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What is Process Analysis

In today's business environment nothing is more common than change. Organizations are always looking to improve the way business is done. UCF is not the exception. As a major metropolitan research university, we too are seeking opportunities to enhance our prominence, both nationally and internationally. We are always striving for excellence while maintaining efficiency.

Departments and divisions are challenging practices and procedures in order to improve service to customers: students, parents, co-workers, and the metropolitan community. Through process analysis, departments can identify improvement opportunities.

What is process analysis? A process can be defined as "a logical series of related transactions that converts input to results or output" (Andersen 1999). The process we are considering is a "business process," which can be defined as "a chain of logical connected, repetitive activities that utilizes the organization's resources to refine an object for the purpose of achieving specified and measurable results or products for internal or external customers." Some UCF examples include the processing of an application, the development of class schedules, and the budgeting process.

Process analysis is an approach that helps managers improve the performance of their business activities. It can be a milestone in continuous improvement (Trischler 1996). At UCF, our analysis approach consists of the following steps: (1) definition of the scope and the objectives of the study, (2) documentation of the status quo and definition of performance measures, (3) assessment and performance evaluation, and (4) development of recommendations.

At UCF, the first step is achieved through the Engagement Agreement between the customer and OEAS that defines the scope, objective, and research plan.

The documentation of the status quo and definition of performance measures (e.g., the time it takes to process an application, the number of customer complaints, and the number of customers in a waiting line) is a key step in process analysis, in order to identify opportunities and to be able to assess later improvements,

Assessment and performance evaluation is the next step. These data provide the performance level of the process. The focus is on the overall picture of the organization's performance for a particular period of time. Finally, recommendations are made based on the data collected and the assessment and performance evaluation. Given the recommendations, the analyst and the customer can review alternatives for implementation purposes.

You may use results from process analysis studies conducted by OEAS, as an approach to gather data that can be used to complete the Institutional Effectiveness process.

References:
1. Andersen, Bjorn; Business Improvement Toolbox. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press, 1999.
2. Trischler, William E. Understanding and Applying Value Added Assessment. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press, 1996.

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