Management Review

Management Review is the vital cog for creating value from your QMS. In addition to fulfilling the ISO 9001 requirements of clause 5.6, this meeting can also be used as evidence of top management’s commitment to your QMS. There is one important fact to always remember, though. This is not a meeting where a retrospective of process data is presented, this is a working meeting. Data (the meeting input) is analyzed, discussed, dissected, and decisions (the meeting output) are made regarding the data.

Clause 5.6 of ISO 9001 provides a perfect agenda for this meeting, listing the topics to be discussed. These topics must be covered:

  • Continued suitability of the quality policy and quality objectives
  • Audit results
  • Feedback from customers
  • Trends from process and product performance
  • Corrective/Prevention action status
  • Changes to the QMS
  • Opportunities for improvement
  • Follow-up from previous meetings (the action items assigned)

As these topics are being discussed, improvement opportunities can be identified and recorded within your meeting minutes. The standard requires any decisions and action items pertaining to improvements be detailed in the meeting minutes.

Here’s how it works. If your process owners are not analyzing their data prior to this meeting, they should provide graphs that show how their process is performing (see below). These graphs indicate that significant trends did occur in these processes.

process data on time delivery
process data external parts per million

The circled areas on the graphs show the trends from On- Time Delivery and External PPM. Both processes were identified as exceeding the current goal, and a new target for each process was set. The individual process owners were each assigned an action item- create methods to achieve the new goals. These action items are then reviewed at the next meeting.

If the process owners are indeed analyzing their data prior to the meeting, and taking steps to adjust or improve their processes, only a discussion of the data detailing the actions taken has to occur.

Management review does not have to be any more complex than detailed here. Simply follow the detailed agenda, ensure that all process owners provide data to be analyzed, document that each topic was discussed and distribute the meeting minutes. It really can be that simple and robust. 

Frequency of Management Review Meetings

How often your meetings are held is dependent upon the robustness of your current meetings. In other words, if your process owners are consistently analyzing their data and taking actions to correct or improve their processes, then your organization may only need to conduct this meeting every 6-12 months. But if your company is new to process data analysis, or not holding effective reviews, you’ll want to convene a monthly meeting.

A monthly meeting provides an additional benefit- accountability. There must be accountability regarding data collection and analysis in your organization. Process owners must be responsible for not only their processes, but their process data as well. Regularly scheduled meetings should accomplish this accountability. Otherwise, it will be noticed during a registration or surveillance audit of your QMS.

Auditors are trained to look deeply into your meeting minutes. The records from your management review provide keen insight about an organization’s quality mindset. Great meeting minutes, covering all agenda items, with thorough discussion of topics, will show exactly how committed your company is regarding quality and improvement. 

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