ISO9001:2015 52-Wk Challenge (Wk 49 & 50) 9.3 Management review

management review9.3 Management Review

This week’s topic is near and dear to my heart.  Every business I’ve worked with has underutilized this tool.  Many companies do it simply to meet the requirement, and do not fully embrace the idea that this IS the heart and soul of a good management system.

“9.3.1 General

Top management shall review the organization’s quality management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy, effectiveness and alignment with the strategic direction of the organization.”  A common theme I’ve seen is that organization’s try to get away with doing this once per year and again, simply to “check the box” and meet the requirement.  The point of management review is to keep a finger on the pulse of the system and respond to its performance trends and its needs.  It’s tough to look backward a whole year and have any type of effective response plan.

“9.3.2  Management review inputs

The management review shall be planned and carried out taking into consideration:”  It’s a good idea, with a new management system, to have management review frequently (even monthly) until a routine is established.  The required inputs also need time to develop and mature.  For example, some performance metrics, once discussed, may need to be refined to satisfy everyone’s needs.

“a)  the status of actions from previous management reviews;”  If metrics are performing poorly, or previous action items are not being dealt with, management review frequency should increase until these issues are solved.

“b)  changes in external and internal issues that are relevant to the quality management system;”  This may include changes to the ISO9001 standard, for example.  Or the addition of a new customer with new requirements.  Or local or federal regulations.

“c)  information on the performance and effectiveness of the quality management system, including trends in:

1.  customer satisfaction and feedback from relevant interested parties;

2.  the extent to which quality objectives have been met;

3.  process performance and conformity of products and services;

4.  nonconformities and corrective actions;

5.  monitoring and measurement results;

6.  audit results;

7.  the performance of external providers;”

These are straightforward metrics the organization must address, and they usually take some discussion to develop fully so that all parties agree on the accuracy of their data sources, and the applicability to the organization.

“d)  the adequacy of resources;”  This discussion usually results in action items assigned to make organizational changes, add resources, purchase equipment, obtain training, etc.

“e)  the effectiveness of actions taken to address risks and opportunities (see 6.1)”  This is a new requirement and must definitely be added as a change to management review if your organization was previously following ISO9001:2008.  And it’s very likely that third party auditors will go right to this area to ensure this change has been made.

“f)  opportunities for improvement.”  Most organizations use this as an opportunity to solicit input from many different areas in addition to making recommendations based on the performance metrics.

“9.3.3 Management review outputs

The outputs of the management review shall include decisions and actions related to:”  This is usually where management review breaks down.  Many organizations “have the meeting”, but by the time all the inputs are reviewed, everyone has lost interest or gotten lost in the exercise, and the conclusions part is forgotten altogether.  If this is an issue in your current system, try to organize and make the meeting more efficient so that this area gets a full measure of focus.

“a)  opportunities for improvement;

b)  any need for changes to the quality management system;

c)  resource needs.

The organization shall retain documented information as evidence of the results of management reviews.”  The documented information should include conclusions and recommendations to address each of the outputs listed.


Review your management system.  And in that review, it is necessary that you review not only management review, but also loop back to your organization’s context, needs of all interested parties AND the processes you identified as necessary to manage your system.  The requirements specifically reference back to those areas and the expectation is that the entire system be aligned and designed to trail back to the basic needs of the business. Management review should be a basic business review meeting with perhaps a few inputs specific to quality.  It should not be interpreted as being its own standalone thing.

This are will probably require some significant revision, so while you’re at it, I would suggest taking the opportunity to also review your metrics, the structure and frequency of your meeting.  Get feedback from those who attend the meeting to see what improvements could be made to better engage everyone involved in the process.  Good luck!


Posted in continuous improvement, ISO9001, lean, Quality, six sigma