The process approach is an essential to implementation of a quality management system. Click here for a video on the basics of the process aprroach. The 2008 revision placed the process approach in an elevated position, but the confusion with the process seemed to come in implementation due to the definition. The 2015 version will still maintains the process approach, required in the DIS, but some believe the vagueness to remain. See Christopher Paris here. Quality Digest disagrees here.
“The process approach in the 2008 version left many businesses unclear about the importance of this concept; 2015 will provide the exact requirements … involve[ing] a more explicit definition of the “process approach.” An organization’s QMS must be built around processes where products or services are the output. The primary objective … is to meet customer requirements. The process approach as described in the 2008 version of ISO 9001 left many registrants confused about this requirement. The 2015 version will provide clarity and better guidance” (Quality Digest).
Despite the full 2015 version is not available, there might still be a problem with the process approach. Some of the terms used in place or referring to of the process approach in the 2015 revision are: process, program, activity, action. Each word can lead to more than one specific meaning (equivocal meaning).
Sub Clause 0.2 Process Approach: “the application of a system of processes within an organization, together with the identification and interactions of these processes, and their management to produce the desired outcome, can be referred as the ‘process approach’”.
While the approach in 2015 defines products and services as outputs eliminating some confusion, placing customer satisfaction and requirements on a higher plain, apparently the general consensus is that the defining of the process approach has yet to be rectified, i.e. it remains confusing.
Time will tell if the definition of the process approach is all that different from the 2008 revision. When the full committee revision comes out this blog will publish an article revisiting the definition of the process approach.
For Further reading on this subject: www.dqs.co.za, www.qualitydigest.com, www.sgs.com
Photo credit: here.
View the whole ISO 9001:2015 article series: here.