Ten Tips for Moving to ISO 9001:2000 – 3. Adopt the Process Approach

A “process” is a system of activities that uses resources to transform inputs into outputs. The “process approach” promoted by ISO 9001:2000 systematically identifies and manages these processes and their interaction within a quality management system.

As mentioned in an earlier tip, the process model illustrates the linkage of ISO 9001:2000 clauses (4-8) based on the plan-do-check-act approach. This PDCA methodology can be applied to all processes.

In the Plan step, you establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with customer requirements and organization policies. These processes are implemented in the Do step. Then you monitor and measure the processes in the Check step and report the results. The Act step takes the actions needed to continually improve process performance.

An advantage of the process approach is the ongoing control it provides over the linkages between individual processes within a system of processes, as well as, their combination and interaction. According to clause 4.2.2 in ISO 9001:2000, the quality manual must describe the interaction of the processes within the quality management system.