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Quality Objectives - Acceptable Levels and Functions

MVladimir

Involved - Posts
#1
Dear friends,
In accordance with cl. 5.4.1 ISO 9001 quality objectives have to be "established at relevant functions and levels WITHIN the organization". My question: Is it acceptable to establish quality objectives ONLY for organization's top level without cascading ones to departments levels (if so) and low level functions? What does WITHIN mean? Is it the same as INSIDE? Unfortunately ISO Guides does not clarify this topic. Any opinion will be appreciated.
Vladimir
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Dear friends,
In accordance with cl. 5.4.1 ISO 9001 quality objectives have to be "established at relevant functions and levels WITHIN the organization". My question: Is it acceptable to establish quality objectives ONLY for organization's top level without cascading ones to departments levels (if so) and low level functions? What does WITHIN mean? Is it the same as INSIDE? Unfortunately ISO Guides does not clarify this topic. Any opinion will be appreciated.
Vladimir
The organization's top level objectives becomes a lookup for the organization's various level personnel, which they will be keen to see at the turn of the period (say annual) if they have been met or exceeded.
But at the working level what smaller achievable objectives can be set which will feed to the meeting of the top level objective must be determined and monitored / measured.
Ex. Say if the top level objective is to increase sales by 25% over previous year, the sales force may have an objective to penetrate some potential market zone which heather-to was not explored., The manufacturing may have an objective to improve productivity from something to 25% more than that., The purchase may have an objective to improve supplier capacity or investigate second source to meed the increased demand., and likewise....
When they do the core activities keeping the set objective in mind, it will feed into the meeting of the top level objective. One needs to look inwards to see what can be done within capacity to meet finally what you call as top level objective.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#3
Dear friends,
In accordance with cl. 5.4.1 ISO 9001 quality objectives have to be "established at relevant functions and levels WITHIN the organization". My question: Is it acceptable to establish quality objectives ONLY for organization's top level without cascading ones to departments levels (if so) and low level functions?
No, and the phrase directly before the part you quoted helps to support that; "..., including those needed to meet requirements for product,..."

Disregarding completely whether or not it is acceptable by the letter of the Standard, it would be counterproductive to approach it in such a manner. If the entire organization is not working towards the same goal or objective, then you are practically ensuring failure.
 
#4
Let me give a different type of objective and how this lays out. 5.4.1 states that objectives have to include "those needed to meet requirements for product." You make the plastic caps for dry erase markers. These caps have specific requirements (objectives) including ship dates, material composition and dimensional specifications. Purchasing will probably need to know the ship dates and material composition, but probably will not have to know the dimensional specifications.

The important thing is folks understand the quality objectives that they are either influenced by, or that they can influence. If for some reason purchasing needs to know the dimensional specifications, then those specifications need to established and understood.
 

MVladimir

Involved - Posts
#5
Very good clarification, thanks, somashekar. You note that "at the working level what smaller achievable objectives CAN BE (!!) set which will feed to the meeting of the top level objective must be determined and monitored / measured". But CAN BE SET is not the same as MUST BE SET. Various level personnel theoretically may say that try to achieve top level objectives without any formally documented low level quality objectives. Any comments, please.
 

MVladimir

Involved - Posts
#6
db, from my point of view "ship dates, material composition and dimensional specifications" are not product quality objectives. They are product requirements (characteristics), established in contracts and technical specifications. But I agree with your last phrase.
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#7
ISO 9000:2005 (E) Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary ]
recommends as follows:

2.5 Quality policy and quality objectives
Quality policy and quality objectives are established to provide a focus to direct the organization.

Both determine the desired results and assist the organization to apply its resources to achieve these results.

The quality policy provides a framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives.

The quality objectives need to be consistent with the quality policy and the commitment to continual improvement, and their achievement needs to be measurable.

The achievement of quality objectives can have a positive impact on product quality, operational effectiveness and financial performance and thus on the satisfaction and confidence of interested parties.

: [ ISO 9000:2005 (E) Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary ]
recommends as follows:

NOTE 1 Quality objectives are generally based on the organization’s quality policy

NOTE 2 Quality objectives are generally specified for relevant functions and levels in the organization
 

MVladimir

Involved - Posts
#8
Thanks, but ISO 9000:2005 does not clarify my initial question... It is only "road map" for quality objectives setting, not more. No advices about acceptable levels and functions.
 
W

Wilderness Woody

#9
Dear friends,
In accordance with cl. 5.4.1 ISO 9001 quality objectives have to be "established at relevant functions and levels WITHIN the organization". My question: Is it acceptable to establish quality objectives ONLY for organization's top level without cascading ones to departments levels (if so) and low level functions? What does WITHIN mean? Is it the same as INSIDE? Unfortunately ISO Guides does not clarify this topic. Any opinion will be appreciated.
Vladimir
The word WITHIN can be considered to be the same as INSIDE for sake of interpretation. The extent to which to formal corporate entity has control and could be extended to wholly owned subsidiaries or possibly to captive subcontractors, but that may be stretching it.

Quality Objectives (high level) must support the Quality Policy which includes commitment to comply with requirements, continually improve, review, communicated and understood within the organization... all levels need to support those above or conflicts are likely to cause failures or at the very least inefficiencies and thus reduced effectiveness which is the wrong direction.

Meeting customer delivery requirements could rely on having shipping objectives or even timely house-keeping such as trash removal. You need to keep an open mind about how various functions can affect the end product.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
Very good clarification, thanks, somashekar. You note that "at the working level what smaller achievable objectives CAN BE (!!) set which will feed to the meeting of the top level objective must be determined and monitored / measured". But CAN BE SET is not the same as MUST BE SET. Various level personnel theoretically may say that try to achieve top level objectives without any formally documented low level quality objectives. Any comments, please.
It is the top management that must ensure that quality objectives are established at relevant functions and levels.... (See 5.4.1)
It is a shall requirement.
Yaaa, so it MUST BE SET
 
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