The APQC Blog

Getting Clarity on the Process Classification Framework

APQC's Process Classification FrameworkSM (PCF) is a useful tool that outlines the most common processes practiced in organization, categorizes them, and then aligns them according to a hierarchical numbering system. Yet many people feel that isn’t quite deep enough. Many users contact APQC to ask, “What do you mean by this process?” The PCF is meant to a high-level snapshot of an organization’s processes, as that allows users to tailor it to their unique needs.

Yet to balance the need for a little more clarity and offer more specific guidance, APQC has created a series of supplemental documents called Definitions and Key Measures. These documents take a deeper look into the processes offered through the PCF. They tell what the process is intended to perform, how to view the anticipated outcomes, and key performance indicators (KPIs), when applicable, that can help track and measure each process.

There is one Definition and Key Measure document for each of the 12 main PCF categories. Along with the process number and title, each entry includes the process’s unique identifier that allows for tracking that process across various versions of the PCF (see figure below). Each entry includes a definition of what each process is attempting to accomplish. These documents also include references to APQC’s open standards benchmarking key performance indicators.

Many people have found this additional detail helpful in their quest to understand the process classification framework. Let us know what we can do to help you better leverage these tools. Join our APQC PCF LinkedIn Group for more information!