Set Your Company Apart
ACE of clubs is this weeks’ card
Defining your Company’s processes really starts the QMS journey. Yes these could be shown in the organization chart, but what is needed for the processes is depth of information related to the processes.
You do Set your Company Apart by establishing the Company’s process Maps. This is the most important activity you can do to outline how your Company’s processes interrelate. These are necessary for your most important processes. In fact, these will be the first request by the auditor to view and get an understanding of the organization’s QMS. The ISO 9001 Standard requires that processes are to be determined for the quality management system and how they apply throughout the organization. Processes needed for the quality management system include processes for management activities, provision of resources, execution of product/service and measurement, analysis and improvement.
The major caveat is that the QMS is really all about management, operations, designing if applicable and any other processes that are needed to ensure fulfillment to the end customer. What this means is that the Standard does not much address financial, accounting or stock holdings. With the exception of providing resources.
A “Process” can be defined as a “set of interrelated or interacting activities, which transforms inputs into outputs”. These activities require allocation of resources such as people and materials.
The typical processes that process maps are developed for are: Sales, Hiring, Training and Development, Operations, Design and Procurement. Next the Process Interrelations diagram would be developed to show the sequence and interaction of all of the Company’s processes.
“Must Haves” for Process Maps
- Required Inputs
- Expected outputs
- Criteria and methods needed to ensure effectiveness (KPIs)
- Responsibilities and authorities
- Risks and opportunities
- Consideration of internal and external interested parties
Once the Process Maps are established then procedures can be developed with greater detail and these become much easier to draft. The exercise of developing your Company’s Process Maps could reveal gaps, help determine at first glance is the process currently effective, does the company have monitoring and measurements in place to ensure effectiveness.
To be effective, a business process must meet the needs and expectations of the customer.The customer of a business process may be an internal customer (e.g., another department within the organization) or an external customer. Any of these could be either internal or external interested parties.
Take time this week and review your existing processes by updating your Process Maps if they have already been developed and be determined to get started for all of your Company’s key processes.