The key to sustained business success with ISO 9004

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По Clare Naden
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Why have some organizations been around for hundreds of years while others last only five minutes? The key is to create success that lasts. ISO 9004 gives guidance to help companies achieve “sustained success” and has just reached a crucial stage in its revision process.

ISO 9004, Quality management – Quality of an organization – Guidance to achieve sustained success, is currently under revision and has just reached Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, meaning that interested parties can submit feedback on the draft before its final publication in 2018.

The standard provides a framework based on a quality management approach, within which an organization can achieve ongoing success through identifying its strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities for improvements or change. It offers guidance for enhancing the overall quality of an organization by improving its maturity level, namely in terms of its strategy, leadership, resources and processes.

Nigel Croft, Chair of ISO/TC 176/SC 2, the technical subcommittee in charge of revising the standard, whose secretariat is held by BSI, ISO’s member for the UK, said: “The new edition of ISO 9004 will build on, and improve the guidance of, the previous 2009 version and will help organizations improve their overall performance by releasing the full potential of their quality management system.

“While ISO 9001 focuses on providing confidence in the organization’s ability to produce consistent, conforming products and services, ISO 9004 aims to provide confidence in the organization itself and its long-term sustained success. It will help organizations identify and balance the needs and expectations of their customers with those of other interested parties in a complex, demanding and ever-changing business environment.”

ISO 9004 is specifically not designed for certification, but it does include an enhanced self-assessment tool that helps organizations assess the level of maturity of the various components of their system, as well as identify and prioritize potential areas for improvement. It will help organizations to move to the next level beyond ISO 9001, by addressing topics such as the alignment and deployment of strategy, policy and objectives within the broader context of the organization’s vision, mission, values and culture.

The revised version of ISO 9004 is due to be published in 2018.

For more information on the DIS stage and how you can contribute to the standard’s development, contact your ISO member.

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