The principles of the ISO system have been developed collectively over time by international experts in the field of quality management.
There are three models within the 9000 system: 9001, 9002 and 9003.
ISO 9001 is the most wide-ranging, for it specifies the various operating requirements in such areas as product design and development, production, installation, and servicing.
The eight recognized principles can be found in
ISO 9000:2005, Quality Management Systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary /
ISO 9004:2009, Managing for the sustained success of an organization- A Quality management Approach
- Customer focus
- Involvement of people
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- Continual improvement
- Factual approach to decision-making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
It is important to note that customer focus is first amongst the eight, thereby stressing its importance as a company needs to focus on present and future customers' needs and expectations. Repeat business is sometimes underestimated but this principle ensures that a company will get the most out of its customers. Resources are better utilized and ideally satisfaction is guaranteed. A company is able to ensure that it's goals are consistent with customer requirements and all parties succeed.
A good leader ensures community and generates confidence. Trust is entrenched in the organization and miscommunication is minimized. A good manager recognizes his team's efforts and supports its development.
Using the best person for the right job prevents dissatisfied employees and customers. Employees are keen to be involved and to be held accountable. Knowledge is shared and experience enhanced.
A process approach ensures that priorities are set and outcomes are predictable. Clearly defined activities allow for continual improvement from a resource, materials and methods perspective.
It is important to recognize, in any system, a need to interrelate in order to ensure the best results. Companies applying the systems principle are seen as consistent, effective and efficient. By understanding their roles better, participants are able to achieve common goals.
Being able to measure results using the systems approach allows the next principle to flow automatically and constant improvement is part of the whole process. This ensures flexibility and an ability to maintain high standards.
Due to different management styles it is essential to apply a factually- based approach to final decision-making. This also avoids poor decisions based on more spontaneous reactions to events or changes. Accuracy and reliability are synonomous.
Mutually beneficial results create balance between the short-term and the long-term. Trust is ensured and relationships are entrenched.
Of course, personality, training and experience mean that companies have their own interpretations but as these principles may be applied broadly, this ensures consistency throughout.