How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification: Clause 9.1 - Monitoring, measurements, analysis and evaluation

Posted by Craig Thornton

Part 26: Clause 9.1 - Monitoring, measurements, analysis and evaluation

Clause 9.1 is all about measuring how well we are doing.  This is the “check” part of Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

Starting at 9.1.1 the wording on what to measure is very vague. The standard leaves it up to you to determine:

  • What needs to be monitored and measured;
  • How you will measure it;
  • When you will measure it;
  • How to collect and analyse the results.

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Based on my experience (much of which was using the older versions of ISO 9001), the “what you should measure” can be split into 3 areas:

  • Your product and service
  • Your QMS
  • Your improvements

For example here at Mango we monitor and measure the quality of the product by the number of bugs released to the client, as well as the up-time of the servers for the clients/users.  We use two time frames to monitor and measure our QMS - every week in SCRUM meetings we review our processes, and every month we carry out a Management Review to ensure that we deliver on what we/customers want.  And finally, we measure our improvements to the system using Mango itself.

Next up is clause 9.1.2.  This clause requires you to measure customer satisfaction.  Or as the standard says, “… customers’ perceptions of the degree to which their needs and expectations have been fulfilled.”

So how do you do that?  The standard has a handy list of examples:

  • customer surveys,
  • customer feedback on delivered products and services,
  • meetings with customers,
  • market-share analysis,
  • compliments,
  • warranty claims and
  • dealer reports

I don’t recommend surveys.  I have completed hundreds of surveys in my time, but the reality is that I feel I don’t have the time to do them properly.  I complete them without much thought - I tick the boxes and move on.  How useful to anyone is that kind of half-hearted feedback?

What I do recommend doing is meeting with clients one-on-one and getting real customer feedback on the performance of your product and service.  This is incredibly valuable data that is worth its weight in gold.

For example, here at Mango we try and visit our clients on a regular basis – all over the world.  Recently I travelled from my home in New Zealand to visit our clients in South Africa.  I took my camera with me and asked each customer for an on camera review of Mango.  This will be presented back to staff in New Zealand or sometimes even posted on our website.

Another way we measure customer satisfaction is to measure our customer “churn” or the client retention rate.  We are currently at over 99% customer retention, which is very high in our industry.

The final clause is 9.1.3.  This is where you take all the data previously discussed and analyse and evaluate it to see if things are in or out of control.  You can use statistical techniques for doing that. 

The standard again has a handy list of areas to evaluate:

  • Product and service
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Quality management system
  • Planning
  • Risks and opportunities
  • Supplier and contractors
  • Improvements 

For example, here at Mango we evaluate each of those above with the following:

  • Number of bugs
  • Customer feedback interviews
  • Review of processes
  • Plan versus actual
  • Risk register review
  • Supplier performance
  • Number of improvements open and closed

 

Takeaways

Here is a list of takeaways that will help you meet clause 9.1:

  1. Create measures of your product, QMS and improvements.
  2. Measure customer satisfaction to get great feedback on your business.
  3. Evaluate your business’s performance over time.

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View previous blogs in this series "How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification":

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 1: Introduction

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 2: Customer Focus

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 3: Leadership

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 4: Engagement of People

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 5: Process Approach

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 6: Improvement

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 7: Evidence Based Decision Making 

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 8: Relationship Management

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certifiaction - Part 9: Clauses 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 1, 2 and 3 of ISO 9001:2015

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 10: Clauses 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 – Context, Interested Parties, Scope, QMS

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 11: Clauses 5.1 Leadership and Commitment

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 12: Clause 5.2 Policy

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 13: Clause 5.3 Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 14: Clause 6.1 Actions to Address Risks and opportunities

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 15: Clause 6.2 Objectives

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 16: Clause 7.1 Resources

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 17: Clause 7.2 and 7.3 - Competence and Awareness 

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 18: Clauses 7.5 - Documented Information

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 19: Clauses 8.1 - Operational Planning and Control

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 20: Clauses 8.2 - Requirements for Products and Services

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 21: Clauses 8.3 - Design and Development

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 22: Clauses 8.4 - Control of Externally Provided Processes, Products and Services

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 23: Clauses 8.5 - Production and Service Provision

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 24: Clause 8.6 Release of Products and Services

How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification - Part 25: Clause 8.7 - Control of non-conforming outputs

Tags: Quality Management, ISO 9001, ISO 9001 certification, ISO 9001 accreditation