Last month we looked at the ISO clause relating to the context of your organisation - how your company must determine external and internal issues that are relevant to your purpose and strategic direction, and that affect your ability to achieve the intended result(s) of your Management System.
Information can be obtained via interviews with relevant Top Management in relation to your organisation’s context and its strategic direction, the identified issues and conditions, and how these may affect the intended outcomes of your management system.
Identifying external issues
External issues might include political, financial or economic trends, customer demographics or emerging product developments. You should undertake a PESTLE analysis in order to establish a suitable understanding of these circumstances, and the market in which your business operates at the macro level.
PESTLE analysis provides a framework for measuring market and growth potential according to external political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors. External issues might typically be influenced by the following:
Sources of information relating to external issues might include:
A workshop approach often allows ideas to be shared and provides an effective and efficient way of achieving a valuable outcome. The workshop could simply be a discussion identifying the issues that can be mapped out using Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental (PESTLE) analysis. This method helps to structure the conversation and will also help to achieve buy-in to what is often seen as a peripheral or niche area, and should be centred around the following:
What is happening politically in the environment in which we operate?
What is happening with respect to ecological and environmental issues?
What is happening technology-wise which can impact what we do?
What is occurring socially and culturally in the markets in which we operate?
What is happening with changes to legislation?
What is happening within the economy?
Examples of external issues suitable for PESTLE Analysis include:
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