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What is the Process of Standardization?

What is the Process of Standardization?

How often do we hear the word “standardization” in our work lives?  We hear it when it comes to the processes that we touch daily. We hear about it when examining the processes in different business units in the same organization.  We hear about it from a geographic point of view within businesses.  Standardize this, standardize that…but the real question is, how and why should we do that? 

The ”why” is easier to answer.  Let me give you two examples.  How often do you have your mobile device of choice out at your favorite coffee shop and your wifi connection pops up and it just works?  Later that day you are on the airplane flying at 30,000 feet and able to connect that same mobile device to a different wifi traveling at 500 mph.  How does that work?  Well, the reason it works is that wifi has a standard, globally.  The same for when you need to charge that mobile device via a USB charger.  USB literally stands for Universal Serial Bus.  “Universal”might be another word for standard.  What that means for us is that it doesn’t matter if you are in the US or the UK, plug that baby in…and watch that batter charge.  So that is why…

How Do You Do Process Standardization? 

Now…the how.  Well that is easier said than done, but we have a tool for you.  This month, we are releasing version 7.3 of APQC Process Classification Framework (PCF).  The PCF is a list of universal business processes performed by every business, giving you a common language to communicate and define work processes across your organization. Developed in 1992, the PCF is the world’s most widely used business process framework. 
While this isn’t a huge update, we did make some changes to modernize the framework, as well as adding in some key elements in Human Capital Management (7.0) and Develop and Manage Business Capabilities (13.0).  The goal of this framework, just like any framework, is to provide you the “what” organizations must do in order to run their business, and you guessed it, to help them standardize what they must do.  Just imagine a world where the processes for Invoice to Cash, Payroll, or Purchase to Pay are standardized in your organization because the processes have been examined, outlined, mapped, and executed in the same manner across the organization globally.  

Does that sound amazing?  

Well,we think so too, and hopefully, the PCF can help do just that.

So, the next time you want to standardize a process in your organization, give the PCF a try to determine the “what” your organization has to do to execute that process, and see if you can make it universal across the business. 

More on the PCF

PCF case studies

Version 7.3 in XLS and PDF

PCF Videos