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What is the Process Approach in ISO 9001:2015? (Explained + Benefits)
At the heart of contemporary quality management lies a strategic approach that prioritises processes – Process-Based Quality Management (PBQM).
This approach, intricately woven into the fabric of ISO 9001:2015, serves as a framework for organisations to enhance their operations and ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality products and services.
Defining the Process Approach in Quality Management
The process approach is a cornerstone of ISO 9001:2015, centring on the understanding that a consistent and predictable result is achieved more efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system.
This results in a dynamic quality management system that not only supports the organisation’s strategic goals but also adapts to the changing business environment, ensuring sustained success.
The Essence of ISO 9001:2015's Process Orientation
The ISO 9001:2015 standard champions a paradigm shift from mere compliance to a process-driven quality management system (QMS).
It urges organisations to dissect their operations into processes that can be optimised, controlled, and improved over time.
Core Principles of Process-Based Quality Management
- Customer-Focused Processes: Aligning processes to fulfil and exceed customer expectations.
- Leadership and Vision: Steering the organisational direction to ensure quality is a universal priority.
- Empowerment of People: Utilising the talent pool to foster a culture of continuous quality improvement.
- Integrated Processes: Viewing operations as an interconnected system that delivers consistent quality.
- Commitment to Improvement: Cultivating an ethos of perpetual enhancement in quality.
- Informed Decision-Making: Basing decisions on the meticulous analysis of data.
- Strategic Relationship Management: Nurturing partnerships that contribute to sustained quality improvements.
Implementing Process-Based Quality Management within the ISO 9001:2015 Framework
Adopting a process-based approach to quality management requires a methodical and structured implementation strategy:
Mapping and Understanding Processes
This diagrammatic representation is the first step in visualising and understanding the interplay between various business processes.
Designing and Optimising Processes
Key actions include:
- Goal Setting: Determining what each process aims to achieve in line with the quality objectives.
- Resource Allocation: Providing the necessary tools and personnel for each process.
- Role Definition: Establishing clear responsibilities to ensure process integrity.
Monitoring and Controlling Processes
- Upholding Standards: Ensuring processes consistently meet the established quality criteria.
- Performance Measurement: Applying quantitative measures to evaluate process effectiveness.
- Adaptive Management: Modifying processes in response to performance data.
Assessing and Refining Processes
Continuous assessment is necessary for:
- Spotting Inefficiencies: Identifying and addressing weaknesses within processes.
- Corrective Action: Implementing changes to mitigate any identified issues.
- Seeking Innovation: Pursuing opportunities to enhance process efficiency and effectiveness.
Building the Case for a PBMS
Benefits of a Process-Based Quality Management System
Organisations embracing PBQM can expect to reap a multitude of benefits:
- Streamlined Efficiency: Processes are refined to reduce waste and optimise resource usage.
- Consistent Quality Outputs: A stable process environment yields reliable product and service quality.
- Elevated Customer Satisfaction: A direct focus on customer needs ensures their fulfilment.
- Enhanced Employee Engagement: Clear process understanding leads to a more motivated workforce.
- Agility in Operations: A well-defined process structure allows for rapid response to change.
Next Steps: Implementing the Process Approach for Operational Excellence
Moving forward, embracing the process-based attributes of a quality management system is not just a strategic choice, but a necessity for organisational agility and excellence.
To truly harness the potential of the process approach as outlined by ISO 9001:2015, one must consider integrating advanced systems that are designed to streamline and optimise these essential processes.
The Agility System stands as a testament to the power of process-based quality management, embodying the very attributes that drive efficiency and quality.
Book a demo and experience firsthand how the Agility System can transform your organisation’s processes, leading to unmatched operational efficiency and a sustainable competitive advantage.
Explore our comprehensive guide on ISO 9001:2015’s risk-based thinking – transforming quality management with proactive, strategic approaches.
Explore the key differences between ISO 9001 and API Q1/Q2 standards for quality management in the oil & gas industry.
Getting started with the Agility System
Book a live demo to see how the Agility System can transform your organisation