The APQC Blog

4 Things Everyone Should be Using a Process Framework for

Last month, we talked about the most important factors to consider when picking a framework. Now that we’ve discussed how to choose a framework, let’s look at some of the ways in which every organization should be using a process framework.

1. Mapping Relevant Processes

The benefits of process mapping are extensive, but it takes meticulous work to get there. Fortunately, using a process framework streamlines the effort required. Most organizations leverage a framework to help them map their processes. APQC’s Process Classification Framework (PCF)® is one example of a framework that supports organizations’ mapping efforts. Organizations use the PCF as a checklist of common business activities (i.e., process steps), which is a helpful starting point for process mapping. Using a framework also ensures that mapping is aligned with other process efforts.

2. Building End-to-End Processes

Frameworks play an important role in assuring quality and accuracy in end-to-end process maps and models. Organizations can use a framework as a reference guide to support the key steps to effective end-to-end process mapping. Process frameworks are beneficial for building end-to-end processes for three main reasons.

  1. Saves time: A process framework provides common business processes that can be used as building blocks.
  2. Minimizes confusion: Process frameworks establish a common language and are great to refer to when building process maps, which immensely minimizes room for interpretation and confusion.
  3. Creates buy-in: Process frameworks provide an objective point of view that helps consolidate differing internal perspectives within organizations.

3. Collecting Relevant Support Information

Process frameworks help organizations gather support information (e.g., standard operating procedures, checklists, and knowledge management content) in a structured way and ensure there are no gaps in the collection process. After support information has been gathered, frameworks can aid in the development of taxonomies and other structures for storing and sharing the collected information.

4. Prioritizing Process Improvements

Process frameworks lay out a standard process landscape, which is why they’re ideal for prioritizing improvement opportunities. They make it easy to see where the biggest gaps and issues lie. Organizations should take advantage of the information that process frameworks provide and really invest in understanding where to focus their improvement efforts. A process framework, in combination with a facilitated discussion or workshop, can help evaluate current performance and identify which gaps require the most attention.

Leveraging a process framework consistently throughout process work significantly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of process improvement efforts. Organizations seeking to streamline their process improvement efforts can follow these steps to help make their process improvement journey a sustainable one.

To learn more about this topic, check out the full article and other related resources.

Has your organization implemented a process framework?

We want to learn more about how your organization uses process frameworks and the challenges associated with implementation. If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear it! Contact me at lmorgan@apqc.org to learn more.