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Process Management, Processes

Measurement: the key to Process Capability

Organisations that struggle to understand the basics of effective process measurement are doomed to stay at a relatively immature level of process capability with slow rates of performance improvement.
When helping clients implement Process Management we often introduce a simple “Process Capability and Maturity Model”.  This is used by Process Owners to plan how to improve organisational process capability, but it can also be applied to individual processes.
The Model describes 5 levels of capability:
  1. “Initial” – No organised processes; performance depends on “heroics”
  2. “Managed” – Some organised processes; repeatable performance
  3. “Defined” – Organisation-wide process approach; measures defined
  4. “Quantitatively Managed” – Predictable performance
  5. “Optimising” – Processes are agile and continuously improved
It’s easy to get to the “Managed” level by clear process definition, process mapping and identification of customers and their requirements.
Moving to “Defined” is where many people start to struggle. They document the “systems standards” required, but often don’t know how to develop a balanced set of measurements.
That’s the focus of this article, with a brief mention of what’s needed to achieve the highest maturity levels.


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