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Keshav Ram Singhal

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Article – Management Review

“Is conducting ‘management review meeting’ only option for management review? Look for other alternatives”

Keshav Ram Singhal

Most organizations including consultants believe that conducting ‘management review meeting’ is mandatory and to achieve ISO 9001 QMS compliance certification, and organizations generally keep records of management review meetings to provide evidence to auditors that they have conducted management review. This seems to be the easiest and convenient way of reviewing organization’s quality management system. In practice auditors also ask questions on conducting management review meetings and wish to see relevant records.



When I read ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard, I come to know from clause 5.6.1 that top management must review the organization’s QMS at planned intervals to ensure continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the QMS. Nowhere the standard states the term ‘management review meeting’. Akio Miura, a QMS consultant in Tokyo (Japan), says, “Management review meeting is merely one of the means for management review. There are better ways for management review than holding meetings periodically.” He further says, “You do not necessarily always have to hold the meetings if you are doing better ways.” For this his arguments are supported by valid points that he says, “Discussing the impact of changes is too late by periodic management review, and it is not recommendable. For example, if you made some change in October and the next management review is scheduled in January, discussing that change in January may be too late if it caused some negative impact or problems during the period between October and January.” He suggests, “Management review by top management or at least by the management representative must be done in day-to-day activities. Periodic management review is to verify that all changes made in the past xxx month period did not cause any problem or negative effect. This is the smartest and surest way of change management and management review for it.” In this connection, Akio Miura’s views are relevant and require attention by organizations.

The ‘ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group’ has been constituted as an informal group of quality management system (QMS) experts, auditors and practitioners, drawn from the ISO Technical Committee 176 Quality Management and Quality Assurance (ISO/TC 176) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The group has developed a number of guidance papers and presentations that contain ideas, examples and explanations about the auditing of quality management systems. It has also issued a guidance paper on ‘Auditing Quality Policy, Quality Objectives and Management Review’ on 5 June 2009 that states, “… ISO 9001 requires top management to review the organization’s quality management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. The review could be carried out at a separate meeting but this is not a requirement of the standard. There are many ways in which top management can review the quality management system such as receiving and reviewing a report generated by the management representative or other personnel, electronic communication or as part of regular management meetings where issues such as budgets and targets are also discussed. …” It further says that the management review is a process that should be conducted and audited utilizing the process approach.

Management review meeting is one of the tools of conducting management review and most organizations are conducting such meetings. But conducting such meeting is not a requirement of the ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard. In today’s environment, we have advanced technological and communication facilities available with us, so there are other ways of reviewing the quality management system. Just think the other alternatives and one can find alternative way.

I suggest a practical cost-effective process of management review without holding a management review meeting at a particular place on a fixed date and time:

(i) Make a list of people in the top management team of your organization in accordance with the seniority. There must be head of the organization (such as CMD in corporate organizations, senior partner in partnership firms, managing trustee in trust organizations, etc.).

(ii) The management representative should act as the convener to the management review process.

(iii) The head of the organization should decide the frequency of management review (planned intervals) and a reference about this should be mentioned in the quality manual of the organization.

(iv) The management representative should collect information on: Results of audits (external as well as internal), customer feedback, process performance, product conformity, status of preventive action, status of corrective actions, follow-up actions from previous management review, changes that could affect the quality management system (such as changes in the QMS documentation, procedures, processes, changes in the management, changes in the organization, changes in the policy, changes in the organization’s technique and/or technology, changes in the resources etc.) and recommendations for improvement.

(v) The management representative should prepare a report of ‘management review inputs’ and send copy of this report to top management team members with a request to send their review comments to the head of the organization. There should be targeted date for sending the review comments.

(vi) The head of the organization should review the report of the management representative and comments received from the top management team members. He should take any decisions related to the improvement of the effectiveness of the quality management system, improvement of the effectiveness of the processes,improvement of the product and resources needs. The top management should communicate such management review output decisions to the management representative for necessary communication and action.

(vii) The management representative should communicate to relevant departments about the management review outputs and take appropriate action. A copy of management review output should also be communicated to top management team members.

(viii) The management representative should keep relevant records of management review.

Holding a meeting of top management team members at a particular place on a fixed date and time may sometimes appears to be tough and costly affair to organizations and in such a situation the management review process as stated above will provide you a cost effective option.


Courtesy
ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group Website
ISO Website
Special thanks to Akio Miura, ASQ Fellow,
ASQ CQA/CQE/CMQOE/CRE/CSSBB/CBA/CHA/CSQE, and RAB/IQA/QSA approved ISO Lead Auditor Training Instructor, Quality Management Consultant