interested parties

In this article we are going to elaborate the main concept of “interested parties”. The clause 4.2 discusses the concept of “interested parties” which is the subclause of clause 4 Context of the organization.

Before moving forward, we must understand that “nothing progresses in isolation”. Companies are surrounded by mutual invested interests by other companies, groups, individuals, parties, groups.

Collectively we call them as “interested parties”, but the question is ”what is it?”

What is an Interested Party?

For definitions we have a document called ISO 9000:2015, this document includes all the definition of even the tiny pieces of the standard, words, meanings, elaborations of terms, definitions, you can get this from the official ISO website here.

Anyways, the ISO 9000:2015 defines interested party as mentioned below:

2.2.4 Interested parties.
The concept of interested parties extends beyond a focus solely on the customer. It is important to consider all relevant interested parties.
Part of the process for understanding the context of the organization is to identify its interested parties. The relevant interested parties are those that provide significant risk to organizational sustainability if their needs and expectations are not met. Organizations define what results are necessary to deliver to those relevant interested parties to reduce that risk.
Organizations attract, capture and retain the support of the relevant interested parties they depend upon for their success.

Clause 4.2 of ISO 9001:2015: Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties

There are two types of parties,

Internal Interested PartyExternal Interested Party
These are the parties and stakeholders which are within the organizations.These are the parties, groups and/or stakeholders which are outside the jurisdiction and control of the organization

Below are the examples of internal and external parties:

Internal Interested PartyExternal Interested Party
Employees / WorkerSupplier
Various DepartmentsCustomers, Clients / Buyers / Users
OwnersGovernment Bodies
Legal and Regulatory Bodies

Identifying Interested Parties

The identification is a brainstorming task. The top management along with the team members will sit together and carry out the SWOT Analysis, PESTLE Analysis of their organization keeping in mind the product and services through which they develop the list of interested parties accordingly.

Later discuss the parties one by one, shortlist the most relevant ones. After the identification, discuss about the needs and expectation.

Monitoring and Reviewing Interested Parties

There is always a possibility that interested parties might change, today a group has vested interest in the work you are doing, tomorrow they can become irrelevant. This is why the list of parties must always be updated on regular basis on pre-defined frequencies.

Benefits of Understanding Clause 4.2

The better we understand the the clause 4.2, the more accurate we will be able to identify their needs and expectation (requirements) from us, the better the identification of requirements the better we will be able to address them and improve our system.

This whole practice will build good relationships with all of our stakeholders.

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