiring people to reach goals.

Involvement of People

  • This principle holds that all people within the organization are beneficial for the company. "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," the ISO states.

Process Approach

  • This principle states that a company runs more efficiently when all activities are viewed as a process. Desired results are defined as well as risk evaluations. The managing process is established clearly, and a business process flow is created and maintained.

System Approach to Management

  • Efficiency and effectiveness come from identifying, understanding and managing a process system. The system is defined and continuously improved through measurements and evaluations.

Continual Improvement

  • Continual improvement to systems, products and processes is a vital part of every quality system. It should be a permanent objective within the company. It includes making periodic assessments for improvements and improving the efficiency in every aspect of the business process.

Factual Approach to Decision Making

Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships

  • This principle involves identifying and selecting key suppliers. Companies should build long-term relationships with suppliers, sharing a joint understanding of customer needs and sharing future plans with each other.

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