Difference Between Business Plan and Quality Objectives

Don’t let your luggage define your travels, each life unravels differently.” ― Shane Koyczan


When we are planning to go on a long drive, say 500 kilometers, we focus on some macro-level activities like when we need to go, with whom we need to go, why we are going, how to go there etc. Before embarking on the trip, we focus on some micro-level activities like travel route, hotel stay, which vehicle to use and what needs to be carried. The difference between both plans is in the type of questions that we ask ourselves.             

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Content: Business Plan Vs Quality Objectives

  1. What is Business Plan
  2. What are Quality Objectives
  3. Difference Between Business Plan and Quality Objectives
  4. Conclusion


Every organization creates a business plan to help them meet their overall mission and quality objectives enable these businesses to accomplish their business plan. Since both ideas relate to milestones a company wishes to reach, people often use the terms interchangeably. In reality, differences exist between business plans and quality objectives, making it necessary for organizations to distinguish the two for strategic planning.

Once you read this blog, you will understand, what is Business Plan, what is Quality Objective, the difference between them and how to effectively implement it in the organization.

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Definition: ISO 9000: 2015

Quality (Cl 3.6.2): Degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object fulfills requirements

Strategy (Cl 3.5.12): Plan to achieve a long-term or overall objective

Objective (Cl 3.7.1): Result of the achieved

Quality Objective (Cl 3.7.2): Objective related to quality

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Detailed Information

A business plan is a written document that outlines a company’s goals and strategies for achieving them. It typically includes information about the company’s market, competition, target audience, marketing plan, financial projections, and organizational structure.

Quality objectives are specific, measurable goals that a company sets to improve the quality of its products or services. These objectives are typically based on customer requirements and are designed to help the company achieve its overall quality goals. Quality objectives can include improving customer satisfaction, reducing defects or errors, increasing productivity, or improving the efficiency of processes. They should be measurable and time-bound so that progress can be tracked and evaluated

What is Business Plan?

A business plan is a documented strategy for a business that highlights its goals and its plans for achieving them. A business plan is an executive document that acts as a blueprint or roadmap for a business.

The purpose of a business plan is three-fold: It summarizes the organization’s strategy to execute its long-term, secures financing from investors and helps forecast future business demands.

Organizations are successful because of good implementation, not good business plans. : Guy Kawasaki

From a business perspective, goals are abstract ideas that express the desired result. Typically, a business plan is broad and focuses on the long-term success of the company. In other words, they are less concerned with the mechanics of achieving them. A business plan is crucial for strategic planning as they affect every aspect of the business, from its finances to its culture.

Example: From a Business Plan perspective, some of the possible business goals include

  • Becoming a market leader within the industry
  • Increasing the share of business
  • Boosting profits
  • Work towards carbon neutrality
  • Strengthening cyber security
  • Enhancing the company’s visibility to target customers

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What are Quality Objectives?

Once an organization establishes its business plan, the next logical step is how it can be achieved and for that, the role of quality objectives comes into the picture. The Objectives are short-term actions that an organization should achieve to reach its business plan. They are more measurable than a business plan and usually feature a specific aim and timeline.

Everything is based on a simple rule: Quality is the best business plan, period. : Steve Jobs

The top management should keep their overall goals in mind when developing quality objectives. By doing so, the organization can always remember the purpose of the objective, which can help them encourage employees and keep themselves motivated.

In general, an objective is narrower than a business plan and contains details on how the company should accomplish it.

Example: An organization wants to increase its share of the business (SOB) from its customers in the coming five years. The quality objectives may be to create two new products a year and invest in three new marketing strategies.

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Difference Between Business Plan and Quality Objectives

Both business plans and quality objectives have some commonalities like both are documented and have a measurable target. Some of the key differences are as follows.

S.No. Business Plan Quality Objectives
1 Macro View Micro view
2 Broad business goals How to achieve the business goals
3 At the top management level At the department/process level
4 Can be reviewed quarterly, half-yearly or annually Can be reviewed daily, weekly, monthly
5 Long-Term Plan: 3 to 5 Years Short Terms Plan: Maximum 1 Year
6 A business plan is prepared when a new business is started or at a defined frequency by the organization The quality objectives are aligned to achieve the business plan and are changed as per the amendment in the business plan
7 The targets can be tangible or intangible The targets are always tangible

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From the organization’s point of view, both are essential for its survival and growth. The business plan and quality objectives are closely interrelated. The quality objectives are made by the company keeping the business plan in mind. Therefore, we can say the quality objective is the effect and the business plan is its cause. Both should be clear, complete and correct in all respects as the whole future of the company depends on these two.

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ISO 9001: 2015

ISO 9002: 2016

ISO 9004: 2018

IATF 16949: 2016

Industry Experts

This is the 184th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “The important thing is never to stop questioning.” I invite you to ask anything about the above subject. Questions and answers are the lifeblood of learning, and we are all learning. I will answer all questions to the best of my ability and promise to keep personal information confidential.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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