How to Determine the Objectives of Quality Management for Your Business
An ‘objective’ refers to an outcome to be achieved. The objectives of quality management imply what you intend to achieve with your quality management practices. If you own a business, knowing what the objectives of quality management are is the first thing required. Objectives help in underpinning your organization’s quality policy which then gives a strategic direction to your management system.
Having defined objectives of quality management are also necessary to ensure the performance of your products or services. Once determined, they must be communicated by the managers to process supervisors and employees so that they can consistently direct their efforts into achieving them. Therefore, organizations that do not set their objectives lack a clear direction in their quality management which can result in producing poor quality products or services.
This article explains the process of determining the quality management objectives of your business. But, before that, here are few examples of the objectives which are usually are considered by most businesses.
Examples of Quality Management Objectives
• Drop in customer complaints
• Increase in total sales
• All-time availability of products at all distribution points
• Adequate training of employees so that they can maintain consistency in processes
• Reduction of errors or reworks
• Accuracy in the features of products or services
• Improvement in customer experience or higher customer satisfaction
While quality management objectives can be anything beyond this and can include more than one in an organization, they need to know the correct process to set their objectives. The objectives also vary with the type of industry, company size, products or services offered, customer behavior, and circumstances in the market. Therefore, the objectives need to be changed with time when any of these factors undergo development.
3 Keys to Find and Set Your Objectives of Quality Management
Following these principles can help you better to set your objectives of quality management and align them perfectly to your quality policy.
Follow the SMART Framework
It is essential to consider the SMART framework while determining your objectives. SMART implies that the objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
• Specific – It means you should be clear about what you want to achieve with your quality management approach. For instance, if you want to attain a 20% rise in your profits in the next year, that can be considered as a specific objective.
• Measurable – It means there should be accurate data available to measure the objectives. For instance, if increasing your profits next year is the objective, you must have data of last year’s profit to track your progress towards the objective.
• Attainable – Of course, the objectives should be attainable given your resources, time and staff. Increasing 20% of your profits is only achievable if your business runs already on profits and has done well in the earlier years.
• Realistic – This implies your organization needs to set only those objectives that are sensible to achieve, or they are in the context of your business. For instance, a 20% rise in profits is realistic if your staff are well trained and productive, and you have a consistent growth rate. The objective of 20% or even 30% profits might be challenging but it is realistic and possible.
• Timely – Each of our objectives of quality management also should have a definite timeframe. It means you need to decide the time period within which you want to achieve them. This helps you to arrange resources accordingly and also prepare your staff.
Collection and Documentation of Data
You need to gather as much data as possible related to your processes, performance of products or services, and customer satisfaction. Secure the data through proper documentation and save it at a centralized place that can be accessible by all employees, managers, and stakeholders of your organization. When accurate data is collected in all aspects of your business, it helps your quality management team to set the SMART objectives and also find inefficient areas that need to be addressed.
Also, information related to your quality management objectives should be maintained by your organization in the form of documented information. It helps your management team to provide guidance to the employees on achieving the objectives.
Do not Limit Your Objectives
If they are your quality management objectives, it does not mean they have to be only related to the quality of products or services. In fact, the objectives should directly relate to the goals set by your organization. They can be related to any aspect of your business if it has an impact on the quality of your products or services. Many of your objectives should be able to drive continual improvement in your processes and ensure further fineness in your products or services.
Objectives should also not be limited because of the ever-changing market scenarios or economic phases. What is once considered to be a parameter of quality in your product/services become invalid when a competitor brings a better version of the product/services. Therefore, you should keep changing your quality management objectives with variations in the market scenario, rising competitiveness, and evolving preferences of the customers.
To put it simply, your quality management objectives can be anything but they should be strategic and give vision to your employees.
No doubt, the objectives of quality management must be based on the customer expectations from your products or services. However, they must be in context of your organization’s goals, quality policy, and business processes. Objectives are also imperative to formulate your QMS or quality management system. Therefore, you need to know what the objectives of quality management are to determine the relevant functions of your QMS. While it is entirely up to you to decide the objectives, you should make sure to make them consistent with your quality policy, goals, conformity requirements in products/services, and customers’ requirements.
Determining your objectives of quality management is also necessary before achieving the ISO 9001 standard for your QMS. We at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC can assist you! We house a team of quality assurance and ISO consultants who can guide you through the right path of setting your objectives.