Improvement Objectives are crucial – the clue is in the title. You may have had the courage to declare an ambitious quality policy statement and it is the selection of well-chosen targeted objectives that turn that intention into reality and strive to back up the statements that you have made. They must deliver worthwhile and relevant results.

They will change inevitably and at times seem like a moving target but as long as they keep you moving forward then that is fine. No Auditor will sanction you for objectives not achieved because circumstances changed as long as your objectives have been refreshed accordingly. There will however be the ultimate sanction for their being no objectives to work to – you will fail your audit. Setting improvement objectives is the easiest way there is to demonstrate commitment to continual improvement as long as they are not just  a lifeless list on a document nobody pays any attention to. What are those improvements that you always wanted to make but have been prevented from doing so by being in the trenches so long? Develop an integrated management system and get those “wished-for” improvements declared to your organisation – with a deadline – and provide the resources and responsibility to make sure they happen. If an objective has a deadline and somebody’s name on it it is astonishing what can be achieved.  Of course, the objective must be clear and unambiguously communicated, especially in  relation to desired results and how they will be measured. You must provide the means for each objective to be achieved in terms of time and resources.

Reviewing the status of objectives will be an agenda item at Management Review. Did they succeed and what conclusions can be drawn and lessons learned whether they did or not? Were they attempted or implemented as foreseen? Were the resources provided adequate?  Are the results what we wanted and do they indeed constitute the improvement we were looking for? How are customers impacted? 

Properly setting improvement objectives and targets will move your bsuienss forward at a speed you have only ever dreamed about.