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© Transition Support  Last Edit 15/12/2017 00:29:20 

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What are the results of a quality management system?

ISO 9001:2015 requires that the quality management system achieves its intended results but to understand what these results are we need to look at the bigger picture so we can put them in context. So to begin with let’s take a look a what we mean by business results.

Business results

Business results are the measured outputs and outcomes an organization generates. They fall into the following categories

Customer Results - What the organisation is achieving in relation to its external customers

People Results -What the organisation is achieving in relation to its people

Society Results - What the organisation is achieving in satisfying the needs of the local, national and international society, as appropriate

Key Performance Results - What the organisation is achieving in relation to its planned performance

The performance of organizations is often judged on financial results but these are outcomes rather than outputs. In other words the impact of the organization's outputs. Typical financial measures are:

These are only part of the picture. There are many standard ratios used to evaluate the overall financial condition of an organization. Learn more about financial ratios at Wikipedia

There is no process within an organization that produces these outputs. They arise from the impact of the process outputs many months or even years after the outputs have been produced. E.g. if the products and services satisfy customers in a manner that satisfies the other stakeholders it is likely this will eventually have a positive effect on the financial results. But should the reverse occur, it will eventually have a negative effect on the financial results. However, one cannot tweak the net profit or any other result other than by unethical means except for share price which can be affected by circumstances outside the organization's control.

One could analyse the financial results and work back through the processes to discover what caused them but this is impractical as many of the activities, products or services that caused the results might no longer be carried out or produced.

A more practical approach is to examine the processes to establish that the process objectives are being achieved and that these objectives as measured are aligned with the needs and expectation of the stakeholders. What one often finds is that the processes are not achieving the objectives, that the measures being used are not appropriate and the objectives themselves are not derived from stakeholder needs and expectations.

Results of the QMS

As the outputs of the quality management system are the products and services on which the organization depends for its success, rather than a “badge on the wall” organizations now need to start thinking of these as one of the customer results referred to above. If these outputs provide the benefits customers were expecting to get from ownership or use, then customer satisfaction will be another result of the QMS and this is illustrated in the diagram on page 11 of Selection and use of the ISO 9000 family of standards.

In addition, we can also deduce from the above that several of the key performance results are strongly influenced by the quality of the organizations products and services and the quality of the processes that determine and produce them.

The efficiency of the processes employed to produce the products and services will have a direct impact on the net profit,

The quality of product and service design will have a direct impact on turnover as more and more customers are delighted with their purchases.  

Transition from an ISO 9001 certificate to producs and services that deliver customer satisfaction