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  • Amruta Bhaskar
  • Jul 17, 2020
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A Quality Management System is a set of business processes which are implemented to help an organization deliver products which consistently achieve customer satisfaction. An effective system for managing quality translates an organization's purpose and goals into policies and resources which help every member of the organization adopt standard operating procedures (SOPs). The use of management frameworks to ensure consistent quality isn’t a new concept, but the purpose of quality systems has evolved slightly in recent years.

The widespread use of the phrase "Quality Management System" and the commonly used acronym of "QMS" can be traced to British Management Consultant Ken Croucher, who created a model for Total Quality Management (TQM) in tech organizations. Croucher’s model was informed by best practices for quality management in manufacturing organizations in the 20th century, including the earliest applications of statistical sampling methods to ensure consistency. Early models for TQM focused on an interdisciplinary approach to reducing waste, such as avoidable labour costs.

Process efficiency isn’t the only benefit of Quality Management Systems today. Organizations use QMS frameworks to guide continuous improvement efforts and adopt data for evidence-based decision making. Organizations in highly regulated industries seek certification with globally recognized standards such as ISO 9001 to improve quality through transparency, documentation, and systemic approaches to improvement. The adoption of Quality Management Software typically supports modern QMS.

Adopting a QMS can support compliance, profitability, and the development of a quality-driven culture. While there are numerous QMS standards, the best-known systems for total quality management all represent a comprehensive framework for the quality-driven organization.

One of the world’s most broadly adopted QMS, ISO 9001:2015, includes a series of quality principles which are frequently reflected in other QMS standards:

Customer focus


Engagement of people

Process approach

Continuous improvement

Evidence-based decision making

Relationship management

Organizations must adopt an interdisciplinary series of quality controls to achieve these principles. The nine core elements of a QMS should include quality objectives, quality manual, organizational responsibilities, data management, and other practices.


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