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What is a Process?

A process is a collection of interrelated work tasks initiated in response to an event that achieves a specific result for the customer of the process.

Adding more specific detail to that general definition:

  • that achieves a specific result:
    • must deliver a specific result
    • this result must be individually identifiable and countable
    • a good process name clearly indicates the result or end state of the process
  • for the customer of the process:
    • a customer receives the result or is the beneficiary of it
    • the customer can be a person or an organization
    • customer can be identified and can pass judgment on the result and process
    • customer point of view helps identify and name the process accurately
  • initiated in response to a specific event:
    • the process must be initiated in response to a specific event
    • multiple events can initiate a process
    • having an event AND a result allows the tracing of the sequence of tasks that turns the event into the result
  • work tasks:
    • a collection of actions, activities, steps or tasks make up a business process
    • a step in the initial workflow will probably be divided into more detailed steps later
  • a collection of interrelated:
    • the process steps must relate to each other
    • interrelationship is through sequence and flow...the completion of one step leads to (flows into) the initiation of the next step
    • also interrelated by dealing with the same work item
    • steps related by being traceable back to the same initiation event
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