© Transition Support Last edit 12/12/2022
A flexible approach to business improvement
What is the process approach?
Whatever you set out to do you often have a choice as to the approach you take in doing it - a way of dealing with it. You can take a disciplined approach, a professional approach, a guarded approach, a benevolent approach, a charitable approach, structured approach; the list is endless.
Over the last few years an approach to doing things that views all work as a process has been adopted by many organizations. It is called the 'process approach' but as with all new initiatives, no sooner do they appear than alongside or even preceding them come a host of misconceptions like the messenger who reaches the King after news of the battle has broken - whatever the message it is immediately coloured by the perceptions already being formed, making it difficult to remove any bias present. Virgin ideas are therefore hard to create in people's minds.
The process approach to what?
Searching the web on the phrase 'process approach' will reveal a lot of material very little of which is concerned with business processes and much of it to do with teaching and writing. Here are some examples.
- The Process Approach to Teaching Writing
- A Process Approach to Information Skills
- A process approach to learning
- A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling
- Financial Accounting: A Business Process Approach
- The Process Approach to Newswriting
- A Nursing Process Approach
- The process of research design and methods
- A process approach to the transfer of training
- A process approach to managing work
The process approach that is referred to in the ISO 9000 family of standards is the process approach to management work which implies there are different ways of management work and indeed there are.
- We can manage work by dividing the people doing it according to the specialist skills and knowledge they possess. This is managing work by functional discipline and referred to as the functional approach to management
- We can manage work by dividing the activities concerned into groups that serve the same objective regardless of who performs the work. This is managing work by process and referred to as the process approach to management.
See also Process based management systems
More information on this may be found in Chapter 9 of the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook 7E