domingo, janeiro 31, 2021

How can we use the process approach (part I)

 1. Management system definition

Let us start with the management system definition.

Do you know what is the ISO 9000:2015 management system definition?

set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies and objectives, and processes to achieve those objectives

Let us substitute “set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization” with the word “system”. According to ISO 9000:2015, a system is a “set of interrelated or interacting elements”. So, a management system is:

A system to establish policies and objectives, and processes to achieve those objectives

Have you ever looked at this definition of a management system? Seriously, have you ever looked at this definition with eyes to see? I confess, for years and years I looked at it and never gave it importance, until one day I read it again and I was shocked ... I have been working with ISO 9001 since the 1980s. At that time, I was trained in another view on quality systems, very focused on procedures and quality control. 

Now, I was looking at the definition of a management system and saw something I had never seen before. A management system is a system that establishes a policy, that is, a strategic orientation, a set of priorities, translates that policy into a set of objectives aligned with the policy, the objectives are concrete challenges to be achieved, and then, start working systematically to achieve these objectives. 

2. Systemic thinking

An organization is a system. A system generates results and these results do not happen by chance, they are a perfectly normal product resulting from the system, the way people work, their culture. Thus, the current system generates the current results. If an organization wants to achieve different results in the future, it will have to transform, it will have to stop being the current organization to become the organization of the future. 

When we look into the current organization, the one generating the current results, we can discover a network of loops, a network of practices, that reinforce desired or undesired results:
Parts of these loops are intentional design, but others have evolved without a central command. To achieve the desired objectives for the future, it is necessary to act on these loop networks. 

Back to the definition of a management system. In a management system, the focus must be on the work to be carried out systematically to modify an organization, so that it can achieve objectives aligned with strategic priorities. I would almost say that everything else is noise. 

Next: Process approach definition

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