The Systems Approach

ISO9004:2009 is the guidance document for ISO9001. It explains the paragraphs of the standard in reasonably plain English and takes the implementation of the standard beyond compliance.

It’s not only an important standard for anyone implementing the ISO9001 quality standard, it also provides some really useful guidance for anyone who just wants to look at their business with fresh eyes and improve performance.

The standard defines eight key quality management principles that are fundamental to the success of any business:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Involvement of people
  • Process approach
  • System approach to management
  • Continual improvement
  • Decision making based on facts
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

Each month we take one of the principles and look at the key benefits and how they can be applied in any business.

Principle 5 – Systems Approach

Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organisation’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives

Applying the ISO9004 principles of system approach to management should lead to:

  • Structuring a system to achieve the organisation’s objectives in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Understanding the interdependencies between the processes of the system.
  • Structured approaches that harmonize and integrate processes.
  • Providing a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities necessary for achieving common objectives and thereby reducing cross-functional barriers.
  • Understanding organisational capabilities and establishing resource constraints prior to action.
  • Targeting and defining how specific activities within a system should operate.
  • Continually improving the system through measurement and evaluation.

Key benefits:

  • Integration and alignment of the processes that will best achieve the desired results.
  • Ability to focus effort on the key processes.
  • Providing confidence to interested parties as to the consistency, effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation.


To find out more about the principles of good quality management and how it can help your business drop us an email or call us on 0333 321 0131.