Monthly Archives: April 2011

Process Based QMS – Part II

Let’s now get into the actual components of the process using the SIPOC diagram.

To review:

S= Supplier (where do the required inputs come from?)

I= Inputs (what is needed to conduct the specified process?)

P= Process (what is the specific process being analyzed?)

O= Output (what are the immediate outputs of the process – including measureables/ metrics)

C= Customer (who receives the outputs of the process?)

I find it best to start with the P (Process) section. You need to make sure that you have defined the scope of the process properly. If it is too wide in scope you will have difficulties. Define the steps involved in the process.

next focus on the output. What are ALL of the outputs of the process? This includes information, products or services, etc… Also look at which of these outputs are key outputs that should be measured/ monitored to verify that the process is effective. When identifying the metrics of a process consider who will gather the data, when, how, how often and who and how will it be analyzed to decide when corrective action is required/ appropriate.

finally, we look at the Customer stage. this merely means who are the recipients of the outputs of the process. This should include both internal and external customers as well as your management review process since there is data that can be fed into your management review process.

Once all of the pieces of the puzzle are defined and working you need to make sure that you have a method for the Process Owners to review and act on the data  (metrics0 from the process as well as the data being an input to your management review process.

At this phase your goal is to make this the “new culture” (way of doing business which can sometimes be challenging. As we all know people will resist change even if it makes complete sense.

The End.

Remember – if you can’t measure it you can’t improve it.

E-mail me with any questions on the proces based Approach to your QMS.



Process Based Quality Management System (QMS)

This post is part1 in a series on the topic of the “Process Based QMS”. 

The “Process Based” approach to implementation of your QMS is one method of making your QMS work for you, not against you. This approach allows your QMS to add value vs adding headaches and cost. Historically many organizations have implemented the “silo based quality system” meaning a compliance/ procedure based QMS that does not identify or evaluate how effective the QMS actually is.

The “Process Based Approach” merely means looking at your Quality system as a series of linked value adding processes that form your QMS or system.

The first step in implementation of a “process Based QMS” is to identify the critical or core business processes that make up your QMS. Some examples are Contract Review, Marketing, Purchasing, Quality Planning, etc…

Once your company has identified these processes you will want to map them out using any number of good process mapping tools that exist. My favorite is the SIPOC diagram. SIPOC stands for S= Supplier, I= Inputs, P= Process, O= Outputs, and C= Customer and is a good method of completely understanding the information flow and requirements of your specific process from a high level. It also forces you to look at the outputs of the process so you can determine what metrics can and should be monitored or measured.  One important aspect of the “Process Based” approach is that it is a closed loop approach meaning you will know the effectiveness of the process in meeting it’s objectives. 

The next step is to identify the interrelationship of all of the identified processes to understand the flow of inputs and outputs to each other. Example – the output of the Marketing process may be a solid sales lead which should result in an input of a  feasible quote for the Quote process. 

Typically a macro level process map is used to illustrate the relationship of the QMS processes to each other.

In the next blog I will get into the specifics of the process itself in detail.

Remember – if you cannot measure it you cannot improve it.


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