Difference between Monitor & Measurement


Starting to get Involved
Hello Members

Just a basic question. What is the difference between Monitor and Measure ? We regularly use terms like monitoring & measurement of processe, monitoring frequency, measuring frequency etc..

What is the best example to understand the basic difference between these terms?


Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
The basic difference is the time element of the action.

A measurement is a single act that quantifies an attribute of a part, equipment, service or process (Length, color, speed, temperature, etc.)

Monitoring is to ‘watch’ or ‘observe’ those measurements over time to detect trends. Are things getting better or worse or cycling, etc. Behaviors and actions can also be monitored without a ‘measurement’.

Does this help?


A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
During driving, you measure speed and monitor your fuel. Speed is a factor you need to know how you are doing measured against a standard (speed limit) and with fuel, you monitor the gauge to give you an idea of when you might need to fill up for the next trip.


Starting to get Involved
Thanks. ISO 9001 require an organization to monitor,measure. For a process like purchase, How can we apply those terms to the process ?

Big Jim

Quite Involved in Discussions
The most common method is the use of key performance indicators (KPI). In the ISO world it seems that they are often called key process indicators. What you call them doesn't matter but the term came from the business world where they are called key performance indicators.

For purchasing a common KPI is supplier performance which is measure as supplier on-time delivery and/or supplier rejects. So if you have determined that supplier on-time delivery is the bigger concern of the two, you determine how the suppliers are performing, set a goal, measure how they are doing on a month to month (or whatever time period makes the most sense) then monitor the monthly score and the month to month trend.

Most ERP systems can help you capture that metric. If not, it can be handled with a receiving log.