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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 ISO 9001:2000
  • Process approach to auditing

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

  • Establishing what it is you want to do - what objectives you want to achieve or what outputs you want to deliver.

  • Establishing measures of success - the factors that will indicate whether the objectives have been achieved or the outputs meet requirements

  • Defining the activities that are critical to achieving these objectives and delivering these outputs

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

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

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

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

  • Establishing whether the processes objectives remain relevant the needs of the stakeholders and if necessary change them

In a recent survey by the committee responsible for ISO 9000 family of standards, users of the new standards reported a concern with the lack of understanding of the process approach. If you would place yourself in this category then please contact us now and we can discuss with you ways or bringing clarity on the process approach into your organization. Alternatively you can browse our Bookstore where you will find several publications dealing with the process approach.

 

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