Quality Management Systems ISO 9004:2000 Guidelines for performance improvements

publication date 05.06.2009

Model ISO 9004: 2000 quality management system for improving performance

The ISO 9004:2000 standard originated as instructions for the performance improvement of organizations. It comprises generalized rules which - if consistently applied by the management - will deliver improved results and performance of their own company.  

Related articles

The ISO 9004 standard ranks among the 900X series of standards making a consistent pair with the ISO 9001 standard, where the ISO 9001 is designed to verify the product´s quality and enhance the customer´s satisfaction. The ISO 9004 standard is aimed to provide instructions for the company´s improved performance. Thus, it takes a much wider look at the quality management. It does not deliver its reader only the applicable rules that are essential for the quality management system, but also some suggestions and examples.  

Purpose and consequences of ISO 9004

In all well-working organizations, everything starts with the management´s decision and interest. It is the management who are supposed to give the initial impuls and determine the organization´s intentions. If such intentions include: 

  • an effective and efficient way of identifying and fulfilling the needs of customers and parties interested,  
  • achieving, maintaining and enhancing of the organization´s overall level of performance and competence, 

the ISO 9004 instructions are just what they are looking for.  

The advantage here is that the standard in no way designates either the structural uniformity of the quality management system or the uniform style of documentation. It is up to the management to choose an appropriate mode for their organization and their employees.  

All the principles put forward in the ISO 9004 markedly make up for the management of costs and risks. They start from the assumption that it is crucial for the interested parties to consider the following:

benefit    <->    costs    <->     management of risks.

Subsequently, the considerations of the organization´s performance may effect: 

  • customer loyalty,
  • follow-up trading and references,
  • operating results (sales, share in profit, .....),
  • flexible and swift reactions to opportunities on the market,
  • costs and cycle times by means of efficient and effective use of resources, 
  • targeting of the processes that best suit the purpose of achieving the desired results, 
  • competitive advantages through improved competences of the organization, 
  • employee awareness and motivation in respect of the organization´s intentions and targets, as well as their participation in the continuous improvement, 
  • reliance of the interested parties on the organization´s efficiency and effectivity as evidenced by its financial and social benefit:
    • stemming from the organization´s performance,
    • the product life-cycle, and 
    • the organization´s goodwill. 

ISO 9004 model

The standard is based upon the same model as the "ISO 9001:2000" standard:http://www.ownway.eu/academy/quality-quality-system/quality-standards/iso-9001-2000-quality-management-system/ see the image attached. Likewise, make sure you consistently apply the process approach. 

Content of the ISO 9004:2000 standard

The standard includes the following chapters which define the fundamental areas for the improvement of the quality mamagement system: 

 1. Subject of standard

 2. Normative references

 3. Terms and definitions

 4. Quality management system

 4.1 Control of systems and processes

 4.2 Documentation

 4.3 Application of principles of quality management 

 5. Management duties

 5.1 General instructions

 5.2 Needs and expectations of interested parties

 5.3 Quality policy

 5.4 Planning

 5.5 Responsibility, authority and communication 

 5.6 Management review

 6. Management of resources

 6.1 General instructions

 6.2 Employees

 6.3 Infrastructure

 6.4 Working environment

 6.5 Information

 6.6 Suppliers and partnership

 6.7 Natural resources

 6.8 Financial resources

 7. Implementation of products

 7.1 General instructions

 7.2 Processes of interested parties

 7.3 Design and development

 7.4 Purchasing

 7.5 Activities in production and provision of services

 7.6 Control of measuring and monitoring facilities

 8. Measurement, analysis and improvement

 8.1 General instructions

 8.2 Measurement and monitoring

 8.3 Control of non-compliances

 8.4 Data analysis

 8.5 Improvement

Source: ČSN EN ISO 9004:2000

If you wish to consult or hire a consultant for application of this standard, go to our section "Consultant for quality and quality systems" at:http://www.ownway.eu/consultants/quality-quality-system/. 

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„Rather than creating piles of documentation, it is better to draw a single scheme or picture.“ more >>

Jiří Střelec Jiří Střelec

And not just ISO, AS, OHSAS, CMMI  … but other standards, too, want us to describe what we do and how we do it. Most quality people and managers just produce pages of text which pile on the desk. Writing down a sentence is fairly easy. However, the sentence alone does not matter. What matters here is that people understand that sentence and use it in practice. Standards do not tell us how to describe our management system, though. Frankly, times are hasty and people have no time for reading piles of paper. They are bombarded by information from all sides. Besides, reading through a long document, they do not remember what was at the beginning. A picture or a scheme is faster to read and easier to remember. What if the system was created as an interactive model of schemes, pictures and supplementary text. Try to make out how.