the political climate or fear of reprisals. We can so easily forget
our purpose when in heated discussion when it’s not who you
are, but what you say and to whom you say it that is deemed
important. Those people who live by a set of principles often
find themselves cast out of the club for saying what they
believe. However, with presence of mind and recollection of
the reasons why the principles are important for survival, they
could just redeem themselves and be regarded as an important
A quality management principle is defined by ISO/TC 176 as a comprehensive and
fundamental rule or belief, for leading and operating an organization, aimed at con-
tinually improving performance over the long term by focusing on customers while
addressing the needs of all other interested parties. Eight principles (see Figure 1.3)
have emerged as fundamental to the management of quality.
All the requirements of ISO/TS 16949 are related to one or more of these principles.
These principles provide the reasons for the requirements and are thus very important.
Each of these is addressed below. Further guidance on the application of these principles
is provided in Hoyle and Thomson (2000)
Customer focus
This principle is expressed as follows:
Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and
future customer needs, meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer
20 Basic concepts
Customer focus
Involvement of
Mutually beneficial
Factual approach
System approach
Process approach
Figure 1.3 The eight quality management principles
Did you know?
Neither the
definition of a
quality management
principle nor the eight
principles themselves
contain the word
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