The word effectiveness is defined the international standard ISO 9000 as follows:

"Extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results are achieved."

ISO 9000:2015-11 - Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary

This definition gives room for the assessment of planned activities and their results as being

  • Less effective
  • Very effective
  • 80 % effective, etc.

Conversely, this means that an activity is only actually effective if the planned result is fully achieved in the desired quality.

The decisive factor is therefore what is stated as the planned result: For example, if the target is 95% defect prevention, then measures that achieve this target are effective. If the target is 98% error prevention, then the same measures are probably not effective enough. However, the effectiveness of a measure that leads to planned results is not very meaningful if its efficiency is not also considered.

Ute Droege

DQS expert for quality management systems, long-time auditor and experienced trainer for ISO 9001.