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Monitoring vs. Measuring

By Janet Lentz posted 07/21/23 07:20 AM



ISO 9001 requires that you plan what monitoring and measuring activities you perform and that you consider it when conducting Management Reviews. But what's the difference between them? I confess the first time I read ISO 9001 I found that a bit confusing.

An online dictionary defines monitoring as:  "to observe and check the progress or quality of (something) over a period of time; keep under systematic review."

Measuring is defined as: "to ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units or by comparing it with an object of known size."

Think of monitoring as collecting data about things you can't directly measure, like customer perception of satisfaction. ISO 9001, clause 9.1.2 does a great job of describing this. It's subjective information. "Our customer complaint response was accepted. Let's monitor the situation to make sure they are still satisfied." It's "keeping an eye on" something you want to track.

Measuring is exactly that - things you can collect hard data on, like number of defects or on time delivery. "Our best-selling product had five defects in this time frame."

I'll be monitoring this blog to see how many people respond with comments. What information do you monitor vs. measure?