The Purpose of Quality Objectives

My auditor says we need Quality Objectives.  What are they and why do we need them? 

There are all types of quality objectives – from top management strategic objectives, to in-line production objectives. In each case the goal is to create continual improvement within the QMS by identifying something to shoot for and then measure how you are doing against the objective.  Set by top management at relevant levels within the company, quality objectives are an expression of how the company intends to achieve its quality policy.  Quality objectives should be measurable, specific, and communicated, since employees need to understand how they contribute to them.  Quality objectives should not be limited to product quality, but be goals designed to help drive continual improvement of the entire Quality Management System (including resources, staffing, sales & marketing, production, measurement, analysis and improvement).

In our changing economy, staying the same is not an option – Strategic measurable quality objectives help everyone catch the vision and have specific targets to work towards.  One last reminder - to keep employees engaged and contributing, remember to measure progress against your objectives, and communicate status updates -- and find fun ways to recognize progress.