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  Glossary

Customer
Anyone to whom you provide a product or service. This would include anyone down the line who receives your work.

Customer Requirements
Customer requirements are what the customer needs and expects from the process in the way of a product or service that he or she is receiving. These requirements then become translated to goals or specifications pertaining to the nature of the product or service and, which in turn influence how the organization needs to operate to meet the requirements.

Current State
It is helpful to map out the current process that is used to produce the product or service. Identifying all the steps involved in the current process helps document the "as is" or current state.

Desired Future State
Declaring how you want the process to work once it is redesigned leads to describing the desired future state, which may address the customer requirements and how the process will meet those requirements.

External/Final Customer
The people who purchase or receive the product or service.

Internal Customer
The next person inside the organization who receives your work and acts on it.

Key Variances
Key variances are those variances which have the greatest impact on quality, output, customer requirements, organizational goals or which occur frequently, cause other variances or have the potential for being catastrophic to the organization.

Mission
A mission refers to the business purpose of an organization and often reflects what the organization is intending to produce, for whom, and how it is going about doing that.

Non-Value Adding Activities
Steps or activities in a process that create delays, do not contribute to the quality of the output desired by the customer, or do not otherwise move the organization closer to its goals.

Output
The product or service you or the group provides.

Process
A process is the work that is performed in order to produce the service or product that will be delivered to the customer.

Process Map
A portrayal of the sequence of all the steps involved in producing a product or service using specific symbols to depict various actions. (See our Guide to Process Mapping.)

Reengineering
Complete and basic rethinking and redesign of organizational processes to achieve dramatic improvements in performance such as speed, quality, cost, and service.

Supplier
Anyone who provides a product or service to the organization or someone else at a prior step in the work flow.

Transformation
Products or services are completed and delivered to a customer as a result of a process whereby inputs to a work process are transformed to the desired outputs. This transformation will usually involve a number of changes of state, which moves the inputs closer to the desired outputs.

Value Adding Activities
A step of a process that results in increasing the value of the product/service to the customer. It moves the product or service being developed closer to the requirements of the customer. It moves the organization closer to achieving its goals.

Variance
A variance is a breakdown or error in the work process which affects the organization's ability to produce its product or service in accordance with its goals and the requirements of its customers.

Vision
A vision is a statement that creates a picture of the desired future state that is better in some important way than the current state. It usually addresses

  • what kind of organization is desired
  • what it will be like for customers, members, and other stakeholders when the goal is achieved
  • and what values are most important in that organization.
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