End-to-End Processes

Icon End-to-end Process

APQC defines end-to-end (E2E) processes as cross-functional processes that comprise all the steps to accomplish a specific outcome or goal. End-to-end processes, value chains, and cross-functional processes are all common names that organizations use for the same concept—connecting process steps across functional boundaries that are focused on the same end goal. 


Over the years, the need for end-to-end processes has become a necessity. Organizations need be able to holistically view how work gets accomplished. APQC provides clear guidance for organizations on how to do this.


Create Maps

Maps help visualize the process, making it easier to see the entire flow, and understand the hand-offs between departments.


Identify measures

Identifying the right measures or (KPIs) allow the organization to focus all participants on the end-to-end process (e.g., Idea-to-Market) and on shared goals that aligns with the strategic purpose of the process. 


Rely on frameworks

APQC created detailed maps and measures to help organizations use the framework and break silos within their organizations while using APQC’s Process Classification Framework® (PCF).  

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Why End-to-End?

  • Bye-Bye Silos. Hello easy-flow communication.
    The move from functional silos puts the focus on a shared purpose, improves hand offs between teams, and helps reduce the blame game between functions. 
  • More Than FOMO. You will likely miss out (in digital).
    Most digital technologies and systems have a process foundation that spans different functions. Not only do many technologies come with pre-built end-to-ends, establishing end-to-end processes help organizations optimize their business processes, which in turn help organizations automate processes to improve customer experiences, costs, and efficiency. 
  • Customer First? Actions speak louder…
    Because end-to-ends require outside-in thinking, organizations focus on the value created for the end-user or customer, improving their experience. 
  • Think big with holistic management.
    This makes connections between a process and its upstream and downstream processes.  This helps organizations focus on the outcome or end-goal of the processes—not just the efficiency of an individual component, ensuring changes made to optimize a function or process do not inadvertently harm another function or process.  

Creating An End-to-End Process

  • Step 1: Scope and Prioritize Potential End-to-End Processes. The first step in any endeavor is to decide where to start. Organizations will often start with the processes that are closest to the customer or are intrinsically entwined with the competitive advantage and value proposition of their organization.
  • Step 2: Identify and Engage Stakeholders. All processes eventually connect, either directly or
    indirectly, to stakeholders. To effectively engage stakeholders, the organization needs to know who all the stakeholders are, what’s important to them, and the best method for interacting with them.
  • Step 3: Identify Components of the Process. Identifying and documenting the components of a
    process begins with a current state assessment and by collecting information. This can involve interviews of subject matter experts, a workshop approach using experts and stakeholders, automated process mining (from event logs), and/or a focused project driven by
    experts and a business process management team. The output is the information that will be mapped.
  • Step 4: Apply a Life Cycle Perspective. In mapping core processes, an organization—more
    specifically, stakeholders such as its business process management team, process mapping experts, and subject matter experts for the process—traces a process’ scope from beginning to end (life cycle perspective).
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Maps and Measures for End-to-End

Similar to taking your pulse as a periodic health check, measures help us manage our processes to ensure they are running smoothly and in optimal condition. While it may be tempting to formulate a plan in our heads, we need to standardize and visualize KPIs and processes to make it real, tangible, and understand where every function fit into the larger strategic template.  

APQC has a collection of end-to-end process maps, based on the Process Classification Framework®, combined with related KPIs and benchmarks for the most common end-to-end processes. 

The maps give a general view of the end-to-end process and should be used as a starting point and/or reference guide for organizations to use when creating their end-to-end process maps. Given the uniqueness of organizations, your organization may have variations on what processes it uses and how they are named or referred to.

Each end-to-end process is available in three formats: 

  • Visio includes the high-level map as well as maps for each phase of the end-to-end process. 
  • Excel includes an overall picture of the end-to-end process and the elements/phases.
  • PDF provides the most comprehensive information, including suggested KPIs and measures for each end-to-end process. 

Both the Excel and the Visio files are editable files making it simple download and modify to fit your organization.

Visit the collection of end-to-end maps and measures Learn how to use and apply end-to-end processes
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Looking for training?

Check out our "Designing End-to-End Processes" self-paced online course

During this course, you will learn how to select an end-to-end (E2E) process approach that fits your organization, define an E2E process that leverages the power of a process framework, and avoid multiple, conflicting versions of E2E processes and their process components. As an IACET Accredited Provider, APQC offers .4 IACET CEUs for its this course that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.

Click here to learn more about this course

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