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Related ArticlesBusiness process management
Process Approach
Process based systems
Process Mapping
Process vs Procedure
Risk Assessment techniques
Process Auditing
Documenting processes
Process improvement

Process Management

In our Process Management  consulting room we answer some basic questions and provide links to further resources as well as more articles from the panel on the left:

What is a process?
What is an effectively managed process?
What are process outcomes?
How are processes identified?
How are objectives identified?
What do we have to do to manage our processes effectively?

How do we convert our procedure based system into a process based system?

What is a process?  ..top

A process in its simplest form uses inputs to create outputs. The outputs are created by a series of interrelated tasks, behaviours and resources acting on or using the inputs. Every result is achieved by a process but it does not mean that the result is one that is required. Pollution, nonconforming product, delays, errors, customer dissatisfaction are all results that are caused by a process. It is therefore insufficient to simply define ones processes. The aim should be to manage ones processes effectively. A more definitive explanation is provided in our e-book A guide to business process management

What is an effectively managed process?  ..top

An effective process is one that achieves the results that are intended – i.e. the objectives. An effectively managed process is a process in which the activities, resources and behaviours are planned, organized and controlled in a way that the outcomes meet specified objectives as illustrated right:


What are process outcomes?  ..top

Process outcomes comprise the outputs and the impacts. Outputs are the products, services, information and decisions produced by the process. Impacts are the  effect of the process on its surroundings such as the impact on customer satisfaction, the environment, employee motivation, shareholder value, supplier loyalty and society. It is necessary to manage both outputs and impacts otherwise the parties affected by the impact may withdraw their stake in the process, i.e. they may withdraw their labour, their support, their investment, their permission etc and cause the process to cease operation.

How are processes identified?  ..top

Processes are not identified by renaming procedures as processes, or by flow charting activities and giving them process names. Process are identified from knowing an objective. Business processes are identified from the business objectives, departmental processes are identified from the departmental objectives, etc.

  • If one of your objectives is to manage customer relationships effectively, you have a Customer Relationship Management process
  • If another objective is to bring innovative products to market ahead of the competition, you have an Innovation Process
  • If another objective is to deliver product to customer on time, you have a Delivery process

How are objectives identified?  ..top

Objectives are determined from the purpose of the organization by establishing the factors upon which fulfilment of the purpose depends. These are the critical success factors (CSF). The CSFs indicate the capabilities needed and consequently identify the objectives to delivery these capabilities. Business objectives are determined from the organization’s mission statement, There has to be constancy of purpose and to achieve this the objectives need to be deployed or cascaded down through the organization. If you are interested in learning more about setting objectives why not commission a 1 day in-house workshop

What do we have to do to manage our processes effectively?  ..top

There is a universal series of activities for managing processes effectively.

  • Establish process objectives and express them in measurable terms.

  • Establish measures of success - the factors that will indicate whether the objective has been achieved.

  • Define the key stages that convert the inputs into outputs.

  • Define the resources, information and competences required to deliver the required outputs.

  • Identify the risks and put in place measures that eliminate, reduce or control these risks.

  • Determine how performance will be measured against the objectives and variation reduced.

  • Find better ways of achieving the process objectives and improve process efficiency.

  • Establish whether the processes objectives remain relevant the needs of the interested parties and if necessary change them.

If you want further guidance you can download our e-book A Guide to Business Process Management.

How do we convert our procedure based system into a process based system?  ..top

If you have a traditional ISO 9000 based management system that is described through a Quality Manual and a set of 20 or so procedures, even if they have been turned into flow charts to get you through the ISO 9001:2000 audit, you won't have a process based management system. Your best solution is to read our book Converting a QMS using the process approach, then notify us of your top 10 issues using our contact form and we will steer you towards a practical solution commensurate with your needs.

How do I get help?

We provide a number of resources that can help you manage your processes more effectively . Just follow the links in the navigation panel on the left to find out more.  If you have a more specific query please contact us now


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Last amended 24/08/2013
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