Welcome!

Welcome!
Please also visit following blogs:
- 'EMS Awareness' Blog

Academic comments are invited. Please do not include your website in your comments.

Encouragement Support - National Centre for Quality Management. Please become a member of NCQM.

Keshav Ram Singhal

Various information, quotes, data, figures used in this blog are the result of collection from various sources, such as newspapers, books, magazines, websites, authors, speakers etc. Unfortunately, sources are not always noted. The editor of this blog thanks all such sources.

People from more than 145 countries/economies have visited this blog: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong S. A. R. (China), Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao S. A. R. (China), Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Manila, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Saint Kitts and Navis, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, UAE, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe etc. Total visitors number crossed 100,000 on 14. 02. 2013. Total visitors number crossed 145,000 on 30. 09. 2013. Total visitors > 200,000 (from 01.08.2014)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aligning Quality Policy and Quality Objectives



Article for review – Comments and suggestions invited

ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard mentions that an organization's quality policy must provide a framework for establishing and reviewing the company's quality objectives. The quality policy should give an overall direction for the organization, and its quality objectives should flow in that direction. The top management of the organization needs to establish quality objectives. Top management of the organization must ensure that quality objectives (including those needed to meet requirements for the product) are established at relevant functions and levels within the organization. The quality objectives must be measurable and consistent with the quality policy of the organization.

Clause 7.1 (a) of ISO 9001:2008 QMS Standard lays down that in planning product realization, the organization must determine quality objectives and requirements for the product. It is evident from this clause that the ISO 9001:2008 Standard now calls for objectives not only for the quality management system but also for the product. Many factors (such as changes in customer requirements, market conditions, business compulsions) may often put such situation where the organization have to think to change the policy and/or objectives, which may lead to weakening in the alignment between quality policy and quality objectives. To deal such situation continually, ISO 9001:2008 QMS standard requires that top management periodically review changes to both the policy and objectives. An organization's objectives must be measurable and its quality management system processes designed to meet those objectives.

Just after the publication of ISO 9001:2000 QMS Standard (earlier version of the standard), John E. (Jack) West (a famous quality excellence business consultant from USA) stated in an article ‘Three strategies for aligning quality policies, objectives and processes’ published in the Quality Digest (USA) that aligning the quality policy, quality objectives and QMS processes should further top management's intent with regard to quality. There's only one small, potential difficulty: ISO 9001 standard doesn't address aligning the quality policy and objectives with other business goals. Here it is important to mention that organization's overall business goals, quality objectives and quality policy are all interrelated and must work together to achieve business improvement. The purpose of quality management system is to create such management system where an organization is able to consistently provide product that meet customer and applicable legal requirements with aim to enhance customer satisfaction.

Clause 5.4.2 of ISO 9001:2008 QMS standard requires that an organization plan its quality management system to meet both the quality objectives and the general requirements of quality management system as mentioned in clause 4.1. Here it is important to note that clause 4.1 of ISO 9001:2008 QMS standard requires an organization to determine its quality management system processes and their application. The organization also needs to determine how processes interact, determine the criteria and methods needed for effectively operating and controlling the processes, and provide the resources to do so. The organization needs to monitor and, where applicable, measure the processes. And this information must also be analyzed to determine further actions needed to achieve planned results and improvement.

On the basis of the requirements mentioned in clause 5.4.1, some people may think that establishing quality objectives at relevant functions and levels within the organization is a one-time activity; however it is now clear that such thinking opposes the intent of the quality management system. There is also a need to integrate continual improvement activities in the quality management system. ISO 9001:2008 QMS standard requires continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system through the use of the quality policy, objectives, audit results, data analysis, corrective and preventive actions, and management review. Accordingly, there is a need to continually review alignment between the quality policy and quality objectives and take necessary steps.

- Divya Singhal and Keshav Ram Singhal

(Please send your comments to divyagim@gmail.com and keshavsinghalajmer@gmail.com)