Should quality objectives be
objectives must be measurable (see clause 5.4.1). Measurement can be done quantitatively or qualitatively.
Quantitative measures are generally more objective in determining whether conformity or effectiveness has been
achieved. In some situations, the use of qualitative measurements may be appropriate. Objectives based on yes/no
criteria, (e.g. - develop new product by June 2006), are also acceptable.
Quality objectives should be specific and relevant, so that the expected outcome is
understood and meaningful to personnel responsible for its achievement. The objectives must be realistic and
achievable with the resources provided.
The quality objectives must be achieved within
a defined time period to ensure accountability. This could be determined by your customer, your management,
your head office, regulatory bodies, etc. Your business or quality planning process must establish these time
periods and include the communication of objectives and timelines to those responsible for achieving
Where should quality objectives be
objectives may be documented in any or all of these documents - your quality manual; QMS processes; procedures;
quality plans; etc.
As a quality document, your documented statement of objectives must be controlled by
4.2.3 control of documents.
How many quality objectives must an organization
You must be
careful not to overwhelm your organization with too many objectives as this may cause more frustration than
positive results. Start with objectives that focus on meeting customer requirements and then slowly develop
meaningful objectives for key processes and risk prone processes, as initial targets are
When and how often should quality objectives be
clause 5.6.1 states that top management shall review the QMS, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing
suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. This review shall include assessing opportunities for improvement and
the need for changes to the QMS, including quality policy and
quality objectives. Results of management reviews shall be
maintained (see 4.2.4)
Management reviews should be held at least once a year and preferably more often.
More organizations are moving to integrate the review of QMS issues at regular business and operational review
meetings, usually held monthly.
The review should evaluate to what extent quality objectives have been achieved;
obstacles and issues that prevent achievement; outcomes and decisions from such reviews must focus on taking
corrective action on problems and continual improvement of the QMS. Records must be kept of such
What methods should be used to track
performance to quality
measurement and analyses of performance to quality objectives must consider the methods and resources (time,
manpower, computer, software, statistical tool, etc) needed to collect, organize and analyze product, process,
supplier, customer satisfaction and QMS performance data.
Your process for data collection and analysis must address the type of data to be
collected; how it should be sorted and classified; use of appropriate information systems and data gathering tools
and techniques; assignment of responsibility and authority to review and act; competency and training in use of
tools and data analysis; that the data is gathered, analyzed and acted upon on a timely basis; communication and
awareness of objectives to all personnel responsible for achieving them, etc.
Use your organizations cross-functional knowledge of customer requirements; product;
technology; manufacturing processes; etc, to determine what statistical methods to use to measure and track quality
objective measurables, and to what extent to use them. Include these methods in your quality plan.
Various statistical methods- process capability studies, control charts; Pareto
analysis; variation analysis; spreadsheets; fors; data acquisition and analysis software; business analysis
software may be used for effecitive and efficient data collection and
What are some common mistakes that organizations make
in setting quality objectives?
objectives to improve your QMS and business can be a powerful tool if used the right way. Here are some mistakes
that you should avoid:
· Using quality objectives superficially as a way to fulfill ISO 9001 requirements instead of
using it as an effective tool for decision making and strategic management.
· Using objectives that do not relate to the organization’s mission and business
· Using objectives that are not measurable.
· Not assigning specific accountability for achievement of objectives.
· Not providing adequate resources
· Using objectives that are confusing, ill-defined or feel-good.
· Allowing process owners and functional managers to define objectives without guidance and
coordination, resulting in objectives that are inconsistent with each other or with other business strategies
· Not providing training to personnel in understanding quality objectives and using the measurement
tools to achieve them.
· Just collecting the data on performance to objectives; and not using the data.
· Not conducting periodic review of progress and removing obstacles to achieving quality