What is a Support Process?
In our last blog, we discussed Core Processes that set of “to dos” that every business must have in order to function at a minimum level, such as a Business Plan. Support Processes are those that add value to the Core Processes beyond the bare minimum for example:
1. Stakeholder Consultation, where you consult with those who have a stake in the success of your business;
2. Project Management, where you are able to conduct time and resource limited tasks in support of your Business Plan;
3. Quality Management, where you ensure that your products and services are the best that they can be at all times;
4. Life Cycle Management, where you set up the means to create and deliver the products or services of your organization;
5. Business Development, where you establish the marketing and sales processes to ensure the success of your business in its selected market place;
6. Risk Management, where you ensure that you have taken into account all manner of risks to your enterprise;
7. Change Management, by which you watch for and select those changes that will keep your organization fresh and successful;
8. Process management, where you ensure that you have linked together all of your management processes.
These and others add considerable value to organizations, especially as they get larger and involve more people.
Where do the Support Processes come from?
Whereas Core Processes are pretty well universal, Support Processes are more unique to your particular organization. For example, an engineering firm will wish to have Project Management as one of its prime Support Processes; a public organization that issues information as its key service will not need to do projects. Such an organization may choose to place Program Management in its Support Processes because what the people of the organization do is continuous and ongoing. So, Support Processes are identified by some facilitated group work, where representatives from different parts of the organization come together and virtually “dump their processes on the table”. This simply means that everyone explains how they do things in support of the organization’s Business Plan and identifies the process that they are accountable for. This discussion is extremely productive, since it often highlights which of the Support Processes are working well, which need fixing and which need to be replaced with one that responds better to current realities.