Because the new ISO 10014 standard gives clear guidelines on achieving financial and economic benefits via ISO 9001:2000-based quality management systems, it could well become bedside reading both for top managers and for those quality professionals who may need to convince them.

Until now, a lack of appreciation for each other’s perspectives and the absence of a common “language” often separated top management and quality professionals. Top management’s view of operations is usually expressed in financial terms. Quality expresses itself using data and details that support reduction of variation or improvement, but often only implies the resulting financial gains.

A solution is now available. ISO 10014:2006, Quality management – Guidelines for realizing financial and economic benefits, is based on a “bottom line” that unites top management and the quality manager: profits should increase with investment in quality management – and provides guidelines on how to achieve them.

“ISO 10014 was written to define the common ground and a common language between top management and quality professionals,” commented Tommie J. Johansson, who led the ISO working group that developed the standard. “The success of ISO 10014 will be measured by how far they succeed in communicating and working together towards a common goal.”

The standard is based on the process approach and Plan-Do-Check-Act model of the ISO 9000:2000 series. It examines the eight quality management principles underlying the series and describes how implementing them can achieve financial and economic benefits. Designed to be as practical as its subject, the standard includes a self-assessment as a gap analysis tool.

Paul C. Palmes, the ISO 10014 project secretary, explained: “ISO 10014 was designed to identify growth opportunities and then suggests tools to plan their implementation and measurement in financial terms. Quite simply, effective quality management is also profitable, and with the release of ISO 10014, user-friendly guidance to demonstrate this connection is now available to both the quality practitioner and top management.

“This project included experts in finance and quality from around the world. Throughout the entire process, it was clear that we were creating a new and important tool to bridge the often confusing gaps in language and measurement between top managers and quality professionals. If our efforts were successful, they will be better able to work together, speak in terms both understand, and, using common tools, measure results from a financial perspective.”

ISO 10014:2006, Quality management – Guidelines for realizing financial and economic benefits, costs 108 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see complete list with contact) and from ISO Central Secretariat. It has been developed by a working group WG 11 of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 176, Quality management and quality assurance, subcommittee SC 3, Supporting technologies, and replaces the previous technical report, ISO/TR 10014:1998, Guidelines for managing the economics of quality.