ISO 9004 2009 Plain English Overview

This page presents a plain English overview of the ISO 9004 2009
Quality Management Standard. To see a more detailed version,
please visit ISO 9004 2009 Translated into Plain English

ISOís quality management recommendations are described
in ISO 9004 Parts 4 to 9. The following material will briefly
introduce these six sections.

Part 4 provides a general overview of the entire ISO 9004
standard. The rest of the standard examines this material in
greater detail. Part 4 starts by asking you to adopt a quality
management approach. In general, this means that you need
to establish a process-based quality management system.
According to Part 4, this system must be based on ISOís eight
quality management principles. It also recommends that you
monitor your organizationís business environment, that you
meet the needs and expectations of interested parties, that
you take a long term planning perspective, and that you
emphasize innovation and continual improvement.

Part 5 focuses on strategic management. It asks you to
establish a mission, a vision, and values. It then asks you
to establish processes to develop, implement, review, and
update your organizationís strategy and policies. It also
asks you to establish processes to monitor your business
environment, to identify the needs of interested parties, to
assess your organizationís capabilities, and to identify its
future resource and technology needs.

Part 6 covers resource management. It asks you to
provide resources and to establish processes to manage
these resources efficiently and effectively. The term resources
is very broad and covers many things. It covers both internal
resources and external resources. Internal resources include
your organizationís information, technology, knowledge base,
work environment, and infrastructure as well as its financial
and human resources. And external resources include your
organizationís suppliers and partners as well as its energy
and natural resource supplies.

Part 7 discusses process management. It expects
you to create a network of interconnected processes
and to adopt a process approach. The process approach
is a management strategy. When managers use a process
approach, it means that they manage the processes that make
up their organization, the interaction between these processes,
and the inputs and outputs that tie these processes together.
It also expects you to appoint a process manager for each
process and to give each manager the responsibility and
authority to manage and control his or her process.

Part 8 deals with what we call evaluation management. It asks
you to monitor, measure, analyze, and review your organizationís
performance. It expects you to establish and maintain processes
for monitoring, collecting, and managing information about your
organization and its business environment. Part 8 also wants
you to measure your organizationís performance by comparing
its actual achievements against the results it plans to achieve.
In order to do all of this, it recommends the extensive use of key
performance indicators (KPIs)
, internal audits, benchmarking,
maturity self-assessments, and management reviews.

Part 9 covers change management. It encourages learning,
innovation, and improvement. It asks you to set continual
improvement objectives, to establish a continual improvement
process, and to make continual improvement part of your culture.
It also wants you to identify your innovation needs, to establish
an innovation process, and to provide resources to support
innovation. Finally, it wants you to encourage improvement
and innovation by supporting continuous learning
throughout your organization.

 If you'd like to see how we've translated each of these sections
into plain English, please see our more detailed ISO 9004

Also see the NEW ISO 9001 2015 quality management standard.


Introduction to ISO 9004 2009 Standard

Plain English Quality Management Definitions

ISO 9004 2009 Translated into Plain English

ISO 9004 2009 Compliance Audit Process

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Updated on May 16, 2016. First published on April 30, 2010.

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