What does leadership matter in ISO 9001:2015 QMS?
Leadership matters much in ISO 9001:2015 QMS. It is the core of the system. Leadership is one of the QMS principles on which ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard is based. If we read the standard, we note that clause 5 of the standard mentions leadership requirements also.
Leaders establish unity of purpose, direction and engagement of people in the organization that align organization's strategies, policies, processes in achieving quality objectives. Leaders focus on communication by listening to the people and defines a strategic plan or direction of the organization. Leaders help people to work in a team.
Leaders in an organization should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can fully engage themselves to achieve organization's quality objectives. For this top management of the organization needs to play leadership role through its commitment, action and communication. They should communicate to the people in the organization the importance of meeting requirements. They need to establish quality policy, ensure ensuring establishing quality objectives at relevant functions, levels and processes, ensure availability of resources and conduct management reviews.
The leaders of the organization should:
- be proactive,
- understand and respect to changes that are visible in the industry environment,
- establish clear vision of the organization,
- build trust, eliminate fear and motivate people.
Benefits that may be derived from the use of 'leadership' principle include:
- Employee's motivation towards organization's goals and objectives
- Better understanding of organization's objectives
- Better communication within the organization
In this connection a leader should practice 5-E of leadership, which are as under:
1. Equality: Everyone is equal. Don't be Biased. Be fair in your acts.
2. Expectations: Be realistic at setting expectations, objectives and goals. Have an eye on expectations, objectives and goals. Understand the strengths, weaknesses and areas of improvement of your team.
3. Emotional Intelligence: Understand that people have emotions and even you do. Use them intelligently.
4. Empower: Empower your people. Be a catalyst for your team members. Be their coach and mentor.
5. Evolve: Evolve everyone of your team to work as a team member. And when they are evolved as a team, you are evolved as a leader.
Clause 5 of ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard deals with the requirements related to leadership that describes what the top management's role should be. All requirement in this section are meant for the top management. ISO 9001:2015 QMS standard requires increased role for the top management. Leadership is the central theme of the quality management system and PDCA cycle that is applied to the quality management system.
The relevant sub-clauses are as under:
5.1 Leadership and commitment
5.1.2 Customer focus
5.2.1 Establishing the quality policy
5.2.2 Communicating the quality policy
5.3 Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities
To understand the relevant requirements, please refer to the standard.
Keshav Ram Singhal