The ISO standards, under section 6.2, require the business to establish objectives within the context of their management system. The established objectives need to be measurable, resourced. communicated, monitored and reviewed.
So where do you start? The objectives need to “add value” to the business providing strategic activities and good data and not become a task requirement of the system. So, to start, the objectives need to be consistent with your policy such as
- Quality – supporting the business’ strategic direction and continuous improvement
- Health and Safety – prevention of work-related injury and ill health, fulfilling legal requirements, risk mitigation, continual improvement and
- Environmental – protection or the environment and prevention of pollution.
Example could include
- Quality – increase in customers, increase spend by customers, decrease in defects
- Health and Safety – focus on high-risk activities, consultative activities, critical analysis of incidents
- Environmental – focus on significant impacts, waste management, energy consumption
Once we have a direction, we can start applying structure around the objective, let’s look at quality and increase spend by customers
- Is the objective measurable – lets aim for and increased spend of 20%
- What the business will do – marketing campaign, direct customer contact, promotion of other services
- How the business will monitor the progress – monthly financials, campaign reviews
- How the objective will be communicated to key personnel – Kick-off and progress meeting, dashboards
Now we have the structure, lets allocate
- Specifics of the objectives
- Resources required
- Time frames
- Evaluation processes including data indicators
Remember the business will also need a process to review the objectives and, if necessary, reviewed with information on how the business is achieving their system objectives an input to the management review process.