The Power of Using ‘Turtle Diagrams’

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The power of using “Turtle Diagrams”

A “Turtle Diagram” is a quality tool used to visually display process characteristics such as inputs, outputs (expectations), criteria (metrics) and other high-level information to assist in the effective execution and improvement of key business processes.  The benefit from a business perspective is it helps management step back and review their processes. “Turtle Diagrams” also support the communication and mapping of interrelated processes with relevant functions and levels within the organisation.

Is there an ISO 9001 requirement to develop Turtle Diagrams?

There is no requirement however Clause 4.1 of ISO 9001 states, “The organization shall identify the processes needed for the QMS and their application throughout the organization and determine the sequence and interaction of these processes.”  Even though there is no requirement under ISO 9001 to use “Turtle Diagrams”, there is a
requirement for  organisations to determine and manage numerous linked activities to enable the transformation of inputs into  outputs.  Utilising “Turtle Diagrams” gives organisations a mechanism to determine and manage their numerous linked activities.

Using “Turtle Diagrams” to improve procedures

“Turtle Diagrams” are an effective tool to understand the processes from both a managerial and workforce
perspective. These diagrams can also be used to identify gaps in the organisations structure and further develop organisational procedures.  From these activities further measures can also be developed for efficiency

How to use “Turtle Diagrams”

Inputs – Enter details of the actual process input such as documents, materials, schedules, requirements,
information, etc.

Process – Enter the Management process.

Outputs – Enter details of the actual process output such as product, documentation, records, etc.

With What (Equipment & Materials). Enter details of the machine, materials, test equipment, computer systems and software, used in the process.

With Who (Resources/ Competence). Enter personnel requirements, including skills, competency and training requirements, restrictions, etc.

How (Support processes, Procedures & Methods).  Enter linked process controls, support processes,         instructions, procedures, illustrations, specific methods used, etc.

What Results (Performance Indicators). Enter the measures of the process effectiveness & efficiencies such as Objectives, Targets, Key Performance Indicators, etc.

Using “Turtle Diagrams” for auditing

If you are carrying out an internal audit, you can use “Turtle Diagrams” to understand input/output for the
process/activity under the scope of the internal audit.

To support auditing activities the auditor needs assess process owner, stakeholders of the process, procedures, mechanisms and controls, competence, training and awareness of the personnel involved, and linked
processes.  Based upon the “Turtle Diagram” it gives the auditor a “guide” to perform a process audit, and helps the identity of the direction the audit will follow.

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