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Unmet objective - is it a nonconformity?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by tony s, Nov 23, 2018.

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Would you raise a nonconformity if an objective/target was not achieved?

  1. Yes

    5.9%
  2. No

    94.1%
  1. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    When a nonconformity occurs, we usually initiate correction and/or corrective action to prevent its recurrence. Typically, sources of nonconformities include audit findings, nonconforming outputs, customer complaints, problems with suppliers, and noncompliance with regulatory requirements. My question is, would you raise a nonconformity if an objective or target was not achieved?
     
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  2. Bev D

    Bev D Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe it’s a NC but only as part of a more widespread lack of continual improvement. The standard requires objectives; it doesnt’ require that you meet them. There are so many valid reasons for missing an objective. Raising an NC for not meeting an objective is likely to result in making weak objectives in the future; in other words it might have the opposite effect of the purpose of an NC.
     
  3. Artem

    Artem Member

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    Normally at audits in order to establish the situation with the objectives i would compare objectives of the last year and... one but last :) let’s say 2016 and 2017. if the objectives of 2016 were not met (or even one of it), I would see if internal corrective action has been raised and taken into 2017th review. If not - I would put it as a non conformity. Not an „unachieved goal“ but as „failure to address unachieved goals“
     
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  4. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Good point Bev D. Thus, organization will refrain from setting innovative goals and might settle for mediocre objectives/targets.
     
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  5. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Since you want corrective action for not meeting the 2016 objectives, does it follow that unmet objective/target is a nonconformity for you? Corrective action is defined as "action to eliminate the cause of a nonconformity and to prevent recurrence".
     
  6. Artem

    Artem Member

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    Hi Tony
    Failing to meet an objective is a non conformity for a company itself (something went wrong with either planning or implementation). But itself it is not a non-Conformity for me as an auditor. The same as any customer complaint is not a non conformity for an auditor but is an NC for a company. What is an NC for an auditor is absence of action about this „internal NC“. Please let me describe it also in a slide attached
     

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  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    No. I'd need some more information than simply a failure to meet a goal.
     
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  8. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Nonconformity is an uncompliment, and the standard requires they have to be established, doesn't say is a nc, if they are not in compliance.
     
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  9. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    "Unmet objective/target" is different from "no action taken on unmet objective/target". Anyway, my post is about raising an NC on unmet objective/target.
     
  10. Mohamed Hakam

    Mohamed Hakam New Member

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    I think it's not non-conformity as the definition of non-conformity is a violation between the planned workflow and the implemented but when the target couldn't been met, we are trying to find the root cause as the organization may comply with the defined procedures but the target not met due to market situation or shortage in resources.
     
  11. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Is it?
     
  12. Anna Wagstaffe

    Anna Wagstaffe Member

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    I would say that an objective is simply something you are aiming for. Since business contexts change, it would seem unrealistic for an unmet objective to automatically be a non-conformance. What I believe should be a non-conformance is if an objective is dropped without addressing anywhere eg at a management review, why it was dropped or unmet.
     
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  13. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    My answer is "no". A non-conformity is when you didn't do what you had identified you needed to do; a process failed. An objective is a goal.

    I can state I'm going to lose 20 pounds over two months by eating vegetables and not eating bread.
    If I only eat vegetables and don't eat bread but fail to lose 20 pounds (only... 15) that is certainly not a nonconformity.

    Regardless of how much weight I lose, if I eat a bunch of bread, I am not conforming to my own diet plan. I need to adjust my diet plan, or quit eating bread.
     
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  14. Neo113016

    Neo113016 Member

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    The answer is NO. But if there has been inconsistencies with how they handle the objectives based on clause 6.2, I would certainly raised a NC.
     
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  15. lebhugz

    lebhugz Member

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    Or we can just, in the first formulated objective is not achieved we may request it to repeat for the next year with changes in approach or activities in achieving the objective, but then again after a year the objective was not met again thus, we can impose it as a NC?
     
  16. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    NC is defined as a "non-fulfillment of a requirement". ISO 9001 doesn't have a requirement that says "quality objectives shall be met". But you can create your own requirement and if you fail to meet it, then you have successfully brought upon yourself a nonconformity.
     
  17. Miner

    Miner Moderator Staff Member

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    You should distinguish between the following situations when making a decision on whether it is an NC:
    1. You not only did not achieve the goal, but actually got worse than prior periods.
    2. You did not meet the goal and did not improve or deteriorate from prior periods.
    3. You did not meet the goal, but did improve significantly from prior periods.
     
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  18. Bev D

    Bev D Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it goes even further that. I would look at intent and behavior not just the numbers. among the things I would seek to understand:
    - was the goal meaningfully selected?
    - was there a plan to meet the goal?
    - was management actively monitoring progress?
    - If you failed to meet the goal was it because something unexpected happened? or was there a substantial priority change?

    there are good reasons for missing goals and there are bad reasons for missing goals. Our first thought shouldn't be about raising an NC, but rather to understand if there was a breakdown in the system...
     
  19. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly so, Bev.
     
  20. qmr1976

    qmr1976 Member

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    A lot of times we will write ourselves up internally if we see certain objectives not being met for several months in a row. If an auditor sees that you acknowledge the objective not being met, they are less likely to write you up for it come audit time. We are a small company, so we have to be very selective of how often we issue corrective actions internally because there just isn't enough staff to support the task of problem solving on a daily basis. If you can at least provide evidence that you are striving to improve upon that objective, I don't see how they can write it up as a nonconformance.
     
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