Process quality standards are an evolving set of essential procedures and methods that make up a discipline of best practice geared towards ensuring project efficiency, effectiveness and economy while maintaining the desired quality and quantity of output desired.
The origin of this approach is to be found in the original work of the British Standard Institute linked to the requirements of the armaments supply industries. Later, the International Organization for Standards (ISO), generalised the approach in a "Process Approach to Quality Standards" set out in the ISO: 9000 series. This approach works well in easily-specified process environments such as manufacturing and industrial processes. However, it has been found to be more difficult to apply the approach to activities where there is considerable uncertainty concerning the state of operational environments, leading to reference performance benchmarks with wide ranges of value. This is the typical state of affairs in natural resources fields such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries all of which are highly dependence on the bio-climates and associated dynamics of bio-environments subject to seasonal variations. Under such circumstances the ISO approach needs to be complemented by decision analysis procedures related to risk analysis. In this context, the ISO procedures lacks provision of guidance on process design methods relevant to natural resources domains.
Surveys and reviews completed in the early 2000s identified a range of limitations associated with the ISO: 9000 process quality approach, as well as the conventional project cycle management devices such as the Log Frame Approach (LFA) and associated Monitoring & Evaluation activities. With the advance of the World Wide Web capabilities a new operational paradigm has emerged where operations research techniques and the speed and reach of global communications have made possible the combination of very sophisticated design and implementation procedures with real time oversight. This new paradigm has been advanced and developed by the Open Quality Standards Initiative (OQSI) who have pioneered a practical adaptation of PCM to the reality of natural resource sector uncertainties so as to lower the risk of projects in these sectors.
Navatec operations remain fully compliant with the OQSI: 1 (2017) recommendations on quality standards which are set out in a practical fashion as a set of due diligence procedures and methods. Although considered to be a significant advance on the ISO: 9000 Process approach the OQSI has always acknowledged that ISO: 9000 represents the foundation for their series of developments and recommendations. Navatec participates in OQSI review committees and our research arm conducts proof of concept and feasibility reviews of pre-release recommendations