Quality Management Principle #4 – Process Approach

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“Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system.”

Process Approach


“The quality management system consists of interrelated processes. Understanding how results are produced by this system enables an organization to optimize the system and its performance.” 


A process is an activity or sequence of activities that transforms a set of inputs into a set of outputs, these can be services or products. The process approach is about reducing the variability of these processes and ensuring that they are focused on the customer. Far too often processes within some companies are more focused on meeting their own internal bureaucracy rather than focused on the customers’ needs.

Process approach means managing processes effectively where a set of effective task-based procedures that supports of the business objectives are defined. It also means that the processes are designed to meet the organization’s objectives and continually measure, review and improve their performance.

The process approach is about aligning these processes to meet the customers’ needs in as efficient a manner as possible. Maintaining control over them and continually improving them.

The information and materials are fully transformed within the process to information or material outputs. The outputs are given results of products and services produced by the organization. All inputs are delivered by internal or external suppliers (it can be men who does some work before or another organization from which inputs are purchased).

It is crucial to identify and empower so-called process owner for every process. The process owner is person (function) in organization who is responsible for the outputs quality and effective process performance.

Efficiency is better achieved when things are managed as processes, rather than as individual tasks or separate departments. To apply a process approach means that you first decide what you plan to do, and then work out what processes you need in order to provide that service/create the product. For example, you have to decide what the tasks are, how and where they relate, what resources and inputs you need, and how to do things in order to arrive at the result you want.

This principle is very important for modern quality management unquestionably. The organization performs more effectively and all results are achieved more efficiently when inter-related activities are managed as a process.

Applying the principle of engagement of people typically leads to these actions;

  • Systematically defining the activities necessary to obtain a desired result.
  • Establishing clear authority, responsibility and accountability for managing key activities.
  • Analyzing and measuring of the capability of key activities.
  • Identifying the interfaces of key activities within and between the functions of the organization.
  • Manage processes and their interrelations as a system to achieve the organization’s quality objectives effectively and efficiently.
  • Focusing on the factors such as resources, methods, and materials that will improve key activities of the organization.
  • Manage and evaluate risks, consequences and impacts of activities on customers, suppliers and other interested parties.

The Key Benefits

  • Enhanced ability to focus effort on key processes and opportunities for improvement
  • Consistent and predictable outcomes through a system of aligned processes
  • Optimized performance through effective process management, efficient use of resources, and reduced cross-functional barriers
  • Enabling the organization to provide confidence to interested parties as to its consistency, effectiveness and efficiency

Check out the Quality Management Principle #5 in the next article ……

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Monika Ardianto

Quality Management Consultant and Auditor at Monika Nonce Ardianto
Monika Ardianto is a Certified Quality/Operational Management Consultant with over 20 years of experience in improving quality management systems of large businesses. She is an award winning author of "Winning the Audit".

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