Don’t Just Go Beyond 9001, Take a Different Path and Apply ISO 9004
Dr. Isaac Sheps, Chair of the Central Committee for MS Standards, The Standards Institution of Israel, Ramat Hasharon, , Israel
Keywords: Quality Management, Customers, Sustained Success
Don’t just go beyond 9001, take a different path and apply 9004
ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 were published more than 30 years ago (1987) by ISO TC176/SC2. During the years each of them passed revisions, some minor and some substantial but the main development we would like to highlight in this presentation is how the two standards became so different from each other. Until the 2009 version of ISO 9004 these two standards were referred to as a consistent pair and the it was generally perceived that if an organization wishes to go beyond ISO 9001 it should embrace ISO 9004. This ‘going beyond’ perception is still a common view between many professionals and became an obstacle to fully understand that the current version of ISO 9004 published in 2018 is substantially different from current ISO 9001 (last version published in 2015).
Both are management system standards based on the 7 Quality Management Principles (QMP’s) which are elaborated in ISO 9000: 2015. The 7 QMP’s (customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making and relationship management) are in the presenter’s view the foundation of any management system. Both standards refer to quality as meeting needs and expectations (requirements). The two standards are structured as a system meaning that there is an input which contains the needs and expectations relevant to the organization and a set of processes needed to be established, maintained and improved in order to meet intended results.
In ISO 9000:2015, clause 3.2.4 a customer is defined as: “person or organization that could or does receive a product or a service that is intended for or required by this person or organization” and in clause 3.6.4 a requirement is defined as: “need or expectation that is generally implied or obligatory”. If we wish to fully comprehend how ISO 9004:2018 differs from ISO 9001:2015 we should change the customer definition to a more holistic one as follows:
Customer = a person, a group of persons or an organization that the organization aims to meet their needs and expectations.
If this basic concept is acknowledged than the scope of ISO 9004 would be fully understood and the basic difference between the two standards would be clear to all. While applying ISO 9001 an organization can demonstrate its ability to meet needs and expectations of its products and/or services users, ISO 9004 guides an organization how to achieve sustained success by meeting needs and expectations of its relevant interested parties addressing them all as customers, in a balanced way. If an organization aims to achieve sustained success it can’t go just beyond ISO 9001, it has to take a different path and apply 9004.
Note: The presenter was an active member of the working groups that developed 9001 and 9004 (co-convenor of the WG for the current version of 9004) and of the ad hoc group that developed the current 7 Quality management principles which are part of ISO 9000:2015. With this insight experience and his tens of years of CEO roles he strongly believes that 9004 is the basis for future quality management and the ability of an organization to achieve sustained success and he actually applied 9004 concept in the last 3B$ company he managed.