Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure or a Work Guide, or a Work Instruction

J

jm1231

#1
Is a Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure or a Work Guide, or a Work Instructions? How those documents differ? Thank you.
 
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Q

QAMTY

#2
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

It can be a Procedure or a WI.
It depends on your needs
I have seen procedures consisting in a flow chart while others
are just text.
 
T

tbsiva

#3
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Work procedure or work guide also can be explained in a simpler way using Process flow charts. It all depends on the way it has been used
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Is a Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure or a Work Guide, or a Work Instructions? How those documents differ? Thank you.
jm1231,

Avoid repetition in your system documentation. It increases admin costs and is almost bound to be contradictory. Someone with two watches is never sure of the time! :confused:

Deployment flowcharts that show the interaction of job titles in gathering the inputs, adding value to the inputs and delivering the outputs can be the procedures. Flowcharted procedures can be the result of analyzing the process and capturing the detail necessary for competent people to plan, operate and control the process.

Deployment or swimlane flowcharts are not suitable for use as work instructions because the WI usually focuses on how an individual completes a task. A conventional flowchart may however work well as a WI.

Declutter and include only requirements in your management system. Guidelines only confuse users especially when mixed with requirements. Managers provide the resources for meeting requirements but not guidelines. Watch out for the guide that is really a requirement! :bonk:

John
 
S

samsung

#5
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Is a Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure or a Work Guide, or a Work Instructions? How those documents differ? Thank you.
Hopefully the following definitions (from ISO 9000:2005) will help you distinguish between a Procedure and a Work Instruction or Guidelines.
2.7.2 Types of document used in quality management systems
The following types of document are used in quality management systems:
a) documents that provide consistent information, both internally and externally, about the organization's quality management system; such documents are referred to as quality manuals;
b) documents that describe how the quality management system is applied to a specific product, project or contract; such documents are referred to as quality plans;
c) documents stating requirements; such documents are referred to as specifications;
d) documents stating recommendations or suggestions; such documents are referred to as guidelines;
e) documents that provide information about how to perform activities and processes consistently; such
documents can include documented procedures, work instructions and drawings;
f) documents that provide objective evidence of activities performed or results achieved; such documents are referred to as records.
 
J

jm1231

#6
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Thanks for the information.

I therefore conclude that process flow chart is regarded as under statement letter e. But again, work procedures and work instruction is both described on letter e as one, does it mean that work instructions and work procedures can be used interchangebly? They dont differ on either way?

WI = WP?
 
S

samsung

#7
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Thanks for the information.

I therefore conclude that process flow chart is regarded as under statement letter e. But again, work procedures and work instruction is both described on letter e as one, does it mean that work instructions and work procedures can be used interchangebly? They dont differ on either way?

WI = WP?
Probably No. Point (e) says it (category of docs.) can include 'procedures' and 'work instructions'. Infact a procedure, as the definition goes, is a specified way to carry out an activity or a process whereas a 'Work instruction' is a step by step description of carrying out a specific task. e.g. Purchasing is a process and can be summarized in the form of a Process Flow chart depicting how different activities are carried out in a defined way but you can have a work instruction on how to generate, e.g. a Purchase Request through ERP/ SAP or by whatever means.

Hope this clarifies.
 

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Probably No. Point (e) says it (category of docs.) can include 'procedures' and 'work instructions'.
I think the OP is right. A process flow chart would probably qualify as a procedure unless it is optional and then it becomes a guideline.
Infact a procedure, as the definition goes, is a specified way to carry out an activity or a process whereas a 'Work instruction' is a step by step description of carrying out a specific task.
They are both procedures. A work instruction just happens to be more detailed.
e.g. Purchasing is a process and can be summarized in the form of a Process Flow chart depicting how different activities are carried out in a defined way but you can have a work instruction on how to generate, e.g. a Purchase Request through ERP/ SAP or by whatever means.

Hope this clarifies.
Now I recognize that I am probably alone in this but feel that purchasing is not a process on its own but is an activity that supports a lot of the 'product realization' processes. A flow chart can also describe a process. As soon as it prescribes the way of doing things then it becomes a procedure.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

Process flow chart is a work procedure. The flow chart and the procedure details can be within the same document or can be seperate.
It will differ in the way you differentiate them.
I can even have a PROCESS flow chart, followed by PROCESS work instruction and then PROCESS visual aid as pictures or diagrams. Now it is three.
It is my freedom and ease to club them into one document., keep them as three seperate documents or anything in between. If I keep them seperate, I also have to link each other for the correct way the user will use them
 
S

samsung

#10
Re: Process Flow Chart is a Work Procedure?

They are both procedures. A work instruction just happens to be more detailed.
Hardly there's any harm in calling both the documents as procedures but at some point we need to differentiate the two. 'Procedures' are normally defined at the 'Process or 'activity level' (largely at the functional/ department level) but certainly the work instructions come into way at the 'task level’. The task level is at the level of the individual. A process is not a ‘work’ (task) but a set of activities or tasks and hence the two cannot be considered as one and the same thing.

Procedures are infact documents (let's assume we are discussing in terms of written down documents) with detailed process descriptions which may have:
- Process objectives
- Process inputs and outputs
- Process standards
- Operating conditions and methods
- How this process interact with other processes
- Reference to required Records, specifications, guidelines, work instructions etc.
- Resources required
- KPIs
- Methods of measuring the process performance
- Troubleshooting guidelines etc. etc.

We can differentiate the two by looking at the big picture of the organization:

1. The organization is a system which comprises of business processes that mainly create and fulfill customer demands. Key documents required at this level are mission statements and policies (organizational or unit level).

2. In order to fulfill the ‘demands’ an organization sets up some work processes which ISO 9001 defines as ‘Product Realization process’ (planning to post delivery activities/ processes). At this level, the organization defines its processes and ‘process descriptions’ which among other elements as mentioned above, do have standards (acceptance levels/ process specifications), plans, process/ deptt. level policies and Operating Procedures (process or activity level documents).

3. Finally we arrive at the TASK level where an individual needs ‘instructions’ on how to work /do (operate, use, handle, control, manipulate, run: (Oxford meaning)) a specific task in a specified way in order to achieve consistent results and the documents that describe ‘step-by-step’ instructions for carrying out a task, are normally known as ‘Work Instructions’.

Now I recognize that I am probably alone in this but feel that purchasing is not a process on its own but is an activity that supports a lot of the 'product realization' processes.
Since 'purchasing' fits well into the definition of a 'process', I know it as a 'process' but in the big picture (Product Realization), it can also be termed as a 'sub-process' (undefined). There's no fine line where we stop calling an 'activity' a 'process'. If you further go up, Product Realization Process may look like a sub-process of the 'Demand Fulfillment Process' which again is a subset of the higher level Business processes. It all depends on the way one looks at the things.

A flow chart can also describe a process. As soon as it prescribes the way of doing things then it becomes a procedure.
By your own reasoning, it can also be tagged as a Work Instruction (the way of doing things). 'things' is a confusing word - if you replace it with 'process or activity', then it's a procedure but if you replace it with 'work' or 'task', then it should logically be a WI.
 
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