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TQM cornerstone: Focus on process

According to Bergman one of the Total Quality Management cornerstone is focus on process. What's definition of process in that case?

Process is a network of interrelated activities that are repeated in time, whose objective is to create value to the external customer [1]. Bergman think about process like some group of organized activities that are in the system, where input contain resources like equipment, manpower, material and on the output there are results (information, goods, services), see at the Figure below:
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Figure above is from Bergman [1] and visualize idea that process transform resources into results to satisfy the customer.

There are three types of processes:

  • main process - tasks that fulfil the external customer needs and expectations, and tasks for making improvements for a current product in organization. Processes that often are main: product development, distribution.
  • support process - tasks that provide all essential resources and supper to main process, like maintenance, recruitments and information. Mainly for internal customers.
  • management process - tasks that define the organizations goals, improvements and organization processes. Some management processes are: planning, tergeting, auditing. Mainly for internal customers.

Visualization of those types of prcesses are shown below and comes from Begman [1]

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To sum up, focus on processes is very important from TQM point of view, because provide information about activities in organization that we can measure, study and improve.

[1] Bo Bergman and Bengt Klefsjö, Quality: From Customer Needs to Customer Satisfaction. McGraw-Hill, 1994.