Process Improvement: The Job that Never Ends

Michelle Cowan's picture

The goal of process management is to improve performance. Whether the emphasis is customer retention, cycle time, employee satisfaction, efficiency, business growth, productivity, or any other goal, organizations implement process management to improve something. Countless books have been written on the topic, and numerous techniques and methodologies exist to help organizations accomplish these improvements, such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management (TQM).

Change Management: The Heart of Process Management

Michelle Cowan's picture

Without proper change management, you can forget about moving your organization to process management. There is a reason change management is located at the heart of APQC's Seven Tenets of Process Management—number four of seven. All the other tenets, in a way, revolve around change management. The first three—strategic alignment, governance, and process models—lead naturally to change management.

Process Models: Capturing What We Do and How We Get It Done

John Tesmer's picture

APQC is probably most well-known around the world for its research in knowledge management. We’re not as acknowledged for our process classification framework (PCF), but in my humble opinion, the PCF is just as important as any work we do in knowledge management.

Governance: The Structure and Tools for Effective Process Management

John Tesmer's picture

Governance. The mere utterance of the word evokes thoughts of jack-booted control freaks descending down upon hapless process teams. But it doesn’t have to be that way; modern governance models provide structure, guidance, and support to process owners and workers. By leveraging automation and transparent access to information, today's models reduce governance overhead to manageable levels.

Strategic Alignment: Move in the Right Direction

John Tesmer's picture

We’ve all worked in an organization that feels chaotic. Here’s a common scenario: You’re happily performing a process, doing some work you’ve done dozens of times before, only to find out that the one sub-process you depend on has changed, and not for the better. Another common horror story involves two individuals both improving the same process but not knowing it until they end up playing a sort of process tug-of-war, which usually ends in a standstill resolved by the manager who wields the most influence.

Benchmarking: You Can Do It!

Michelle Cowan's picture

It doesn't take much interaction with APQC before you hear about benchmarking. Our business revolves around collecting data, conducting studies, and sharing information. Our mission is to connect organizations with one another to learn. But did you know that we have dozens of resources to help you benchmark for yourself? Whether you intend to outsource your benchmarking research or use your own resources, we have material to help you put the information you uncover into action.

Following the Crowd

Michelle Cowan's picture

Executive: We need to implement business process management. How do we go about doing it?

Colleague: Well, we don't have a center for process improvement, and the group that usually handles enterprise projects does not have expertise in process management specifically.

Executive: I hear that lots of folks are using the Normative Enterprise… Framework… um…

Colleague: The Normative Enterprise Workflow Framework and Associated Definitions?

Executive: Yes! The NEWFAD. Can we implement that? Should we implement it?

Stuck in a Rut?

Michelle Cowan's picture

It's difficult to shake off old patterns, especially when those patterns are dysfunctional processes in an organization. Most organizations have processes that they know do not work, and yet they hold onto them—sometimes for years.

On the hunt for excellence in process management

John Tesmer's picture

I’m looking for this year’s crop of best practice partners in process management – could it be you?

A Love Letter to Measurement

Michelle Cowan's picture

Ah, measurement… It's been too long since I wrote to you. You do such wonderful things for us in business. You show us how everyone is performing right now and warn us when there could be trouble ahead. What's more, you make new things happen and help people see how far we've come.