What is the essence of an effective quality policy? What Measurables to use?

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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
A measurable objective. And 'relevance' to your business / company.
 
I

isodog

#3
My favorite Quality Policy was "We will ship no wine before it's time"

Beautiful, measurable, and great PR!
 
A

Andy Bassett

#4
This is definitely the most interesting devlopment of the new ISO 9000 to me. Before it was entirely possible, wether we want to admit it or not, for a company and its management to more or less ignore the true intent of ISO 9000 and still obtain the certificate.

I see this as being more difficult in the future. Maybe i am over-reading the intent, but not only does Quality Policies have to be set, but you have to show that they are being followed. This leads me to assume that targets will have to be set and results/statistics measured against this target.

I actually see all this as been an aid to the hardworking ISO implementer, whoever he is, and i would advise this person to keep it in mind when he starts to build a system.

This seems to be leading almost inevitably to the the use of some form of Balanced Scorecard (and all credit to ISO for actually doing something useful if it does). The Scorecard could include perceptions from the customer, from the employees (via a simple climate survey), business results and system results.

I seriously beleive that this is a powerful tool to put in the hand of a ISO champion and generate some attention from management.

Compare these two statements placed before management;

A....None-conforming Action Reports have shown an increase of 6% over previous years with a 4% increase in Corrective Actions....
B....Customers report a 10% drop in satisfaction....

Which do you think will grab managements attention most.

My advice to any poor soul not quick enough to take a step back when volunteers were requested;

Take some time to consider what a suitable quality policy should be and how you are going to measure it. Once done it will be much more difficult for the management avoid the results.

------------------
Andy B
 
A

Alan Cotterell

#6
I used the following policy statement for a small business. In conjunction I used policies for some of the elements of ISO9000:1994 to make up the quality policy part of their manual. Hope this helps.
3.1 QUALITY POLICY STATEMENT
3.1.1 OBJECTIVE
It shall be the prime objective of Acme Engineering to provide products and services of a high standard with respect to fitness for use, performance, safety and dependability, and which meet our customer’s specifications.
3.1.2 MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
In order to achieve these objectives, the company shall implement a management system which conforms, where appropriate, to the requirements of Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 9001(Int):2000 titled ‘Quality Management Systems – Requirements’.
The management system shall facilitate and promote continual quality improvement and have a strong customer focus.
3.1.3 QUALITY POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
The Quality Policies and Procedures Manual documents the company’s quality management system collating and controlling policies and procedures. It shall be updated as policies and procedures are developed, updated, and implemented.
Each supervisor shall have the authority and responsibility to develop, implement and maintain documented systems to ensure compliance with this policy. This must be done through the Company Secretary. The Company Secretary has responsibility for control of policies and procedures.
3.1.4 SUPPLIERS
The company shall show preference to those suppliers (and contractors) who adopt and apply policies consistent with AS/NZS ISO 9000 quality management systems, AS/NZS 14000 environmental management systems, and AS 4804 Occupational Health and Safety management systems.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
I used the following policy statement for a small business. In conjunction I used policies for some of the elements of ISO9000:1994 to make up the quality policy part of their manual. Hope this helps.
3.1 QUALITY POLICY STATEMENT
3.1.1 OBJECTIVE
It shall be the prime objective of ...
This is a quality philosophy, if you will - not a quality policy. Too long, to restrictive, too prescriptive. Alan, you'd be a great cop and/or government official.

I suggest Marloun stick to a simple quality policy with appropriate measurables.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#8
Quality Policy Measureables

From: ISO 9000 Standards Discussion
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 15:32:44 -0600
Subject: Re: "Measurable" Quality Policy and Objectives /Darracott/Scalies

From: "Charley Scalies"

> From: JDARRACOTT
>
> a) Will an organisation which decides that the time,
> effort and costs associated with the insistance on
> "measurable" quality policy and objectives be unable to
> obtain third party certification?

Yes.

> b) Will such an organisation be able to specify
> ""measurable" quality policy and objectives"
> which are of a nominal nature to keep down time,
> effort and costs so that unproductive overhead costs
> are minimised?

If by "nominal" you mean insignificant and not related to and in support of the qualty policy, the answer is No.

Polishing all the mirrors and then adding smoke, won't work, nor should it. If a firm does not already have meaningful measurements to tell it whether or not it is meeting its objectives - both financial and quality - they are in far more trouble than any ISO standard could ever cure.

Charley Scalies

***********

From: ISO 9000 Standards Discussion
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 15:33:05 -0600
Subject: Re: "Measurable" Quality Policy and Objectives /Darracott/Van Putten

From: Dirk_Van_Putten

a) The quality policy does not have to be measurable. The quality policy must provide a framework for establishing and reviewing quality objectives. The quality objectives must be relevant to the function and level of the company to which it applies. The quality objectives must be measurable. Will the absence of measurable quality objectives mean the company is unable to obtain third party certification? It might but at a minimum it would mean a nonconformance issued by a registrar. A more interesting issue is how a company can decide that it requires too many resources (time, money, manpower) to have goals and to measure progress towards those goals. How does the company know how there are doing?

b) If goals of nominal nature are relevant to the function and level to which it applies, are measurable, and are consistent with the quality policy, then there is no conflict with FDIS ISO 9001:2000.

I don't think there is a problem with keeping things simple.

Dirk van Putten

**********

From: ISO 9000 Standards Discussion
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 15:33:17 -0600
Subject: Re: "Measurable" Quality Policy and Objectives /Darracott/Blair

From: GrantBlair

> b) Will such an organisation be able to specify
> ""measurable" quality policy and objectives"
> which are of a nominal nature to keep down time,
> effort and costs so that unproductive overhead costs
> are minimised?


Ask your management if THEY would work for a company with this quality policy. Is there anything about the policy that would attract the type of employees whom they would want? In today's market, passing the "Mirror fog test" is no longer sufficient to hire new employees. Not exactly sure what you are saying in part a)., but my impression is you are suggesting management is not willing to spend the time and effort to support the quality policy and measure quality objectives. If this is what you mean, then you will NOT be able to obtain 3rd Party registration.

Grant Blair

***********

From: ISO 9000 Standards Discussion
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 15:33:25 -0600
Subject: Re: "Measurable" Quality Policy and Objectives /Darracott/Paten

From: Mike Paten

I think the new standards are intended to focus on "data driven decision making" regarding process improvement. All of your monitoring and measuring processes - as well as the data analysis and improvement processes - should be driven by objectives stated in terms of "planned results". Without them your sunk. However, I would suggest the following approach:

First, create a minimum number of "macro" quality objectives for key QMS processes (identified as a requirement of clause 4.1) - merely state what you expect/plan to achieve from each .

Secondly, create a minimum number of "macro" quality objectives for key product realization processes (identified as a requirement of 7.1) --again, merely state what you expect/plan to achieve from each.

Then - using results of data analysis - compare actual results to planned results and decide if improvement in QMS processes and product realization processes are needed.

All process objectives should be focused on achieving the overall objective: enhancing customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements.

P.S. I used the words "macro" and "key" in the above because I think you have got to start at the top - and work your way down as your system matures - don't try to do it all at once - just be able to show the breadth of monitoring, measurement and analysis required by the new standards - you have the rest of your corporate lives to work on the depth.

Mike Paten
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
From: ISO 9000 Standards Discussion
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 12:24:51 -0600
Subject: Re: "Measurable" Quality Policy and Objectives /Darracott/Scalies/Humphries

From: "Edwin Humphries"

Charley et al,

I think I disagree with your views here, but I guess it depends on how you define "measurable"; ie, are "measurable" and "quantified" synonymous?

Personally, I'm deeply concerned at the modern attempt to make everything about business quantifiable: it smacks of Taylorism and "Scientific Management"; it suggests there is a "right way" of running a business; and places a business in danger of not seeing the forest for the trees.

It seems to me that while ISO9000 doesn't specify the method of measurement, subjective measures are OK; this means that a combination of measures - both quantitative and qualitative - may well be best suited to assess the health of the business.

I guess it also begs the question: how do you define what to measure? I've seen too many companies measuring everything, or merely the wrong thing, and ending up with great measures and a lousy business.

The secret, I think, is to:

1. ensure you measure very few things

2. ensure you measure them as holistically as possible (ie, not
a subset, or a symptom)

3. make the measures as simple and meaningful as possible
(ie, KISS!)

Best Regards
Edwin Humphries
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#10
From: ISO 9000 Standards Discussion
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 14:06:45 -0600
Subject: Re: "Measurable" Quality Policy and Objectives /../Darracott/Naish

From: PNaish

John,

>> My view is that the use of money as the item measured is the
>> most appropriate approach.

This may be one way to measure it but I have some concerns:

If I cut the quality to improve my costs I think this works against the whole concept but would meet your criteria. Instead of providing my customer with a supperior product I am now only going to give them a so so product.

Second, during the initial improvement stage, I could be adding costs for things like new tools or training. A good return on investment (ROI) proposal may have been made. But it may take several years for it to actually produce results. Example: my bank has said that normally a new business takes at least 3 years to break even and five to be what they consider profitable. So If I am a new business or even just a new business segment how do I show this "improvement" in the terms you have suggested for the 3 to five years? One of my clients is into R&D on DNA testing. They do not plan to be profitable on it for a number of years due to the high costs of the equipment.

Third, there are some things that could be measured in profitability such as reduced quality control costs. These may be a fair indicator but only if you had high quality control costs to start or the costs can be eliminated. I work with a company which is required to have certain quality control processes to maintain certification to other regulatory organizations so they could not eliminate nor reduce them without risking their regulatory status. (No there is no negotiation with the regulatory organization. You want to do business you do the QC.)

Finally, while some things can be measured in dollars and cents, other things relating to the quality system has other measures such as customer satisfaction with the reduced costs to them which may only equalize out to the same profit as last year but the customer is much happier since his costs went down. Or even worse his went down as yours went up due to inflation but you are making the customer happier so he is buying more but the overall profit is the same.

As far as suggestions for measurables: At one client we do objectives and goal setting each year for various parts of the business including:

1) Training effectiveness for employees to make sure their training is providing better decision making. How much training are they getting and do their results prove to match the level of training.

2) Internal audit findings improvements - Are we seeing less non conformances based on improved understanding of the procedures ? Do we find fewer new people making mistakes because our procedures are easier to understand?

3) What do our clients think of us - each year the management meets with major clients to review our services for the year. As a part of that we ask for any suggestions for improvement as well as any things they think we are doing better for them than in the previouos year. Periodically during the year, clients are asked when they receive test results if they feel our services were adeqaute and if there are any improvements they would like to see. This includes additional services or tests they would like us to perform.

4) We started measuring the timing and effectiveness of improvement suggestions made by employees. How many were made in the quarter and implemented in the quarter and how many were implemented over all.

Each group (there are 3) has their own group objectives that are reviewed each quarter by management. The goal is 100% completion of objectives by the end of the business year but we also measure how many are completed on time and how can we improve that without setting inflated dates.

Phyllis Naish
 
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