Search the Elsmar Cove!
**Search ALL of Elsmar.com** with DuckDuckGo Especially for content not in the forum
Such as files in the Cove "Members" Directory

Description of the Interaction of Processes - Para 4.2.2 c) - Seeking Examples

R

rogerbid

#1
Hi, please hear my pleas for help!

Firstly forgive me for plunging straight in with a question - I have done my best to search past threads but without success though I am quite sure others have sought assistance on this subject!

When first accredited to ISO 9001:2000 I created a dreadful 'flowchart' to show the interaction between the processes of the quality management system.

I never liked it and deleted it from our manual, intending to redo it but I forgot, and have now been asked by our auditor to reinstate it. I really don't want to use the old one which defies comprehension, and wonder if anyone can direct me to some examples of other peoples' solutions?

It really is proving to be a major headache and any advice will be very much appreciated, Thanks in advance,

Roger :frust:
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Howard - that's pretty cool - a matrix rather than a flow diagram or map. Me like. :agree1:

Roger - my stuff is posted in the process mapping thread Claes has linked to. Hope it's helpful. Welcome to the cove!!
 
D

ddunn

#5
I have define process interaction by including input-output tables in each process. In the manual I state the input-output tables define the process interaction. The auditor liked it and more important the process users liked it. The interactions are defined in the process and the user does not have to go to another document to find them.
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#6
Most of the quality manuals I've seen end up including a process map or flow diagram of the QMS. However, seeing Howard's matrix reminded me of a similar matrix I helped prepare for a client's quality manual a few years ago. This one includes not only where the interactions are, but also the details of what the interactions are in the form of inputs/outputs. It may be overly big and detailed, but it seemed to work well for them.
 

Attachments

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Admin
#7
howste
yours has the added value of giving some bones to the relationship which in my matrix and flow charts is missing.

The real question is though why do we need to show this interrelationship in the manual as a distinct object.
If we describe the processes and their inputs and outputs then each process shows its interactions. We are required by the standard to "describe the interactions"
Do we really need a one/two page synopsis for the users or is it really for the registrar to put a tick on his audit report?
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#8
I don't believe that the "description of the interaction" has to be one object. But - most quality manuals that I've seen really don't describe the processes with their inputs/outputs in other places.

I know that there are many ways to do it - some that are easy for the auditors to identify, and some that aren't. My belief is that it should be done in a way that helps the intended users to understand how the QMS functions. Users typically include customers, internal auditors, and others interested in how the system functions at a high level. I think it's doing them all a favor if we can give them the big picture in one spot instead of having to wade through a lot of other information. If it meets the needs of the users, it will probably also be useful for the external auditors.
 
#9
rogerbid said:
When first accredited to ISO 9001:2000 I created a dreadful 'flowchart' to show the interaction between the processes of the quality management system.

I never liked it and deleted it from our manual, intending to redo it but I forgot, and have now been asked by our auditor to reinstate it. I really don't want to use the old one which defies comprehension, and wonder if anyone can direct me to some examples of other peoples' solutions?

It really is proving to be a major headache and any advice will be very much appreciated, Thanks in advance,

Roger :frust:
Roger

Another of my hobby horses ... There is a widespread belief that drawing a simple diagram is sufficient, but this approach can indicate that management has not understood the essential concepts required for managing a “business process”. Whilst it is true that a typical business has a small number of “core” processes, and of other processes which support them, you are not giving a complete picture by merely listing “sell – make – deliver – send the invoice” (for example) in sequence, with a few arrows to indicate that they are supported by “manage equipment, manage suppliers etc”.

The “sell – make – deliver – invoice” relationship is not linear. Individual instances of the “sell” process, for example, happen independently, each with a possible impact on the “make”, “purchase” and “promote” processes and, in many cases, on other instances of the “sell” process itself. The “make” process can affect the “sell” process, the “train staff” process can affect the “sell” process (and the "train staff" process itself), and so on.

A prime suspect for this confusion is the so-called “model of a process based management system” in ISO9001:2000. It is superficial and trivialises the complexity of process interactions. And most of the "pictures" I have seen drawn to meet the requirement do little to help understanding.

The relationships are too involved to sketch in this way. The key to understanding and managing the processes is to recognise that the performance of a number of other processes can be a key influence on a specific process.

Best to define the process interactions within individual processes, and to structure your system to show the logical groupings of processes, with a logical process numbering convention which implies relationships. Your system is for your staff - do they understand it? Perhaps ask an assessor what value and increased understanding your average member of staff is supposed to take from the "model" in the standard - I bet you can't find anyone who says that they understand better how the business runs after they have seen the picture.

Sorry - but it really annoys me when folk feel that they have no option but to regurgitate stuff from the standard for no benefit other than to keep an assessor happy.
 
R

rogerbid

#10
To all who have so willingly come to my aid, a heartfelt Thank You! (Sorry if you have thought me slow in replying but we have had a public holiday here in Victoria) Thanks also for the words of Welcome that prefaced so many replies, glad to be here.

The replies give me hope that I can resolve this issue and I am so pleased I stumbled upon The Elsmar Cove when searching Google!

Peter, in particular reply to your post, I suspect I would be one of those who annoy you, simply because in a small company like ours, 24 staff, I find that nearly everything is done 'to keep an assessor happy'. That said, I do appreciate the point you make and will try to make a better job this time round than with the flowchart I originally concocted!

I am sure I shall be posting again, meantime thanks for all the replies.

Best regards, Roger :thanx:
 
Top Bottom