Corrective Action for Quality Objectives which are not Measureable

tebusse

Involved In Discussions
#1
Greetings,

During a recent internal audit the auditor noted that while the company has established quality objectives, not all of the objectives were measureable. A corrective action was initiated in order to address this problem and I understand how to incorporate quality metrics, targets and goals for each quality objective.

However, I'm stuck on what may appear simple - establishing a timeframe for closing out the corrective action and conducting the effectiveness/verification of the corrective action.

My company's QMS is young and evolving, so we conduct small quarterly management review meetings for a "check-up" so to speak and then we undergo a large annual meeting.

Any suggestions/ideas of how to set a timeframe and conduct verification?

Tonia
 
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Doug S.

#2
Hello,
The standard requires a quality policy and quality objectives. The policy is what the company is striving for and does not need to be measurable. The objectives needs to be based off of your policy and must be measurable. So say your policy is ''Company will endeavor to produce parts to customer specification and continually improve the effectiveness of our QMS" and your objective is "Company will reduce product defects and improve on-time delivery". Both parts of the objectives are relevant to the policy. The product defects in the objectives are measurable through internal and external reject, rework and repair qty. % and $'s. The on-time delivery will be measured by on-time shipments vs. total shipments. I would update, evaluate and communicate your metrics monthly at minimum. You will want more metrics like efficiency, overtime, ext. and auditors like to see visual charts posted. The policy and objectives must be reviewed and documented yearly at minimum to ensure the are still relevant to the organization.

As far as verification of effectiveness, you need to find a way to measure the issue, set a goal, do a root cause, make a change, remeasure in the same fashion as you did prior to the change. How did the change impact your goal(measurable objective).

I hope this helps,
Doug
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#3
Along the same lines as Doug S, don't have measurable objectives that cannot be measured.

What objectives you have are (for the most part) your choice. Pick what will help the company and set those as your objectives.
 

Chennaiite

Never-say-die
Trusted Information Resource
#5
...

However, I'm stuck on what may appear simple - establishing a timeframe for closing out the corrective action and conducting the effectiveness/verification of the corrective action.

My company's QMS is young and evolving, so we conduct small quarterly management review meetings for a "check-up" so to speak and then we undergo a large annual meeting.

Any suggestions/ideas of how to set a timeframe and conduct verification?

Tonia
Also, it will be worth understanding your Corrective action, as it sounds you have already come out with one.

I assume the large annual meeting you are mentioning here is the forum to define 'measurable' targets for Quality Objectives. If this is your claim for Corrective action, a demonstration for the current year should suffice for effectiveness verification. Time frame will be consistent with your implementation of this Meeting and declaration of targets.

This apart, a small note of caution. It just might easily go down as the case of Quality Objectives that is available there on paper to meet some ISO clause and the one that is completely isolated from what the Business owner envisions and sets his eye on (target). Sometimes it happens that Top Management is aware and working on some genuine targets and it is just that not reflecting and aligning with the mandatory 'Quality Objectives' figuring in the mandatory 'Quality Manual'. This is the case of QMS being seen as a customary, stand alone and Customers-pulling 'project' and not as one of the most effective tools to manage Business. I am not speculating this scenario in your Organization. But if it is, you are not alone.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Just out of curiosity, can you give examples of the objectives that were not "measurable"? Some people mistakenly believe that measurable means a variable parameter.

Attribute type objectives are also measurable.
A few examples:

"Be World Class"

"Be the Employer of Choice"

"Be the Supplier / Contractor / Vendor of Choice"

"Be Ethical"

"Engage Employees"

Some of these objectives are indeed important. Dr. Deming related that some of the most important things (Love, Morale) are not measurable. I'd suggest that I could collect data about some of these attributes to tell how I am doing, but also as a Deming person who is against numerical targets, I'd be wary of say establishing quota for how many dozen roses to give my wife a year . . .
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#7
Greetings,

During a recent internal audit the auditor noted that while the company has established quality objectives, not all of the objectives were measureable. A corrective action was initiated in order to address this problem and I understand how to incorporate quality metrics, targets and goals for each quality objective.

However, I'm stuck on what may appear simple - establishing a timeframe for closing out the corrective action and conducting the effectiveness/verification of the corrective action.

My company's QMS is young and evolving, so we conduct small quarterly management review meetings for a "check-up" so to speak and then we undergo a large annual meeting.

Any suggestions/ideas of how to set a timeframe and conduct verification?

Tonia
Don't try to set up the time frames and determine how to conduct verification until you have determined the root cause and corrective action. If you don't, you are putting the cart before the horse and that doesn't work very well.

It sounds like you have performed the correction, you have revised the quality objectives so you now have a set that are measurable. If you don't have them yet, or don't have a period or two (usually a month or two) of data, this is one place where you could determine a schedule for when you will (one of your time frames).

The standard is pretty clear that the quality objectives need to be measurable. Those in charge of your organization did not understand that requirement. That would be a lack of understanding or perhaps a lack of training. This lack of training would be your root cause.

The corrective action needs to speak to the root cause. What was done to overcome the lack of training? Those that needed training received training about element 5.4. If training cannot be done immediately (although I don't see why it couldn't), then a schedule (time frame) could be developed here too.

Another time frame would be to determine how long you need to let the system run before going back and verifying that the objectives are being measured and that the training was effective.

On a related note, the standard provides insight about selecting measurable quality objectives in element 8.4a-d analysis of data. This is stuff you need to do anyway to meet 8.4 so why not also have them serve double duty as your quality objectives. Triple duty if you also have them meet the requirements for 8.2.3 monitoring and measuring of processes.
 

gpainter

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Can you share the objective in question? Some would argue that it all shows in the bottom line. Your companies Vision-Mission-Objectives are tied together.
 
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