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How to engage employees to follow a process approach

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While the process approach is by no means a new requirement, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is poorly understood.

The process approach was first introduced in ISO 9001:2000. And while the concept of a process-based quality management has not changed, the requirements in the latest version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015, have become more specific and less ambiguous.

So, what actually is a process approach? And why is a process approach important? And, most importantly, how can you get your employees to follow a process approach?
‘Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system’ - Introduction of ISO 9001:2015.plan_do_check_act.jpg

The process approach is a management strategy which incorporates the plan-do-check-act cycle and risk-based thinking. It means that processes are managed and controlled. It also means that we not only understand what the core processes are, but we also consider how they fit together.

Key Changes from ISO 9001:2008 - ISO 9001:2015

The requirement for a process-based quality management system is nothing new. The requirement to "establish, implement, maintain and continually improve" is familiar from both ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9001:2008. The key changes are:

For organisations already adopting ISO 9001:2008, a key factor in transitioning to ISO 9001:2015 is the extent to which the process approach has been adopted.
Clause 4.4 of ISO 9001:2015 sets out specific requirements for the adoption of a process approach e.g. organisations must monitor, measure and use related performance indicators to determine effective operation and controls.
Top management must promote, engage and support employees to follow a process approach.

Why a process approach is so important

Organisations are typically structured into departments which are managed by a department head. The head is responsible for what comes out of the department.

Most departmental heads never interact with the external customer, only internal ones. As such, they are divorced from how the customer really feels.

Read more here: http://quality.eqms.co.uk/blog/what-is-a-process-approach

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How to engage employees to follow a process approach

  1. 1. HOW TO GET EMPLOYEES TO FOLLOW THE PROCESS APPROACH
  2. 2. WHAT IS ‘THE PROCESS APPROACH?’ The introduction to 9001:2015 tells us ‘Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system’. If we are going to optimise our QMS we need to understand not just what our core processes are, but crucially, how they all fit together Let me explain with the help of a toaster.
  3. 3. WHAT IS ‘THE PROCESS APPROACH?’
  4. 4. IS THE PROCESS APPROACH NEW? No, it first appeared in ISO 9001:2000 Anecdotal evidence suggests it is poorly understood ISO 9001:2015 places increased emphasis on the process approach Although it is not explicitly mandated, the requirements set out in sub-clause 4.4 – ‘the QMS and its processes’ drive you down this route.
  5. 5. STEPS IN IMPLEMENTING A PROCESS APPROACH In 2008, TC 176 produced ‘ ‘guidance on the Concept and use of the Process Approach for management systems’. This needs a refresh but implementation phases are essentially unchanged Start by systematically defining your core QMS processes and their inter- relationships. Could take some time if your organisation is complex You then use P-D-C-A to manage and improve your processes You use risk based thinking to avoid unintended process outcomes.
  6. 6. AREN’T WE DOING THIS ANYWAY? Organisations are typically structured into departments which are managed by a department head. The head is responsible for what comes out of the department Most departmental heads never interact with the external customer, only internal ones. As such they are divorced from how the ultimate customer really feels If KPI’s are set by department this compounds the problems. Heads will try to maximise the performance of their departments to the possible detriment of other departments further down the line.
  7. 7. A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORKING The process approach introduces horizontal management, controlling processes which flow across departmental boundaries Someone is accountable for the process from start to finish. They see the whole picture from process initiation to process completion They understand what the stakeholders in the process want and have delegated authority to act to realise this An employees first loyalty is to their assigned projects, products or services, not their own departments
  8. 8. WHICH PROCESSES SHOULD I INCLUDE? ISO 9001:2015 doesn’t provide you with a list of QMS processes Each organisation must determine these for themselves! Focus on your core processes, the ones which keep you awake at night. Ask yourself what do we do which plays a significant role in ensuring; we are constantly providing products and services which meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements? and we are enhancing customer satisfaction? Ensure you are controlling these. Processes for claiming expenses or booking meeting rooms should not be on your list.
  9. 9. HOW TO GET PEOPLE WORKING THIS WAY That’s up to you however here are some suggestions;  Involve them in building the process based QMS – the initial definition of processes and subsequently process P-D-C-A and RBT  Train individuals so they understand their roles and accountabilities in respect of the core processes. Ensure they see their process(es) end to end
  10. 10. HOW TO GET PEOPLE WORKING THIS WAY That’s up to you however here are some suggestions;  Restructure the audit programme around processes not functions and train auditors to follow processes across departments, paying particular attention to interdependencies and interactions  Provide documented information to support the operation of processes and ensure you have confidence that the processes are being carried out as planned.  Procedures/work instructions by another name? Yes!
  11. 11. FURTHER HELP & SUPPORT Qualsys Limited Aizlewoods Mill, Nursery Street, Sheffield, S3 8GG emily.hill@qualsys.co.uk +44 (0)114 282 3338 www.eqms.co.uk enquiries@kingsfordconsultancyservices.co.uk +44 (0)1225 400 435

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