Modelling business processes with links to ISO 9001
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This work in the domain of quality management and business process design looks at how the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems are designed and implemented in business. It is the aim of the research reported in this thesis to support manufacturing companies when modelling a Fulfil Order Process by identifying the links to the ISO 9001 quality standard and highlighting potential impact from any changes in the process or the standard during a redesign project. It does so by presenting a modelling technique, named IDEF9000, which will enable companies to take a systemic perspective of a Fulfil Order Process identifying all relevant links to ISO 9001. A research strategy based around the experiences of companies when designing business processes with links to ISO 9001 was adopted. In-depth case studies carried out by the author showed that simply documenting what an organisation does to satisfy the various elements of ISO 9001 is still one of the most common approaches adopted. This results in a process-oriented character only at the documentation stage. It is the result of limited guidance on how to integrate the requirements of ISO 900 I in business processes. The work proceeded by exploring the domains of business processes, the use of systems thinking to explain business processes and the relevance of ISO 9001 requirements from a process-based viewpoint. A set of criteria was developed to identify activities, information and other flows controlled by ISO 9001 to design a Fulfil Order Process in a manufacturing company. This provided the context for the development of the modelling technique IDEF9000, which is an enhanced version of IDEFo, and its validation by review and by use in two manufacturing companies. The originality of this work lies in the identification and emphasis by the author of the need to take a systemic view of business processes when designing or redesigning a process-based ISO 9001 quality management system. Also, criteria for a technique to address the modelling of a Fulfil Order Process were identified. Furthermore this contribution to knowledge includes the identification of links between ISO 9001 requirements and a holistic Fulfil Order Process. This led to the development of further criteria for modelling such a business process showing the links to ISO 9001. IDEF9000 represents an improved modelling approach that fulfils the identified criteria and permits the systemic design or redesign of a Fulfil Order Process while establishing the links controlled by the ISO 9001 quality standard.
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