• Dr.Bahtiyar EREN

6. What is process and process management? What its relationship with PDCA Cycle?

Updated: Dec 17, 2019


There is a direct relationship between process management and lean management. As all you expect, "goods and services" can only be provided as a result of a process.


In order to improve the goods and services,

1) Customer complaints, requests, needs and expectations should be learned,

2) Process flow should be reorganized accordingly so that customer are satisfied.


Process Management and PDCA Cycle require all participations' input.

This blog focus on questions to answer such as:

1) What is process and process management?

2) What is the Plan, Do, Check and Act (PDCA) Cycle?

3) How does it relate to process management?


The word "process" is defined in ISO 9000:2000 clause 3.4.1 as "a set of interrelated or interacting activities that transforms inputs into outputs."

It is no doubt that there are more than one process in any organization. These processes should connected to one another. Output of one process will be the input to the other process. It is very crucial to make this connection smooth and effective. How are we going to make this? The answer to this question is hidden under term "process management".


The process management (approach) directly links process inputs that come from suppliers to the outputs of the process that go to customers. This horizontal linkage between suppliers and customers is an excellent way to manage and continually improve both the effectiveness (the amount of value created for the customers) and the efficiency of the process (the amount of resources consumed)[2].


Process management is a discipline covers defining and managing the process itself and its relationships with the other processes in order to produce the desired result.

The principles of process management (ISO 9001:2008, s.5-6);

✑ (1) Understand the conditions and requirements of the processes,

✑ (2) Execute the processes by complying with the requirements,

✑ (3) Review the processes in terms of value-added perspective,

✑ (4) Get the desired performance and results out of process,

✑ (5) Improve the process continuously based on objective measurements.


Process management as stated above start with understanding the process and ends with the improvement of the process. Process management can be applied to any process. It is similar to Plan-Do-Check and Act (PDCA) Cycle. PDCA Cycle makes the process management effective.


The short explanation for each phase of PDCA Cycle.

Plan: Define the process to be analyzed, determine the improvement target level, propose alternative solutions and select the one that enables the target level happen.

Do: Execute the proposed solution

Control: Control and check the output of the proposed process.

Act: If the output (result) of the proposed process is as expected and meet the target improvement level, then standardize the process across the organization. Otherwise, go back to "Plan" phase and start all over again.


Process management supported with PDCA Cycle should focus on

1) Customer satisfaction and

2) Organization's policy, vision and values as well as goals and objectives.


Process management without PDCA Cycle cannot be sustained continuously.

PDCA Cycle without process management is like doing nothing while dreaming high.



“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”  

Peter Drucker

Video link for this topic:


You can find more videos about Lean Management both in Turkish and English on my YouTube Channel "Dr.Bahtiyar EREN"

Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxMmXLJBx712F9bo0AhvWrw


You can find the detailed information about Lean Management in my book "Lean Management and Techniques: Questions and Answers" published by Yazardan Direkt Publishing House. Please note that the book is in Turkish. You can order the book from www.amazon.com.tr and http://www.heryerdekitap.com


Please check my webpage www.freeleansixsigma.com for mor information about Lean Six Sigma both in Turkish and English.


Quality is not an act, It is a habit. Aristotle.


Dr.Bahtiyar EREN

[1] ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems: Requirements

[2] http://asq.org/quality-progress/2001/12/standards-outlook/the-process-approach-to-qms-in-iso-9001-and.html


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Operations Research
CSSBB, CSSGB, CQE
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