Process management – otherwise known as business process management (BPM) – is an approach to organizational design that, at its core, requires an organization’s activities to be optimized in process. In general, to be successful, process management should focus not on the department-based division of tasks, but rather on individual employees, as they are the ones responsible for performing process steps.
Process management is broken up into different task areas, including process recording, modeling, visualization, analysis, optimization, and controlling. Together, these task areas serve to identify and understand the different processes of an organization so that they can be improved across the enterprise. Ultimately, successful process management will lead to increased effectiveness, transparency, and efficiency, boosting productivity and leading to customer satisfaction.
The practice of process management is not confined to one single industry, instead being applicable to companies throughout different sectors that wish to fulfill the objectives of the system. Its adoption in different industries has been addressed in standardization.
Process Management for Laboratories
Quality is crucial in laboratory activities, but there are varying components of a reliable quality system for the industry. These quality system essentials (QSE) include assessments, documents and equipment, continual improvement, organization, and, unsurprisingly, process management. Whether they are performed through the preexamination, examination, or postexamination phases of laboratory work, processes are at the heart of laboratory operations, and managing them in the appropriate manner can assure success in laboratories.
In any Quality System Essential Process Management plan, laboratories need to analyze their different work processes and make sure that new ones are designed so that regulatory, accreditation, and customer requirements are met in the course of doing the work. Medical and public health laboratories are by no means static entities, and they should be expected to undergo change. These changes, to assure process management success, should be controlled and implemented carefully, possibly even with the help of methodologies such as Six Sigma.
The above information was drawn from CLSI QMS18-Ed1 – Process Management, 1st Edition, a guideline (not a standard) that provides a structured means to develop, implement, monitor, and change laboratory work processes so that laboratories can meet related regulatory and accreditation requirements. It is intended for administrative and technical personnel who develop, perform, and supervise laboratory processes and procedures, pathologists and laboratory medical directors, regulatory and accreditation services, educators, and manufacturers.
Process Management for Aviation
Aviation, like laboratory medicine, harnesses significant benefits from quality management, since, if something were to go wrong, the results could be catastrophic. Similarly, process management can assure customers that equipment is selected and applied in controlled processes compatible with the end application. For avionics, the electrical components of aircraft and spacecraft, an Electronic Components Management Plan (ECMP) can complete this task.
An ECMP should document the processes used by the plan owner to assure durability and performance of the avionics. These processes include component selection, application, qualification, quality assurance, dependability, compatibility with the equipment manufacturing process, and data, along with configuration control. Generally, the plan owner of a complete Electronic Components Management Plan is the avionics original equipment manufacturer.
This information is covered in IEC 62239-1 Ed. 1.0 en:2018 – Process management for avionics – Management plan – Part 1: Preparation and maintenance of an electronic components management plan, a technical specification for avionics process management.
Measuring Process Management
These two examples are industry-specific, and their corresponding documents are only applicable to the industries that they address. However, an international standard, ISO 22514-7:2021 – Statistical methods in process management – Capability and performance – Part 7: Capability of measurement processes, defines a procedure that can be used to measure the results of processes in a process management system.
The procedure covered in the standard is a statistical method, and it can be used to validate measuring systems and a measuring process in order to determine whether a measurement process can accurately assess an organization’s particular task.