We have worked with clients who have had one to three measurable objectives and then others that monitored a plethora of metrics. Does ISO provide any guidance on how many metrics to monitor? We know that ISO standards are voluntary and that they are generally not prescriptive. Even the industry specific standards such as AS9100 and IATF19649 are limited in the metrics they ‘prescribe.
ISO 9001 Lead Auditor training is intended for those participants looking to gain skills as a Lead Auditor to audit Quality Management Systems (QMS). QMII’s ISO 9001 Lead Auditor training is structured such that those participants looking to join the class solely to get introduced to the standard can sit in too. The course introduces these participants to the fundamentals of ISO 9001 and what the system asks of them.
In Clause 9.1.3 ISO 9001 gives us some hints on metrics we can monitor. As a sample these include metrics on conformity of products and services, customer satisfaction, performance of external providers and performance of QMS. In determining how to break down these metric categories into further sub-categories do keep in mind to choose metrics that will benefit the customer as well as the user. To elaborate, metrics that enable improvement of the system or product/service should be selected as also those metrics that are easy for the user to collect. Making the process to cumbersome for the user at times may be counter-productive as it kills buy-in to the system. Users see the system as a documentation nightmare and bureaucratic.
Some companies choose to change metrics each year as a way of improving on a new aspect of their system. Others choose to set tighter metrics as a way of challenging themselves. In QMII’s iso 9001 lead auditor training we also share how the outputs of the management review as well as corrective action can lead to the setting of objectives and metrics that enable the system to improve. The Context of the Organization gets organizations to look at strategic business objectives as does Clause 8 ask companies to look at operational objectives. This is another way in which metrics can be broken down.
To enable the company to be aligned in its goals Clause 6.1.2 asks for the objectives to be aligned with the policy. They further must be measurable, monitored, communicated and updated, as appropriate. While ISO 9001 Lead Auditor training majorly focuses on auditing principles, QMII’s class enables students with a framework to implement a QMS including the setting of challenging obejctives.