quality management. Many have only focused on the production operations and those
that focused on management have not been associated with quality management. But
that is changing – quality is now a strategic issue. We just have to change the way we
perceive various aspects of quality management if these various tools, techniques and
ideas are to be used successfully.
As indicated previously, the management system consists of a series of processes inter-
connected in a manner that enables the organization to achieve its objectives.
Until the spread of ISO 9000, organizations focused on fixing processes and problems
with the output not on refining procedures. However, in view of the confusion that has
arisen between processes and procedures a short diversion to explain the differences
is appropriate. This is illustrated in Table 1.8.
A view that is emerging in the literature supporting ISO 9000:2000 is that the proced-
ural approach is about how you do things and processes are about what you do. This
is misleading as it places the person outside the process when in fact the person is part
of the process. It also sends out a signal that processes are just a set of instructions
Basic concepts 55
Procedures are driven by completion Processes are driven by achievement
of the task. of a desired result.
Procedures are implemented. Processes are operated.
Procedure steps are completed by Process stages are completed by different
different people in different departments people with the same objectives –
with different objectives. departments do not matter.
Procedures are discontinuous. Processes flow to conclusion.
Procedures focus on satisfying Processes focus on satisfying the
the rules. interested parties.
Procedures define the sequence of Processes transform inputs into outputs
steps to execute a task. through use of resources.
Procedures may be used to process Information is processed by use of a
Procedures exist – they are static. Processes behave – they are dynamic.
Procedures cause people to take Processes cause things to happen.
actions and decisions.
Table 1.8 Contrasting procedures with processes
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