Do You Really Understand Your Business Processes?

The concept of process can be a difficult one to master. I’m never surprised by people asking me, ‘is this a process or a procedure’?, because it really is difficult for some people to grasp.

Whether its a Quality Manager, member of top management or a H&S Professional, – I get asked at least once a week to help them gain a better understanding of how to recognise a process, how to document a process, and what a procedure is.

Let’s be clear – a process is a set of inter-related activities that transform inputs into outputs. Processes cross departments; they don’t operate in silos. As such, they have several ‘contributors’. Examples of processes are:

  • Winning Business
  • Making Products
  • Managing Finance
  • Delivering Projects

Business process are measurable and allow an organisation to monitor and measure performance.

Procedures, on the other hand, provide step by step instruction on how to perform a single activity. Procedures support processes and are required when:

  • Activities are complex
  • The organisation requires standardisation and consistency in how a specific task or activity is performed

ISO management system standards require an organisation to create a ‘process-based’ management system, because processes can be managed.

If you need further guidance, you may want to consider a new training session that I am running – Understanding Business Processes. This 1-day session provides clarification regarding:

  • How to recognise and define the processes in your company
  • How to effectively document processes
  • Understand the difference between ‘procedures’ and ‘processes’
  • How processes can be used to manage your company effectively

For more information, click here.

You might also find other articles I have written around process management, which can all be found here.

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