80:20 Management Consulting

80:20 Management Consulting
part of the 80:20 Group

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Setting Quality Objectives

With any Quality, Safety or Environmental Management System, you are required to set Objectives that you want to achieve with the system over a given period of time. The standard is pretty open in terms of how to go about it as below.

Top management shall ensure that quality objectives, including those needed to meet requirements for product, are established at relevant functions and levels within the organization. The quality objectives shall be measurable and consistent with the quality policy.

This ties in with my post yesterday about writing a Quality Policy as your objectives must be consistent with your policy.

If you are building a new system, I would suggest having a brain storming session with top management and key employees as to what goals you want to set for the business. You can set as many or as few as you like as long as the requirements of the standard are met.

The statement "including those needed to meet requirements for product" is basically saying what are your quality requirements for the product/service that you sell? As a consulting business, our objective could be to ensure that all of our customers pass certification within a certain time frame. This is a measurable objective and something that can be reviewed periodically. I would then go on to set other objectives for relevant functions and levels within the business. For example I can set sales objectives, Customer satisfaction objectives, report writing objectives, anything that is relevant to the business that is measurable.

Go easy on yourself though at first. Setting too many objectives or setting objectives that are unreasonable will make life hard and ultimately hurt you in an audit if you're not achieving them.

Similarly you can't just pick an objective that you know you are already achieving or could achieve without any real input. For example if I am currently getting all of my reports completed within 5 days of audit, I wouldn't set my objective to complete all reports within 5 days.

Another thing to remember when setting objectives is to not set anything that may have a negative effect. For example if you set a target of no-non conformance's, it will discourage people from raising or reporting issues. Similarly setting objectives for no warranty payouts may push staff to abandon good customer service practices in order to reach targets.

The point of objectives is continual improvement, set meaningful goals that you want to achieve and can achieve.

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