ISO 9001 Procedures: Flowchart vs. Text - Pros and Cons

G

gasmundsson

#1
Hi

My company is in the phase of writing an iso 9001 QMS system. I have been looking at procedures here and see that it is usually many pages of text. I would like to get your opinion on my procedures, which are only flowcharts. I do this in Visio 2003, and there I can make hyperlinks to other procedures and documents and then put this on the company’s Intranet.

gasmundsson
 

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#2
Nice...

gasmundsson said:
I have been looking at procedures here and see that it is usually many pages of text. I would like to get your opinion on my procedures, which are only flowcharts.
It looks good to me. Very tidy, and it seems easy to find the information you're looking for. You may still need a bit of text here and there, but as long as all the required and necessary information is accessible, I would have no objections. Quite the contrary...

The fact that you're building a new system makes it easier to pick the route you've chosen. Most of us are stuck with older, text based systems, and that makes it rather less appealing to tear them apart and start from scratch.

I suggest a look at these similar threads:

Can flowcharts replace Procedures?
Formats: Text Procedures vs. Flow Charts
Can QP Procedures be in Flowchart format??

/Claes
 
Last edited:
#3
That’s a great idea.

Wherever possible, we have used flow charts in the place of detailed, written procedures. Using MS Frontpage, I put hotspots on an image of the flow chart and then hyperlink to the related instructions. Very simple, explanatory, and effective. :agree1:
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
Also take a look at some OLD ones. Dated 1996, this system was started in 1991-92. It was QS compliant, by the by.
Old Flow Chart Examples

But remember, these are OLD examples. There are a lot of newer examples which are linear and include inputs, outputs, responsibilities, etc. in the attachmnts to forum posts.

I've pushed flow charting rather than text procedures since the early 1990's so I'm a supporter.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#5
gasmundsson said:
Hi

My company is in the phase of writing an iso 9001 QMS system. I have been looking at procedures here and see that it is usually many pages of text. I would like to get your opinion on my procedures, which are only flowcharts. I do this in Visio 2003, and there I can make hyperlinks to other procedures and documents and then put this on the company’s Intranet.

gasmundsson
Welcome aboard, Gasmundsson. :bigwave:

Flowcharts can be a great way to document procedures or WI. My philosophy is to use whatever method(s) I feel will work best for the particular situation. Sometimes that is a flowchart, sometimes it is text based, sometimes a combination of the two, sometimes it is training only.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
gasmundsson said:
Hi

My company is in the phase of writing an iso 9001 QMS system. I have been looking at procedures here and see that it is usually many pages of text. I would like to get your opinion on my procedures, which are only flowcharts. I do this in Visio 2003, and there I can make hyperlinks to other procedures and documents and then put this on the company’s Intranet.

gasmundsson
:bigwave: Yes. Welcome.
I'm very impressed by what you've presented here.
My only suggestion might be that evaluation of the management action items occur sooner than the next year meeting.

Regardless of anything else, the concept of flow charts really is a super aid to orienting newcomers to a process or procedure.:applause:
 
G

Greg B

#7
gasmundsson,

Hi again. I got your flowcharts by PM. If you are interested, I and others are working thru some flowcharts on the linked thread below. We'd like your input. I, like Marc & others, am totally sold on Flowcharts. In the other thread discussion we are talking about Flowcharts in different levels of documents:

QA Manual: An overall view of all process showing thier linkages etc
Procedures: An overall view of the major parts/steps of the procedure, Input-Process-Output, and
Work Instructions: More detailed charts yet not as elaborate (or boring) as text only documents.

We have to remember that people are or will be deemed competent before carrying these tasks ans as such should not require specific detail in each of the boxes. The hard part is working out how much content is needed for each chart and what works best for your company and your workers. This is when communication is called for.

Guidance on the ISO 9001 Process Approach

Greg B
 
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