In 2010, the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) identified the Seven Tenets of Process Management to help classify an organization’s process management capabilities. Adherence to these pillars helps build and maintain strong processes across an enterprise. By applying these tenets, organizations can identify, document, and study processes objectively to establish a firm foundation for process implementation and management.
APQC launched the study, “Building Strong Process Management Capabilities Best Practices” to explore how different organizations apply and leverage the seven tenets within their unique cultures. The goal was to understand the process management scope, goals, and success factors that result from applying the seven tenets.
The full report provides detailed explanations of the findings as well as case studies of six organizations that use the seven tenets to guide their process management efforts.
Three broad best practices emerged from this study: the need for focus, maturity, and motivation. Two key findings complement each best practice.
Best-practice organizations focus process management resources on a subset of process management capabilities rather than spreading their resources thinly across all seven tenets. These organizations centralize process management capabilities for maximum effect. Two additional key findings related to focus are that best-practice organizations:
• Use centralized bodies for process management activities
• Ultimately focus on strategic alignment and governance capabilities
Mature organizations depend on strong governance, strategic alignment, and clear process models to fuel widespread adoption of process management capabilities. Additional key findings suggest best-practice organizations often change the direction of, and refocus, their process management efforts over time. Study results suggest that best-practice organizations initially focused on process improvement and tools and technology, but in an ideal world, they would have begun by emphasizing strategic alignment and governance.
Organizations often address the issue of motivation through change management, as related to process management capabilities. However, best-practice organizations gain further motivation from external influences such as quality or compliance programs. These can galvanize process management efforts and help engage and motivate employees to play their parts. The key findings suggest that best-practice organizations:
• Motivate employees by adopting goals to achieve external validation of process management work
• Address change management to develop strong process management capabilities
Full descriptions of the best practices, examples from best-practice organizations, and in-depth case studies are available in the report, “Building Strong Process Management Capabilities.”