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Process Improvement Initiatives

An organization can have hundreds or even thousands of individual processes as part of its process framework. These processes rarely stand alone. It is more likely that they are part of a complex network of automated and manual processes that are performed to accomplish the work of the business. Before beginning a process improvement initiative, the organization must have a good understanding of what and how work is accomplished through each process. Just as important is understanding the interrelationships among processesthe points where processes intersect and interact. Business processes are typically classified as core or supporting. Core processes are essential to the primary activity of the business and differentiate the company in the marketplace. Supporting processes like human resources and accounting are internal to the day-to-day management of the business. They are not unique from organization to organization. Improvements to business processes can be incremental or radical changes to the process. Incremental changes are relatively minor improvements which only affect a small part of the work done by a limited number of employees. At the other extreme, radical improvements such as ERP implementations make major changes to the way work is done in multiple divisions or departments across an entire organization. Classifying processes into more manageable layers is important for process improvement initiatives. Organizations can begin their focus on process improvement by identifying 510 processes and categorizing them as either a core or supporting process and whether the desired changes are incremental or radical improvements. This approach can help companies prioritize process improvement projects. For this Discussion: Provide an example of a process improvement initiative using resources from this weeks readings or your personal experience. Why was the initiative undertaken? What processes were involved in the improvement initiative? Was the initiative an incremental or radical change? Explain. What was the result of the process improvement initiative? Was it successful? Explain. Classify each of the processes included in your example as either core or supporting processes. Provide a rationale for your classifications.