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What IS a Process?

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Ross Wise here again…While I was working on some process improvements the other day it occurred to me that it could be very easy for people to get confused over the different elements that make up a process. So I thought I would jot a few down for everyone to help clear things up…
First we have the process itself. This is a collection of specific high level steps that can happen in either a linear or parallel fashion to achieve specific objectives or outputs. It consists of a number of elements: Procedures: detailed instructions for the completion of a given process step
Flowchart: a diagram showing the order and connection of process steps and decisions
Inputs: the raw materials you use to create the process output
Outputs: the end product or service resulting from doing the process steps and procedures
Triggers: events that initiate the process
Roles: the assigned responsibilities given to individuals using or executing the process
Resources: additional tools, templates, technologies, finan…

The 7-Step Improvement Process

One of the most interesting concepts that I've found in the V3 Continual Service Improvement (CSI) book is the 7 Step Improvement process. This process provides a structure for defining, analyzing and using metrics to improve services and service management processes.

Prior to beginning the process, it is important to determine the: Vision Strategy Tactical goals Operational goals These will be defined during Service Strategy (vision and strategy) and Service Design (tactical and operational goals).

With that in place, the process consists of 7 practical steps: Define what you should measure Define what you can measure (then do a gap analysis between this and Step 1) Gather the data Process the data Analyze the data Present and use the information Implement corrective actions This process provides a framework for ensuring that the data being collected and resulting metrics align with the strategic and tactical goals of the organization. It also allows an organization to prioritize and act on i…

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