The standard itself evolved from being a static model to a dynamic management model. In other words, from a standard with an essentially operational focus on the harmonisation of processes - "write how it is done and do how it has been written" - to a standard focused on the organisation's strategic planning.
THE THREE LEVELS OF MANAGEMENT IN THE ISO 9001:2015 STANDARD
A standard that, over the course of its different versions, has established requirements that increasingly focused on the administration of the organisation in its broadest sense. The 2015 version of the ISO 9001 standard emphasised this trend and clearly established three levels of management - strategic, tactical and operational. Operational management has been known since the first version in 1987 and tactical management, corresponding to the management of the processes, was introduced from the 2000 version and included process monitoring and mediation requirements, process indicators, analysis and improvement goals. However, in the 2015 version of the standard, strategic guidance and sustainable success concepts began to emerge, as did strategic planning as a means to guarantee the organisation's sustainability. This is now expressly stated in the ISO 9001:2015 standard. “The adoption of a quality management system is a strategic decision for an organisation that can help improve its overall performance. In addition to this, promote a solid base for sustainable development initiatives."
THE ROLE OF THE ORGANISATION'S TOP MANAGEMENT
As it could only be, the strategic planning of a company falls to the management of the company at its highest level, or, "usually", to the organisation's Top management. In line with this, the standard sets out how this is the responsibility of Top management: "To ensure the incorporation of quality management system requirements into the organisation's business processes." Here, attention ought be drawn to the use of the term "business processes", which is clarified broadly in one of the provisions of the standard as being activities central to the purpose for which the organisation exists.
WHY DOES AN ORGANISATION EXIST?
Whilst it is clear that none of the previous versions of the ISO 9001 standard waived the participation of Top management it is also clear that in none of the previous versions was such an importance placed on the direct participation of Top management in leading the organisation's quality management system. Nor could it be different when the ISO 9001:2015 standard reinforces the notion of a quality management system as an integral part of the organisation's business processes.
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