Linking process and performance

Better business processes are key to making strides in achieving business goals and improving enterprise performance.

Business processes should take advantage of economies of scale and improvements in technology. Furthermore, a business process improvement methodology can help make the link between improved processes and performance.

The key features of such a methodology are as follows:

* Define process goals so that they are closely aligned with enterprise goals and customer requirements. Process goals drive process design and create the focus for managing how things get done.

* Performance measures for the business process should drive performance measures for an organization's functional areas. A functional area is a major supporting category of activities such as information technology, financial management, operations and project management. Functional areas each contribute to a piece of any single business process.

* Enterprises should consider identifying process managers or process champions to ensure that there is an enterprise perspective to the business process.

* Because business processes often cross many functional areas, create teams consisting of representatives from each functional area to contribute to the business process. Individual heroics can only go so far.

* Cross-functional teams improve the way organizations work by developing the goals and designs for new business processes, and they manage the changes from design to implementation.

Kellett is founder of the federal Web Business Council, co-chairmanof the federal WebMasters Forum and director of GSA's Emerging IT Policies Division.

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