ISO 9001:2015 and Knowledge Management 3

Knowledge Management runs through the veins of ISO 9001: 2015, the new international Quality Management Standard


The fifth version of the Quality International Standards Organization ISO 9001: 2015, publised on September 2015, adapts to the reality of the current socio-economic environment and modifies the productive organizational structure based on seven principles of quality: Customer focus, Leadership, Engagement of people, Process approach, Improvement, Evidence-based Decision Making and Relationship Management.

Knowledge Management runs through the veins of the new rule, which seeks to consolidate a systematic knowledge management process, adjusted to the quality system of each organization.

Leadership, innovation, process approach, commitment, information management and relationships with stakeholders are imbued with the norm, as in Knowledge Management. To update knowledge companies can improve their relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and service providers, in harmony with the Social Knowledge Management.



The ISO Quality Management Principles -are fundamental beliefs, norms, rules and values accepted for supporting Quality Management. It was developed and updated by international experts of ISO / TC176, which responds to the development and maintenance of ISO Standards Quality Management.

The 7 principles listed below are not listed in order of priority. The order may vary from one organization to another and may change over time.

  1. Customer focus
  2. Leadership
  3. Engagement of people
  4. Process approach
  5. Improvement
  6. Evidence-based Decision Making
  7. Relationship Management

Following is the summary of each of the ISO’s quality principles and then the interference of Knowledge Management in each of them.


The aim is to meet the customers needs and strive to exceed their expectations. The benefits are: Increased customer value, increased clients satisfaction, loyalty, repeated business, better reputation, increased customer base, increase revenues and market share.

All interaction points with customers offer an opportunity to create more value for them. Understanding their current and future needs contribute to the sustained success of the organization, which is evident when attracting and retaining the trust of customers and stakeholders.

Although Knowledge Management is not marketing focused, this matter integrates valuable knowledge in terms of research, tools, procedures and techniques, which can be integrated into the Process’ Knowledge Value Chain: Generation, Retaining, Transfering and Application. Social Technologies are of high utility for managing customer knowledge.


Leaders at all levels make up the Corporate Unity of Purpose and Direction -UPD, to create the conditions for commiting people in order to achieve organization quality goal. 

The consolidation of the UDP and the commitment empower people to align the organization principles, policies, processes and resources in order to achieve strategic objectives. The benefits are: Increased efficiency and effectiveness in achieving quality objectives, better processes coordination, better communication between levels and functions of the organization, development and improvement of the capacity of the organization, and of his people, to deliver the desired results.

Quality goals are carried along knowledge. Quality Leadership should be Knowledge Leadership because it is the decisive and nutritive element to engage people with quality and strategic organization goals.


Competent, empowered and committed people at all organization’s levels, are essential to create value.

For effective and efficient management it is important to engage people respecting them as individuals. Recognition, development and improvement of skills facilitate participation in achieving quality objectives.

Benefits: Better understanding of quality objectives in the organization and greater motivation to achieve greater participation in improvement activities; development of individuals with better satisfaction, greater creativity and initiatives, better level of trust and collaboration, greater attention to shared and cultural values in the organization.

In Social Knowledge Management trough storytelling, conversations, communities of practice, learned lessons and face to face transfering knowledge, have power to encourage commitment to quality from the partners, employees, contractors, suppliers , allies and other communities.


When activities are understood and managed in interrelated processes that act as a coherent, consistent and predictable system, more effective and efficient results are achieved.

The quality management system is composed of interrelated processes. Understanding how results are produced, optimize the system and its performance.

Benefits include: Ability to concentrate efforts on key processes and on improvement opportunities. consistent and predictable results. optimized performance, efficient use of resources and reduced cross-functional barriers. It generates confidence in stakeholders.

The processes focus is essential in Organizational Knowledge Management. Integrating technology and people, was proposed as a reference for modern Knowledge Management by Karl M. Wiig [1] in 1990. This elements are considered as a starting point in KM discipline.


Successful organizations have a continuous improvement approach. Improvement is essential for the organization to maintain or increase performance levels, and react to internal or external changes, to create new opportunities.
Improved process performance the ability to greater customer satisfaction.

More attention to the causes research and a standardization process prevents and corrects errors and actions, along with an improved reaction and anticipation to risks and opportunities, internal and external capacities, consolidates increment improvements. Increased use of learning lessons to improve innovation capacity.

The main Knowledge Management process is Application; the use and re-use of knowledge. The assessment is made for improvements and innovation. Dynamic Knowledge Management leads to the continuous improvement.


Decision making can be a complex process, and always involves some uncertainty; its interpretation can be subjective and often involves multiple inputs. It is important to understand the cause and effect relationships and the potential unintended consequences.

Decisions based on the analysis and evaluation of data and information are more likely to produce desired results. Facts, evidence and analysis lead to greater objectivity and confidence in decision-making.

Benefits: Improved evaluation of process performance and the ability to achieve goals, greater organizational efficiency, Increases the ability to review, challenge and change opinions and decisions. Increased ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of past decisions .

Information management, process approach, technology and the benefits of learning, transfer and application of knowledge are elements that favor better knowledge management decision making, at different levels of the organization.


Stakeholders relationship management is a requirement for sustained success.

Stakeholders influence the performance of an organization. Sustained success is more likely when the organization manages relations with its stakeholders. To optimize the impact, the management of relationships with suppliers, partners, employees and partners is very important.

Benefits: Improved performance of organization and stakeholders to respond to related opportunities, constraints and understanding of goals and values. Increased ability to create value for both parties, to share resources and expertise and to manage risks related to quality. A well-managed value chain provides a steady flow of goods and services.

Certainly Social Knowledge Management strengthens relationships with stakeholders through knowledge that can be comprhensibe using social technologies to generate synergy for the benefit of company and stakeholders.


A major challenge is to monitor changes in the environment: market, technology, environment, trends, etc. and analyze how they influence the knowledge of the organization and what knowledge and leadership must emerge to manage change. 

ISO 9001: 2015 can be used by large and small organizations, regardless of their nature. With these changes the International Standards Organization recognizes the importance of “Knowledge Management” as one of the keys to sustainability and success organization factors. 

See and download ISO Quality Management Principles:

To see more related info click here. More info here (Spanish)

[1] Expert Systems: A Managers Guide (Management Devl Ser. No.28) . International Labour Office – 1990. Karl M. Wiig was speaker at 7º Internacional Knowledge Management Summit. Bogotá, Colombia. 2013

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3 thoughts on “ISO 9001:2015 and Knowledge Management


    ¡Excelente resumen!, desde mi punto de vista la actualización de la ISO 9001: 2015 continua enfocado a trabajar sobre los procesos, que son los que, finalmente, consiguen que el conocimiento se ponga “en acción”. Una iniciativa de Gestión de Conocimiento solo tendrá éxito si la Organización comprende cuál es su relación con el proceso de negocio al cual se desea aplicar y la necesidad que va a satisfacer en sus clientes(1.Orientación al Cliente y 4. Enfoque en Procesos).

    Enfatiza en la responsabilidad de los líderes para fortalecer sus capacidades para demostrar y suministrar energía haciendo frente a repetidas dificultades y fortalezas en sus esfuerzos por poner en marcha/sostener la organización.(2. Liderazgo).

    Resalta la importancia que tienen las personas en las organizaciones por su capacidad de aprender y utilizar el conocimiento. Brooking (1996) afirmaba: “que el trabajador del tercer milenio será un trabajador del conocimiento, al que se le exigirá participación en el proyecto de empresa y una capacidad para aprender continuamente” (3.Compromiso de la Gente).

    A través del desarrollo organizacional, enseña a las personas la forma de resolver los problemas, aprovechar las oportunidades, implicando una mejora continua del individuo y por tanto de la organización. Este proceso canaliza la inteligencia, experiencia y creatividad de los miembros de la organización en programas sistemáticos de participación, en los cuáles los mismos miembros encuentran soluciones a sus retos más apremiantes (5. Mejoramiento Continuo)

    Existe la tendencia a suponer que haciendo que la información esté disponible se conseguirá que las personas la utilicen. Por lo general esta suposición es incorrecta, ya que la única manera de evitar este problema es dejando claramente establecida la relación entre el flujo de la información y la iniciativa de Gestión de Conocimiento, o lo que es lo mismo, poniendo la información disponible allá donde realmente se necesita (6. Decisiones basadas en la evidencia).

    Para finalizar explicita claramente la importancia de los grupos de trabajo y comunidades quienes crean una cultura y pueden generar el fenómeno llamado “pensamiento en
    grupo”, pensamiento, que adecuadamente manejado, ayuda a sortear muchos obstáculos a los cambios necesarios para crear una organización intensiva en conocimiento. (7.Gestión de Relaciones)

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