Process Management


  • I Overview
  • II Process Analysis
  • III Process Improvement
  • IV Managing the Team
  • V Standard Forms
  • VI Tools for Process Management

I Overview

A. Introduction Process management is a vehicle to shift from management by control-functions and people to management by commitment, commitment to managing process that meet customer requirements.

This guide has been written to assist you the process owner, facilitator or leader to achieve business performance improvement through Process Management implementation. The specific objectives of these guidelines are to:

  • Confirm your understanding of process management and its role in quality management implementation.
  • Improve your understanding of the steps involved in the Process Management methodology.
  • Give you a brief description of potential tools to use for analyzing and improving processes.
  • Give you the understanding and confidence to guide process owners, other team leaders and members to perform quality work and to get results.
  • Provide you with an understanding of how to be most effective within the organization.

To gain maximum benefit from this guide, Process Owners facilitators or leaders should have previously participated in a Process Management Implementation workshop and will have been a team member or leader under the guidance of a previously qualified facilitator.

The guide will help you to resolve process problems, continuously improve a process, and design a process (often referred to as process re-design or re- engineering or process engineering). The following are the sections and sub-sections covered in the guide.

B. What is quality?
Quality is defined as meeting customer requirements. Customers may define their needs, but suppliers are often the experts on what can actually be delivered. Therefore suppliers must agree with customers on what it is to be delivered. These are the customer requirements that suppliers must meet exactly and consistently.

Customer needs keep advancing over time. Creativity and innovation is needed to meet tomorrow’s customer needs. Suppliers must anticipate these changing needs and agree on the requirements that will be met. Exceeding today’s requirement will quickly change the requirement to be met. It is important, therefore, that requirements be met exactly until a new requirement has been agreed to.

All work is a process – things go in, get worked upon, and come out differently. Each activity has an output that goes to someone – an internal or external customer. Since processes deliver to customers and it is the outputs of these processes that must meet customer requirements, we must ensure that outputs meet requirements. In addition to customer requirements, other stakeholders have requirements. Processes are also the vehicle to meet these requirements. Depending on the scope of your implementation efforts, you may also want to define these requirements and use the same approach to ensure they are also met.

C. The process management focus of quality management

Business performance improvement management implementation focuses on four key areas:

  • Process management.
  • People development.
  • Measurement.
  • Technology.

While attention to any one of these elements is likely to improve performance in the short term, a balanced focus on all four areas will build permanent foundations for improved organizational performance that is self-sustained and continuous.

As already stated, Process Management is a vehicle to shift from management by control-functions and people-to management by commitment-commitment to managing processes and meeting customer requirements. In parallel with the requirement to establish effective improvement mechanisms and measurement for the processes, there is a need to identify necessary cultural change. Cultural change is started because process management requires a process focus and this process view is not consistent with the functional view of the organization, since processes cross traditional functional boundaries. Processes convert customer needs into satisfied customers and money in the hands of the shareholders. The traditional functional view of the organization is not aligned with this.

The implementation of Process Management is initiated as a top-down effort and transitions to a bottom-up effort. Initially a number of processes are selected for implementation efforts. Process management implementation is a progression through three phases as illustrated below.

These three phases overlap and are addressed using the Process Management Methodology. Sometimes a part of the implementation strategy is to also establish issue/problem solving teams and/or process design teams. The same methodology is used. This 17-step methodology is broken into two parts in this guide.

  • The first part, described in Chapter II, is called Process Analysis and covers Steps 1 to 8.
  • The second part, described in Chapter III, is called Process Improvement and covers Steps 9 to 17.

A diagram of the steps themselves follows in section E of this chapter.

D. How to use this guide
In this section we will outline what you will find when you open this guide and describe how the sections are organized. This will help you to use the Process Management Methodology in the most effective way possible.

This guide has 3 main components:

  • The Process Management Methodology (Chapters II to IV).
  • Standard forms used by the team (Chapter V).
  • Tools for Process Management (Chapter VI).

Sprinkled throughout are key pieces of advice. To highlight these, we have used a special key symbol to alert you.

E. Process Management Methodology steps

Process Analysis Steps (Chapter II)

Process Improvement Steps (Chapter III)

II Process Analysis

This section describes the detailed steps needed to conduct process analysis, including tips to get the most from using the guide. Step 1 – Start -up team
Step 2 – Research customer needs and expectations
Step 3 – Select issue
Step 4 – Define / Design the process
Step 5 – Agree on standards and design performance measures
Step 6 – Implement processes, standards, measures
Step 7 – Confirm process / issue focus
Step 8 – Set improvement objectives and schedule

III Process Improvement

This section describes the detailed steps needed to conduct process improvement, including key points to get the most from using the guide.

Step 9 – Detail causes
Step 10 – Gather data on root causes and analyze
Step 11 – Select root cause to eliminate/investigate
Step 12 – Formulate alternative solutions
Step 13 – Evaluate and select best solution
Step 14 – Conduct experiment (optional)
Step 15 – Document solutions
Step 16 – Implement solutions
Step 17 – Confirm improvement and continuously monitor

IV Managing the Team

This section describes the detailed activities involved in managing the meetings and workshops effectively. Often it is this area where so many improvement initiatives go off track. Specific techniques to manage the team efficiently are described.

A. Effective Meetings
B. Documentation Control
C. First team meetings
D. Facilitators Role in Getting Results

V Standard Forms

The secret of this guide is the use of standard forms to manage the information which is generated. These forms provide consistency and allow the team to manage the thinking. Without these forms the information generated blows with the wind and learning does not occur.

VI Tools for Process Management

The tools part of the guide (Chapter V) describes, in more detail, each tool referred to in the methodology chapters, (Chapters II and III), when they can be used and how to use them.

The description of each tool includes four main sections. These sections are separated by a bold horizontal line. They are:

a) Description and purpose
This section describes what the purpose of the tool is and gives an overview of the tool itself.

b) When to use this tool
This will help the facilitator to decide whether or not to use the tool. The specific step(s) that may use this tool are also identified.

c) Method of use
This section describes the tool and detailed tasks to use the tool.

d) Example
This section shows an example of the finished output of the tool where applicable.

Listed below are the tools:

Basic Tools: 1. Brainstorming 2. Voting rules 3. Ranking methods 4. Customer map 5. Statistics 101 – Introduction to concepts 6. Pareto chart 7. Tree diagram (Perspective chart) 8. Process flow diagram 9. Process analysis measures 10. Cause and effect (fish bone) analysis 11. Procedure writing guidelines 12. Process auditing approach 13. Training approaches 14. Gantt chart
Advanced Tools:

15. Affinity diagram 16. Collection of existing data 17. Surveys – Writing questionnaires 18. Experts and focus group research 19. Quality function deployment 20. Relationship diagram 21. Performance tracking charts 22. Process capability study 23. Statistical process control (SPC) (Control charts) 24. Measurement system error 25. Work flow diagram 26. Force field analysis 27. Design of experiments