Frameworks and getting REAL work done

Cisco, UPS, ThyssenKrupp, Pitney Bowes, Williams Exploration, Sandvik, ING Life…these are enormous enterprises with something fundamental in common…they use frameworks to get real work done.  A recent study by the APQC organization focused on those companies to find out how and why.  As technical champions, Accenture, Nimbus, and Northrop Grumman provided their BPM expertise to seed the discussions, conducted as virtual and in-person site visits.  Somewhat surprisingly, the answers were as varied as the participants.   It lasted four months and drew a large audience for each event.

In preparing the Findings, I had a chance to ask Ron Webb, APQC’s Executive Director Membership and Research Services what led up to the study:

“The use of process frameworks – like APQC’s Process Classification Framework (PCF) – is increasing at an amazing pace. We commissioned this research project to better understand how organizations are using these frameworks to obtain real results for their organization.”

The Study Findings will be published very soon and are a must-read if you work in business process.  Stay tuned to this blog to get details on how you can get a copy of the findings.

About APQC

APQC is a non-profit that manages and distributes the Process Classification Framework (PCF), a commonly used tool in business process.  In twenty years, this framework has been downloaded from their website over 100,000 times and is one of the most widely-accepted ways of classifying process.  Beyond the cross-industry PCF, APQC has industry-specific frameworks for Aerospace and Defense, Electric Utilities, Automotive, Petroleum Downstream and Upstream, Banking, Broadcasting, Pharmaceutical, Consumer Products, Telecom and Education.

Why a framework like the PCF?

Organizations adopt the PCF either at the enterprise level or within a business unit or division.  The reasons for doing so vary, but the value is found in one or a combination of three areas:

Benchmarking – Adopting the PCF as a standard process language organizations to ‘compare apples to apples’ with other businesses who also adopt the PCF.  It makes peer-to-peer measurement possible without elaborate measures to make sure what is being compared CAN be compared.  Benchmarking yourself against others is a tough exercise without a common language and hierarchy.

Standardization – The PCF acts as a checklist to map current processes, identify gaps, note where key performance indicators (KPI’s) should be tracked, and to replicate processes across other parts of the business.

Governance and Accountability – Having a common structure allows managers to hold employees accountable for specific activities.  This accountability combined with KPI’s allows for true management of business process.  The KPI’s can flow up through the organization to show executives how the combination of activities creates value across the enterprise.

The best-run companies already have these three areas in focus, whether they have the PCF or another framework.  The Study was a rare, in-depth look at what several of the World’s top corporations are actually doing when they manage business process through frameworks.

For more on frameworks, see my blog, “The wonderful, powerful, confusing world of Frameworks.”

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Categories: Compliance, Frameworks

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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