Process and Benchmarking: Two Pillars of a Strategy Well-Executed

Process is hard. Here's why. Leaders are lauded for being visionary, to think in terms of big goals. But to make a vision a reality, it takes a process developed with analytical and detailed thinking about going from A to B. We tend to think in high-level bullet points versus detailed frameworks that break down actions into the minute steps needed to realize the vision.

In a complex enterprise, it takes a process plus coordination and regular checkpoints to make sure everyone is focused on the same goal. It requires structure, a common language and an understanding of the dependencies and inter-connections across, and between, departments and processes.

Capto uses the APCQ Process Classification Framework (PCF) to help our clients in telecommunications, media, entertainment (TME) and healthcare to define comprehensive work processes that eliminates redundancies across the organization, insure processes are met, and provide a common lexicon when discussing opportunities, risks, or challenges. Here's why we find it effective.

APQC Model

Breadth and Depth
APQC's PCF spans processes for every aspect of an organization’s operating, management and support services. It the allows for a deep dive into each area from business and marketing strategy, product development, and customer service to supply chain logistics, talent management and IT. It also looks closely at the financial resources, compliance, risk and external partnerships to help organizations set their internal benchmarks and compare itself to other organizations.

Common Lexicon and Roadmap
One thing I often see is the technology group speaking a different language than its business unit client partners, which causes undue confusion and loss of productivity and slowed outcomes. APQC engages the entire organization and is an effective tool in establishing a consistent lexicon regardless of business area. The framework is clear and comprehensive in providing a roadmap to identify processes, redundancies and inconsistencies. It also measures subsequent performance and ongoing knowledge management.

Better Benchmarking
Vanity metrics (internal company-defined metrics) often lack adherence to industry best practices. This then means that there is no way to compare your organization to a competitive organization to see where you may need to shore up a weak process or exploit an advantage. Internal benchmarks incrementally refine an existing process within a business area versus taking a fresh look at process across the entire organization to create disruptive change, and advancement. APCQ's Open Standard Benchmarking encourages a data-driven culture that is focused on improving upon past performance.

The amount of industry data that APQC has is helpful in identifying areas where our clients are performing well and where they may be falling short of industry peers. A great strategy means nothing if it is not executed. And strategy executed with process and benchmark discipline can mean the difference between being a market laggard and a market leader.