QS9000 Management Review - Review every section and sub-section of the manual?


James Guerin

I am looking for some opinions on QS9000 Management Review. I have been with my current company 3 months. I was hired as the Quality Manager / Management Rep. I am preparing for our annual management review and am experiencing some frustration with the previous Quality Manager (who is also the Operations Manager). The viewpoint taken by the old regime is that the only good way to satisfy management review according to QS is to review every section and sub-section of the manual and comment on its suitability and effectiveness. I believe this is a waste of time. I do not see how performing this task accomplishes the bigger picture - Is the overall system effective at: compliance to the standard, compliance to our customer expectations and compliance to our company's business plan.

I have spent a couple of months reviewing our company's manual and tracing the document structure / compliance. I have prepared an assessment of each element for review by the management team. My intentions are to have certain managers responsible for specific elements. These would be individuals intimate with the processes described by the element. Over time these people would report on the status of the elements. In addition, reviews would include discussion of internal and external business metrics, QS internal and external audits, corrective and preventive actions and human resource and facilities management. The discussion surrounding these would be used to determine S and E of the Quality Management System.

I plan on holding my ground on my approach, but the old regime has a reputation for getting their way.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!

Your plan is a good one, but I'm afraid that there is some validity in the comment from your Operations Manager. Sad, but true.

I had a very similar approach (to yours) as to what a Management Review meeting needed to make it useful. In a review of two separate auditors whom also did QS9000 audit, they were uncomfortable with the format and both made clear statements to the effect that the QS9000 requirements are specific in that they require a point-by-point addressment during Management Review. Both referred me to the requirements and the interpretations. To a large degree, I still don't agree with them, but perhaps not to the extent of risking a pulled registration.

This, I think, speaks volumes to a point made here by Systems Thinker who asserted that the problem with ISO9000 is that it is not a holistic plan. He is absolutely right in my opinion to make this assertion. QS9000 is no better to this regard. Perhaps this is why everything appears so segmented that the only way to truly prove that you addressed all aspects is by addressing each and every point. It is a load of rubbish to assume that by addressing the pieces you address the whole. I think that here in lies the rub you feel, as do many of us. Intuitively, we want to assess the whole, but can't.

Hopefully others here can lend insight to ways around treating the point-by-point approach through their success with various registrars (mine was TUV). Otherwise, you might have to do what you'd least like to.



Randy Stewart

I agree with you, the review of a useless manual just adds more uselessness to the whole thing.
We reviewed the Internal Audits which were element based. This ensured we hit all the elements, even if it was no compliance issues noted. I would also take an element and break it down, very similar to what you are suggesting, to explain applicability, meaning and compliance.

Now how to sell it? I guess my first approach would be to look at the amount of changes (to the manual) that came about due to the reviews. If the reviews didn't result in changes then they didn't provide much "value addedness" to your system. Save time, save money.

James Guerin


Thanks for your input. From your comment:

Your plan is a good one, but I'm afraid that there is
some validity in the comment from your Operations Manager. Sad,
but true.

do you think there is room for compromise. The previous annual review was done in the following manner. The Ops manager prepared his own version of a spreadsheet with all elements numbered (including sub-paragraphs). He then gave each and every indentation an S or E and stated that this was from a crossfunctional review.

My goal is to deliver a breakdown by section for managers to review prior to the meeting. This, in conjunction with other agenda items will be discussed and at the end of the meeting a blanket statement regarding S and E will be made and recorded in the minutes.

My original concern related to ranking each and every sub-section with an S and E. I do believe that to satisfy the intent of the standard, each QS element needs to be reviewed. My belief is that this review along with a review of additional system inputs (business plan metrics, audits, customer feedback etc...) can be used to determine S and E.

Also, in another reply from Stew, it was mentioned that using audit results from internal and surveillance should help satisfy review of all Quality System Elements. I have dealt with auditors that will not accept this method.
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