Business Process

The reason why organisations thrive and why they can stagnate...

Jargon

ISO9001 / 9002 / 9003 - now replaced by ISO 9001:2000 update.

ISO 9001:2000 update - a general standard for the management of organisations written by the International Standards Organisation.

TickIT - A general standard for the management of IT.

BS7799 - A general standard for the management of IT / information security.

Internal audit - reviews by staff / contractors of how processes are working with an emphasis on finding ways to improve ways of working.

External audit - reviews conducted by an auditor working for an external certification body e.g. BSI / BVQI.

Download PDF feature articles:

  • Management Masterclass: Business Process

    Mention the words "quality" or "process" and most people have an immediate (negative) unconscious response. Too often "quality" is associated with:

  • Someone else (quality dept / managers / external auditors / ...)
  • Vast quantities of paper
  • Control
  • Overhead
  • Waste of time
  • Inflexibility / lack of creativity
  • ...

    Regrettably the above perceptions are all too often justified because of the way in which the concept of quality / process has been approached. Typical errors include:

  • Paper based documentation V Intranet pages
  • Too much documentation
  • Too much / insufficient detail
  • Not asking certification auditors "why?"
  • Ineffective internal audits (hear no evil, see no evil, keep the peace)
  • Out of date process models
  • Textual process descriptions
  • Lack of buy-in
  • Internal politics
  • Poor definition of external audit scope
  • Lack of connection with reality
  • Lack of change management
  • Lack of understanding of the psychological aspects of change
  • ...

    A great deal of time and effort can be expended on quality - sometimes with very little in terms of tangible ROI. Effective ways of implementing quality do exist and will generally adhere to the following principles:

  • Intranet based delivery
  • Diagram based process overviews
  • Minimal controlled documentation
  • Optional central administration service
  • Ownership by managers / users
  • Clear vocal support from executive management
  • Humane internal auditing (honest / objective / fearless)
  • Active management of certification auditors
  • Usage / change monitored
  • Rapid implementation of change
  • Process automation where appropriate
  • Willingness to experiment with change (revert if required)
  • Very deliberate promotion of process improvement
  • Monitor perceptions over time
  • ...

    External advisors such as Neuro Innovations can be particularly effective in this area. They can enable step change to occur sometimes because they are external and have no baggage associated with them. We can combine expertise in business management with psychology to leverage even greater levels of change and benefit.

    Glossary: business process, management audit, process audit, process analysis, strategy, internal audit, external audit, iso9001, iso2000, bs7799, survey design, survey analysis, system dynamics modelling, process automation, risk management, bpre, quality, quality management




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