| The transformation of inputs into outputs.
Processes & Procedures ("P2") are intimately tied to Roles & Responsibilties ("R2") and Authorities & Accountabilities ("A2") and Structures and Systems ("S2").
Some of the primary processes in asset management:
- Capital Investment Planning (CIP)
Examples of inputs
Examples of outputs
Process vs. Procedure vs. Work instruction
Included below is some information to clarify the distinctions between these concepts:
Policies constrain processes
Examples of the distinctions
- Process - Accounts payable
- Procedures - Review invoices, pay invoices, bookeeping of invoices
Classification of Processes
There are three types of business processes contemplated within an organization:
following table provides an overview of a classification scheme that
may be used to identify and arrange the many different types of
processes within an organization.
- Primary Processes
– These are cross functional and deliver value to the organization’s
customers. They are the essential activities that the organization
performs to accomplish its mission. Eg. Handling of customer
- Support Processes
– These processes are designed to provide support to the organization’s
primary processes. Support processes do not generate direct value to
the organization’s customers but they are still critical to the
organization. Eg. Human resources management.
- Management Processes
– These processes are used to monitor measure and control the
organizations’s business activities. These ensure that the
organization’s primary and support processes meet operational goals.
Management processes do not directly add value to customers but are
integral to the organization's policies and objectives.
Human-centric processes (Human-to-human)
- These types of processes include a lot of interaction and involvement
of people in each step. They require human judgement and intuitions for
decision making. They deal predominantly with routing work from one
individual to another. These require significant interpersonal skills.
processes (Human-to-system or system-to-system) - These types of
processes are generally computer intensive, usually transactional in
- Handle a customer service requests in person and/or by phone
- Conduct a staff brainstorming session
- Makea purchase requests
- Enforce rules of order at meetings
processes (Human-to system) - These types of processes require users to
interact with documented information, such as forms and checklists, and
to enter data onto these documents.
- Manage a supply chain
- Prepare a financial statement
- Distribute an electronic eNewsletter
- Write an email to a stakeholder
processes (Human-to-system) - These processes require users to review
information (from documents or systems) and to make interpretations and
judgement required for approval.
- Accounts Payable (Review invoices, pay invoices)
- Complete a checklists of maintenance tasks and record the maintenance logs
- Issue a tender for services
- File a contract agreement
- Prepare minutes of a meeting
- Evaluate and judge a service proposal/quotation
- Establish work schedules for staff
- Approve an invoice for payment
The Life Cycle of Processes
Listed below are the primary steps in the life cycle of processes:
- Design -
The identification of existing processes and visualization of “To-be”
processes. At this stage the process is identified as human-to-human,
human-to-system, or system-to-system
- This takes the theoretical design and introduces variables which
determine how the process might operate under different circumstances,
It involves some measure of “What-if” analysis.
- This involves either the in-house development of the process or the
purchase of a 3rd party application to automate the process or a
combination of software and human intervention.
- This is either done in real-time, near real time or adhoc. It
involves the tracking and measuring of individual processes so that
data can be observed and statistical analysis conducted. Process mining
provides a collection of methods and tools to assist with process
- This involves adjustments to process, such as elimination of
bottlenecks, to optimize some specified set of parameters without
violating some constraints. The most common goals are minimizing cost
and maximizing throughput and/or efficiency.
Attributes of Process-centric organization
Some of the attributes of a process-centric organization are included below:
- The organization’s leadership must be committed to leveraging processes for organizational results
organization’s employees are each aware of the value that they bring
through their involvement in the organization’s processes
- The organization’s processes have well-defined ownership
- The organization invests in improving it processes that make a difference to its organizational and asset management objectives
- The organization does not just focus on the outcomes but on the processes that were used to achieve the results
Listed below are some of the primary benefits of this initiative regarding the development of a business processes master plan.
& Culture of the Organization – Business processes are one of the
organization’s import strategic assets and should be treated as
such. The organization will improve organizational performance
through optimization of its business processes.
Alignment – Clearly articulated business processes will provide the
organization's staff with clarity on the strategic direction of the
- Efficient use of Resources – Business processes facilitate the integration of the organizations’s resources
Management – Structured and formalized business processed will bring
increased discipline to the organization’s daily operations at all
levels of the organization.
IS0 55001 Requirements
2.4.2b) - Alignment includes “…the integration of the asset management
processes with the functional management processes of the organization,
such as finance, human resources, information systems, logistics and
- 55000, 2.5.1 - An asset management
system is a set of interrelated and interacting elements of an
organization, whose function is to establish the asset management
policy and asset management objectives, and the processes, needed to
achieve those objectives”
- 55001, 4.4 - “The
organization shall establish, implement, maintain and continually
improve an asset management system, including the processes needed and
their interactions, in accordance with the requirements of this
- 55001, 5.1 - “Top
management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to
the asset management system by: …— ensuring the integration of the
asset management system requirements into the organization’s business
- 55001, 6.1 - “The organization
shall plan: … how to: integrate and implement the actions into its
asset management system processes…”
- 55001, 6.2.2
- “When planning how to achieve its asset management objectives, the
organization shall determine and document … the processes and methods
to be employed in managing its assets over their life cycles…”
- 55001, 7.5 - “…the organization shall include consideration of … the asset management processes, procedures and activities…”
- 55001, 7.5c) - “…the organization shall specify, implement and maintain processes for managing its information…”
8.1 - “The organization shall plan, implement and control the processes
needed to meet requirements, and to implement the actions determined in
6.1, the asset management plan(s)”
- 55001, 8.3 -
“The organization shall determine: a) the processes and activities that
are to be outsourced (including the scope and boundaries of the
outsourced processes and activities and their interfaces with the
organization’s own processes and activities); … c) the processes
and scope for the sharing of knowledge and information between the
organization and its contracted service provider(s)…”
5.2 - “There should be processes in place to review and update the
asset management policy, and to ensure that if the organization’s
external or internal context changes, the actions necessary to update
the policy are also triggered”
The Register of Processes
- Prepare a financial statement
- Prepare a budget
- Prepare an estimate
- Record minutes of a meeting
Refer to roles and responsibilites for detailed lists of tasks associated with different staff members in an organization
- Maintain a piece of equipment (asset)
Process within the Hierarchy of Organizational Purpose
The organization's processes occupy one of the levels of the aspirational-transactional hierarchy.
A. Aspirational Elements
B. Transactional Elements
Strategy vs Plans vs. Processes
There is often confusion between these three concepts.
Risk has been
defined as “the effect of uncertainty on the organization’s objectives”. Strategies,
plans and processes each provide the organization with some tools to reduce
“uncertainty” and thereby to help the organization manage risk.
It is essential
that the organization understand the subtle differences between these three
concepts and the appropriate sequence in which they should be developed.
(the Roadmap) – This
is a high level map of the landscape to reveal where the organization is located
now (“A”) relative to where it wants to get to (“B”). A strategy does consider the different
potential routes between “A” and “B” but is primarily focused on the
destination rather than the journey. It
offers a roadmap to provide navigational context and some guidelines to
consider the multiple alternative routes but no details on which specific route
to use for getting to the destination -- that is where the plans and processes comes
into the story. For example, Amiable
Housing Society has captured its strategy in a short document that provides
a “lay of the land” and the milestones that will be encountered and serve to
confirm progress along the journey to the destination.
- Plans (the Route) – This is a documented series
of steps on how to move the organization from where its is now (“A”) to where
it wants to be (“B”). A plan tackles
questions like how, when, where, who, and what. As such it supports the
strategy by providing a way to reach (“B”) that provides an acceptable balance
of risk, cost and performance. A plan will inevitably need to make some
trade-offs – it will have to pick one route over another. Good plans recognize
that no route is perfect and that there are always contingencies along way. A
plan works out how to deal with roadblocks and traffic jams along the way from
“A” to “B”.
(the Vehicle & the Fuel)–
These are the clearly defined ways of doing specific tasks. A process is much
more rigid sequence than a plan. A process is typically applied to a very
specific task that is well defined with little chance of contingencies or need
for flexibility. Processes are the powerhouses that do all the heavy lifting.
They are the fuel that moves the organization forward along the route to the
One of the key difference between
strategies, plans and processes is the level of uncertainty that is involved.
The responsibilities for
developing strategy, plans and processes are therefore usually separated within
the organization. This is summarized in the following table.
Activities to reduce uncertainty
Staff assigned to the role
Why? What if?
Top management –
(Board of Directors,
Yearly or longer
Who? When? Where?
Middle management -
Monthly, quarterly yearly
Listed below are some examples of process artificats:
- Gantt Chart
- Flow Chart
- RACI Chart
The Aspirational-Transactional Hierarchy, with processes occuping one of the transactional layers.
Fig. Supply chains are a key upstream factor in organizational success and must therefore be carefully managed. Failure to do so will result in procurement delays, downtime and business interruption.