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Dawn Marie Bailey


How Baldrige Complements ISO 9001:2015

The Criteria, like the standard, help organizations serve customers better

Published: Monday, January 5, 2015 - 00:00

According to a recent IndustryWeek article, the 2015 edition of ISO 9001, the standard on quality management systems, is nearing completion.

The new version of IOS 9001 will have three areas of focus:

1. The process approach will be strongly emphasized; that is, the quality management system has to be woven into and fully aligned with the organization’s strategic direction
2. Superimposed on the system of processes is the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) methodology, which will apply both to individual processes as well as the quality management system as a whole
3. An overall focus on risk-based thinking aims at “preventing undesirable outcomes,” such as nonconforming products and services

At the Baldrige Program, we’ve interviewed several experts on the complementary usage of ISO and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, including Luis Calingo (“Better Than ISO? How Baldrige Benefits Manufacturers“) and Ron Schulingkamp (“Baldrige and ISO QMS: A Complementary Relationship“).

To me, the 2015 ISO focus concepts are reminiscent of the Baldrige Criteria. The Criteria guide an organization to align work systems and learning initiatives, as well as core competencies, with its strategic directions as part of planning. In fact, the Criteria build alignment across the organization by making connections and reinforcing measures derived from processes and strategy.

In the Criteria, PDCA is called out as a common process-improvement approach within category 6. A key element of this category is improving processes to achieve better performance—better quality from customers’ perspectives, and better financial and operational performance. In fact, the learning that comes from PDCA is key to how the Criteria are used to evaluate processes. The Criteria encourage organizations to choose the tools (e.g., ISO, PDCA) that are most suitable and effective for an organization in making improvements.

Measuring product performance (e.g., defect levels, service errors) is part of Criteria item 7.1. Such product and operational performance results demonstrate product and service quality and value that lead to customer satisfaction and engagement.

The Criteria also cover risk-based thinking—intelligent risks, a concept introduced in the 2013–2014 Criteria, which state: “Identifying strategic opportunities and intelligent risks is part of strategy, and pursuing the intelligent risks must be embedded in managing organizational operations.” Innovation can result from such pursuit; the Criteria encourage organizations to use creative, adaptive, and flexible approaches to foster incremental and breakthrough improvement through innovation.

In what ways do you think that the 2015 ISO 9001 edition and the Baldrige Criteria will be complementary?

First published Dec. 11, 2014, at Blogrige.


About The Author

Dawn Marie Bailey’s picture

Dawn Marie Bailey

A writer/editor for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program since 2002, Dawn Marie Bailey is part of the Baldrige Program’s Education Team. She is the recipient of the George A. Uriano Award for outstanding leadership in developing Baldrige Case Studies, the premier annual training tool for using and learning the Baldrige Criteria. Bailey also works on strategic planning and the Quest for Excellence Conference, and has served as a team leader. Bailey has bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism, and a master’s degree in creative writing and editing.