ISO 9000:2000 and "Quality Objectives"



Hi Everyone,

I just attended a ISO9000:2000 Transition presentation and was surprised to learn that the 2000 version has a new requirement for Quality Objectives. Clause 5.4.1 states that quality objectives need to be at relevant levels in the organization and that they shall be measurable. The presenter said his company uses the MBO/PBO system. My company also uses this archaic system to measure employee performance. This past year I have been debating with my manager with reasons why using this system to control behavior is not in the best interest of the company in that it takes the employee's energies away from customer quality. It is not in line with Deming's "drive out fear" and "eliminate numerical quotas for people in workplace and numerical goals for people in management" philosophy. He has again told me what my objectives will be for this year (not really my objectives if they are assigned to me) and of coarse they are quantitative and beyond my control. I am to reduce the number of open customer complaints by ___ percent. I reminded him that I have no control in how many complaints are received and no power to increase the manpower to work on the complaints and I thought this was an unfair objective. I now see that this will be a tougher battle since it is in the new standard. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Why would they put something "anti-Deming" in a Quality Standard? Thanks!

M Greenaway

Great post moe.

Your concerns are well founded, and I am sure a lot of companies will fall foul to some of Demings deadly sins when they try to adopt ISO9001:2000.

Deming wasnt totally against the concept of targets and objectives, but he demonstrated that on their own, and issued without understanding of how processes perform statistically they are absolutely useless, and may be in fact detremental to what they are aimed to achieve.

So to take the good doctors advice when setting an objective first establish the current capability of the process using statistical methods. If the process is subject only to common causes of variation then actions will have to be targeted on the system - which is owned by management. So if your manager tasks an underling to improve a system they are somewhat shirking their responsibility.

Also your manager should not set you a target without providing you with the necessary tools to achieve the improvement, and a plan of how the improvement will be achieved.

Like you say your managers setting of an objective to achieve a reduction in complaints of a certain percentage is, without knowledge of the process and causes of variation, and knowledge of tools to achieve improvement, just a hollow wish.

The result of which will doubtless be, if he is insistant on this objective being met, the creation of devious methods by which to report complaints such that the required reduction 'appears'.

E Wall

Just Me!
Trusted Information Resource

I have to urge you to search previous postings. More information is here. Here is the path to one, and I encourage you to read Greg Mack's post

I also want to echo that the goals and objectives must be SMART, that was drilled in the key transition classes I attended as well.

Top Bottom