More on how to write your ISO9001-2008 Quality Objectives

Felix writes: “Greetings, can you please send details about Quality Objectives explanation, including how to create Quality Objectives (Referring Quality Policy), how to link with Quality Policy, how to achieve Quality Objectives (With example). If not meeting the requirement how to close. Can you please provide all with examples.”

Here’s a stab at this:

Quality objectives should be measurable, and should be relevant to the various functions within your company. When thinking about what your quality objectives should be, try to think about what ways you want your company to improve your customers’ satisfaction. I usually try to leave such areas as pricing and sales out of the quality objectives, instead focusing on things such as quality and delivery.

Quality objectives should be written specifically for your company, and should be relevant to your particular situation. You do not need to “link” your quality objectives to your quality policy. Your quality policy is an overall guiding philosophy for your organization, its not something that needs to be measured.

Quality objectives can be achieved by continual improvement of your organization. For example, let’s say your company manufactures chairs. Right now 90 percent of the chairs pass your quality inspection, and 10 percent are rejected and reworked or scrapped. This is one area you want to improve, as it will help speed up delivery to your customers, as well as help reduce costs for your company. So you can create a quality objective of “a rejection rate for manufactured chairs of 5 percent or less”. Now you have a goal, an objective, something to strive for. It may take a long time to achieve your goal, and maybe you’ll never achieve it. That’s OK. The value of having an ISO9001-2008 quality system is that you should be continually improving your operation. If your goal is no more than 5 percent rejects, and right now you’re at 10 percent rejects, then maybe within one year you can improve your system to 9 percent rejects. That’s an improvement from 10 percent. As long as you can show an honest effort to improve, and you can show actual measured improvement, well then your company is doing better than before.

It is not necessary that you achieve your quality objectives, although it is necessary that your organization show continual improvement. If your objective is 99 percent good parts, and you’re now doing 90 percent, you might increase your performance to 91 percent one year, then 92 percent the next, then 93 percent the third year…etc. And that’s perfectly OK. In fact, if you do ever achieve your quality objectives, now you’ll have to change those objectives to be even more strict, as ISO9001 requires continual improvement. Or if there are areas in your company that are just about perfect, then maybe its time to look for other areas that need improvement. It’s perfectly fine to change quality objectives over time, as your organization changes. Your ISO9001-2008 quality system documentation is intended to be a living, changing document that reflects what’s going on in your organization.

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7 Responses to “More on how to write your ISO9001-2008 Quality Objectives”

  1. Ismail says:

    There is a link between the objectives and the policy. The pursuit to meet customer requirements that is stated in the Quality Policy is a broad and unmeasureable objective. On the other hand, specific and measureable quality objectives that are placed within the operations of the QMS enables the organization to collect performance data. Quality objectives are excellent indicators of continual improvements. Anyway, good blog. Keep it up.

  2. Paul says:

    I don’t have ISO9001 in front of me at the moment, but if I remember rightly it says that the quality policy should provide a framework for setting objectives. So it helps to get a bit specific in the quality policy. Eg, if you say “we aim to learn from our mistakes” that implies that mistakes must be reported, corrective actions must be raised and monitored and leads to some KPIs associated with this.

    Thanks for the blog, which I have just stumbled across.

  3. RAJESH GUPTA says:

    There is a If, Than relation in quality objectives & quality policy. First one is the activity & other one is the output. Over a period of time company may feel to consider the out put as an activity, than there is a need to revise the quality policy.

  4. israr ahmed says:

    any body please help me to set quality objective for HRD department which is measurable

  5. Timothy says:

    Dear Israr,
    It’s extremely difficult to suggest appropriate quality objectives for a company that we know nothing about. Quality objectives are very specific to each organization, and each process within that organization. What kind of organization are you in? What does “HRD” mean?

  6. Kranthi says:

    “It is not necessary that you achieve your quality objectives, although it is necessary that your organization show continual improvement.”

    What I want to say is an objective must be SMART, it has a criteria of “Achievable”. This means that the objective need to be time bound and achievable which specifies the period by which we want to achieve or fulfill the objective. Is that right that achieving a Quality objective is not necessary?!!

    Is Quality objective of an organization different from other objectives (generally confirmed to be SMART)? Please let me know about this. Thanks in advance.

  7. kamran khan says:

    Dear Israr: A website blog will not get you answers. Try reading David Hoyle’s book. It has great insights. Timothy is absolutely right. You really need to know your company’s processes and needs. I would also suggest taking a closer look at the internal communications within your company. Without good communication, it will be hard to know the company mission, vision, and therefore necessarily, its objectives. Good luck.

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