Identifying a Critical Process

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As the one responsible for managing resources - funding, facilities, and personnel - a sponsor makes a significant commitment to the improvement process and wants to ensure that this investment is worthwhile. One way to do this is to focus on improving critical processes - those which are key to the functioning, products, or services of the work unit. What processes relate directly to customer or constituent needs, service and satisfaction? The issue for analysis and improvement needs to be carefully selected. Considerations include:

  • organization values

  • all stakeholders - their needs and requirements

  • unit vision

    • stretch goals and breakthrough items

    • alignment with organizational mission, vision, and goals

  • unit key processes

    • available process data

    • possible evaluation criteria

    • fit within organizational system

  • scope of the process - is it manageable?

Especially for the first improvement initiative in a unit, it is important that the effort have a high probability of success and be able to be completed in a relatively short time (four to six months).

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment can provide consultation services to clarify direction and expections as critical processes are reviewed.

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