SMART Quality Objectives to ensure SMART Service

ISO 9001:2000 is a quality management system, which focuses primarily on the importance of meeting customer satisfaction in an organization. Every ISO 9001:2000 organization should have a quality policy, which is the reflection of the organization’s commitment to quality. The top management give out their views and intentions with regard to the quality in their business, in the Quality Policy statement.

The Quality Policy should be based on the eight principles of Quality Management – Customer focus, Leadership, Invlovement of people, Process approach, System approach to management, Continual improvement, Factual approach to decision making and Mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

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Check out the Bobcares Quality Policy:-

Poornam Info Vision is committed to provide software development services and prompt internet server administration and technical support services that delight the customer, comply with the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 standards and continually improve the effectiveness of Quality Management System through periodical reviews at appropriate levels.

The quality policy is an abstract, which isn’t easy to understand in the practical aspect. The policy is rather a long term goal of the organization. In order to achieve this goal, the policy should be converted into more practical and measurable statements, which are referred to as Quality Objectives. The Quality Objectives are the actual frame work based on which the employees in an organization work and they are short term goals set for quality. The objectives can be developed for ensuring quality in the major business processes.

Setting objectives are important as they are oriented towards achieving ones’ aims. A usual acronym that is used to set objectives is called SMART.

The quality objectives should be aligned with the quality policy and should ensure that business objectives are met. The objectives can be revised every year, to ensure continual improvement. The data analysis of objectives reflect how an organization is performing.

It is always better to set achievable objectives, which can be revised as we achieve them, rather than setting very difficult objectives and keeping them static forever. Dynamic objectives denotes an active and continually improving organization. At Bobcares, we revise our objectives every year, based on the analysis of the status of the objectives. Once we achieve an objective, we set it to a higher value next time.

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Bobcares had set the following quality objectives in 2008:

  • Fulfilling 95% Customer Satisfaction for 2008
  • Continual improvement by introducing 3 new innovations in service.
  • Retain at least 90% customer base in 2008.
  • 65% Growth in revenue for 2008.

We are revising it to the following objectives in 2009:

  • Fulfilling 97% customer satisfaction for the year 2009
  • Continual improvement by introducing 3 improvements in QMS and 3 innovations in service in 2009.
  • Retain at least 90% customer base in 2009.

While developing the quality policy and objectives, we must consider the following aspects:

  1. They should be appropriate to our organization and its business.
  2. They should include a commitment to ensure continual improvement.
  3. They must be communicated to all employees and understood by all.
  4. The policy and objectives should be periodically reviewed for suitability and revised, if necessary.
  5. The top management should be responsible to ensure that the organization abides by the policy.
  6. The objectives should be measurable and should align with the quality policy.

In most of the ISO certified organizations, things end here. However, Bobcares has gone three steps further – By setting Department Objectives, Team Objectives and Individual Objectives. We understand the fact that, only with the contribution of each and every employee, we can achieve our goals. To avoid any confusion and to bring in clarity, we have set objectives for each department, which is based on the measure of the work done by that department. For example, the objective for our Technical Services Department is to achieve NC=1% and QC=8% by June 2009. NC and QC are key measures of the time nonconformity and quality nonconformity in the work done by the technical services.

The Objectives can be developed for ensuring quality in the major business processes. The Quality Objectives should be aligned with the Quality Policy and should ensure that business objectives are met.

The department objectives are further split into Team Objectives, for each team in the company. The team objectives would be set with tougher values than the department objectives, to ensure that the teams strive to achieve them and thus assure that the department objective is met.

The department objectives are revised more frequently than quality objectives, as and when we achieve the objective or at the most, half-yearly. Each employee, who belongs to a team, is asked to set an individual objective, considering the expectations set by his team leader. This objective should be aligned to his team objective and should enhance customer satisfaction. The individual objectives are assessed by the team leader regularly by performance evaluation, and revised to ensure continual improvement.

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Setting objectives are important as they are oriented towards achieving ones’ aims. A usual acronym that is used to set objectives is called SMART. SMART denotes the characteristics of an objective.

  1. Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.
  2. Measurable – We should be able to measure whether the objectives are met or not.
  3. Achievable – Are the objectives that are set, achievable and attainable?
  4. Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?
  5. Time – What is the time frame to achieve the set objectives?

Thus, at Bobcares, every employee contributes to achieve the quality goals of the organization.

Individual Objectives, when met, ensure that Team Objective is met. Team Objectives, when met, make sure that Department Objective is met. Department Objectives lead to the achievement of our Quality Objectives, which ensures that the organization is in line with the Quality Policy. Bobcares believe in team work and that makes us successful in the industry.


About The Author:

Reeshma Mary Mathews, Sr. Software Engineer is the Chief Coach at Bobcares. She joined Bobcares in 2002 and was Team Leader for about three years, before taking up the challenge of maintaining Quality in the services provided by Bobcares. She plays a crucial role in ensuring that the Quality Management System(QMS) in Poornam is in compliance with ISO 9001:2000.


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