The Process Approach: Is a process more than a procedure with a flowchart?

Paul Simpson

Trusted Information Resource
#1
Here's another starter for ten.

I've been busy recently with some clients wanting to make the transition to ISO 9001.2000 and with another group who think they are ready for assessment. They think they have the process approach and so does their 3rd party auditor. I think they have just topped and tailed their procedures and are now calling them processes.

None of their "processes" goes beyond one department and all process measures are local nit picking stuff. What have people seen out there? More to the point what are people doing out there.

When I sit down with a client my starting point is that a process begins and ends with the final customer until they convince me otherwise.

Is it me or is a process more than a procedure with a flowchart?
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
Good questions, Paul. I see it as most organizations have one large core process (or possibly more than one), which is supported by several support processes. Each core process is made up of smaller sub-processes, which have their own support processes. Depending on the compexity of the organization, the sub-processes may consist of even smaller processes (based on the definition that a process is an activity that uses resources to transform inputs into outputs).

I fully agree that most, and I mean MOST organizations have not fully analyzed their processes. In some cases, a procedure may demonstrate the steps of a process, but rarely do they adequately describe the process. Much needs to be done in this regard, and you and I (and others) must take the lead in this.

You cannot have process improvement, if you do not understand the process you are trying to improve.
 

Douglas E. Purdy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Paul said: "When I sit down with a client my starting point is that a process begins and ends with the final customer until they convince me otherwise."

db responded: "Paul. I see it as most organizations have one large core process (or possibly more than one), which is supported by several support processes. Each core process is made up of smaller sub-processes, which have their own support processes. Depending on the compexity of the organization, the sub-processes may consist of even smaller processes (based on the definition that a process is an activity that uses resources to transform inputs into outputs)."

I agree with db that the core business process begins and ends with the customer, and there may be sub-systems that do the same. But I do not believe that ALL Processes begin and end with the customer!
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#4
Douglas E. Purdy said:

But I do not believe that ALL Processes begin and end with the customer!
Douglas, I am not sure about the "the customer". I believe that not all processes begin and end with THE customer (external, the guy buying the product) but I think they all begin and end with the customer (internal or external as the case may be). If there is no customer, why would there be a process? I know this probably sounds nit picky, kind of like if a tree falls in the forest, and there is nobody there to hear it, does it still make a sound?

:confused:
 
#5
Of course you're right Jim, but you can also obtain a driver's license and still drive like an idiot, or pass the bar and be stupid. As with most things, it is not the outcome that really matters, but what you do once you’re there.
 
M

M Greenaway

#6
Welcome Paul, and well done on recognising that there is more to defining sequence and interaction of processes than suddenly calling all your procedures process descriptions.

As previous posters have said, most people recognise two broad groups of processes. There are those that interface with the customer, referred to often as 'product realisation' or 'customer orientated' or even 'core' processes, then there are those that support these processes, yet at no point directly interface with the customer, generally termed 'support processes'.

Simple huh !
 

gpainter

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
I think some confuse the called QMS processes and manufacturing processes. There are 5 called out QMS processes and depending on your organization you may have several manufacturing processes. I feel the standard would like us to focus on the 5 and expand into the manufacturing processes. I know that many consultants are going after the manufacturing processes. Just my opnion. How have some of the ones that have registration done this??? Maybe a poll.
 
R

Raptorwild

#9
Procedures/Processes

Hello Paul,

I am currently revising our Quality Manual per ISO9001:2000 and AS9100 Rev. A. Our current manual has 32 pages, we have 20 documented procedures on top of having 12 Standard Operating Procedures and numerous Manufacturing Instructions for every part we build.

This is basically what I plan to do:

The QM will be numbered the same as the Standard. I plan to reduce it by at least 15 pages.

1. Scope
2. Normative reference
3. Terms and definitions
4. Quality Management System:
Reference our Procedures for Document and Data
control and Control of Quality Records.
5. Management Responsibility
6. Resource Management
7. Product Realization
8. Measurement, Analysis and Improvement:
Reference our Procedures for Internal Quality Audits and
Corrective & Preventive Actions.

I am going to add flow charts where procedures are no longer required.

In the Procedures I will reference our SOP's and will go into detail how we do things and how to do things.

Paul said: [More to the point what are people doing out there?]

If anyone has any tips or pointers please feel free to lay them on me! Thanks for this forum! :bigwave:
 
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