Practicing Process Thinking

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    Can anybody tell how companies practice process thinking in their quality management systems? How do we practice PDCA in our systems?


    Duke Okes

    Here’s how we practice “process thinking:” When developing a process, think about who the customers/stakeholders are of that process, and how they would evaluate the outcomes.  Then create metrics that the organization can track to measure how well those outcomes are being achieved.  Then develop a process, including suppliers, inputs, resources and controls, that will deliver those outcomes.
    Here’s how PDCA is used: When doing the above, we are Planning a process.  When we execute is on a day-to-day basis, we are Doing it.  We then track performance of the process using the metrics we defined, which is Checking.  Based on what the metrics indicate we may decide to leave the process alone, or to take action to improve it … this is Act.
    PDCA is carried out at multiple levels:
    – Developing and executing the strategic objectives and strategies, then monitoring how well they are achived.
    – Developing and producing products, then measuring how well they meet requirements/specifications.
    – Developing and implementing a QMS (e.g., ISO 9001 based), then measuring how well it performs.
    – Developing a training plan and training employees, then seeing how well they perform.

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