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System Approach To Management

A system is a tool for organization to achieve an intended objective. Within a large system, there are sub-systems with their own objectives which are aligned to the overall objective of the organization. In order to manage an organization as a system, one has to understand and to be able to visualize how each function/process works as a part of the organization, how the performance of the function contribute to the organization, and how it interacts within the organization. This is the alignment and integration aspect of performance management practice.


A system itself is a sub-system of a large system. One can conceptually view a system as an interaction of seven elements, as picture showed above. Fundamental to a system is the function it is designed to perform. The measure of the system performance is the achievement of the planned output. To achieve this, the system has processes that transform the input into output along the SIPOC chain (linking Supplier, Input, Process, Outputs and Customers). The system uses resources, which may be tangible and intangible in nature, behaving like catalysts, and people to achieve the transformation processes. The system approach is a crucial concept for maintaining the integrity of the management system when improvement changes are made to QMS, as it can provide the mental picture on the interactions of the parts in the system.


The ISO 9001:2008 Standard requires that an organization establishes, documents, implements and maintains a quality management system and continually improves its effectiveness, as reflected in ISO Clause 4.1 “General Requirements”. Specifically, Clause 4.1(b) requires the organization to determine the sequence and interaction of these processes, which align and integrate the many processes into a large system. This is usually documented as a system map. In a typical system map that meets the requirements of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard, the relevant clauses are usually including in the mapping.


The QMS documented to meet the requirements in Clause 4.1 “General Requirements”, will preserve the integrity of QMS and facilitate communication of policies, procedures and instructions. Typically, as defined in Clause 4.2 “Documentation Requirements”, the system requirements are documented as 5 levels:


To ensure that the quality management system and the accompanying processes are established, implemented and maintained, organization shall appointed a member in the organization to be Management Representative as stated in ISO 9001:2008 Clause 5.5.2 “Management Representative”. He/she reports to the top management on the performance of the management system and on any need for improvement. Promotions of awareness of quality and meting customer requirements are his/her other key responsibilities.


Concept of a System

Applying the Principle of System Approach To Managementin In ISO 9001

iso_9001_8_principles_system_approach Applying the Principle of System Approach To Management In ISO 9001

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