Are Your Measurements Killing Performance?

Clause 9 requires that we monitor and measure the effectiveness of our management systems. For many, this becomes a chore with little or no valuable information to show for all their work.

So if we’re measuring, let’s make sure it’s giving us great info and helping us determine if our system is working. John Seddon of Vanguard Consulting has some areas to focus on:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Process performance
  • System performance
  • Production capacity

Don’t let PDCA get you into trouble, either. If you use the word ‘Plan’ to mean ‘Set a Target’ then you’ll be wrong 100% of the time. Half the time you’ll set the target too high and you’ll demoralize your people. The other half of the time you’ll set it too low and they’ll be demotivated.

Use Check-Plan-Do instead – determine process capability before setting targets. This way you’re more likely to set targets that can be reached and will help you measure performance effectively.

And be sure to pay attention to clause 9.1.3 e) – assessing risk management activities. This can be a real benefit when done well – avoid ‘surprises’ that put your organization off kilter! Look at them again during Corrective Actions – clause 10.2.1 e) requires a review of your risk management. Ask the question, “Could we have avoided this NC if we had done a better job of risk management?”

The Clause finishes up with Internal Audits (9.2) – be sure to look for ways to improve the effectiveness of your management system. Finally, use Management Review (9.3) to ask the hard questions like, “Are we getting a return on our ISO investment?”.

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We have easy-to-use tools built into our Cloud-based Management System platform for managing your measurements. We’d be happy to spend 10 or 15 minutes with you to see if it’s a fit…

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