P8M2 What Are Systems & Processes

What Is A System

Elements that work together to create a result
The human body is a system
Made of lower level systems eg digestive system, breathing system
Exists in bigger systems eg family, work, society

Your Business Is A System

It is a system of systems
How you generate and convert leads
How you create repurchases and referrals
How you recruit and lead your team
How you monitor your business performance
How you improve what you do
Familiar? The Eight Pillars of Business Prosperity is built around a systems view of a business

You Already Have Systems

If you do anything, you already have systems, processes and procedures
Two types
Purposefully designed to create a result
Accidentally created
Three states for systems
Stagnating – left the same as conditions change
Deteriorating – people leave

History of Systems & Processes

Frederick Taylor Scientific Management
Henry Ford – the assembly line
Toyota – JIT & Toyota Production System
Total Quality Management & Kaizen
ISO 9000
Theory of Constraints
Lean Manufacturing
Six Sigma
Ideas from manufacturing move to services

Components Of A System

Hard system – IT software program
Soft system
Standard letters / emails
Standard forms
Manuals, procedure notes, flowcharts, training videos/audios, screenshots


A series of linked activities necessary to create a valuable output by doing work on inputs
Results depend on how well people design, operate and improve processes
Identify, define, monitor and improve
Prioritise – links to CSFs & capabilities
Rate importance of each process to each CSF (major 3, medium 2, minor 1, none 0)
Rate performance for each process (world class 5, best in market 4, better than average 3, 2, 1, 0)

Process Definition

“A process is any work that meets these four criteria:
It is recurrent;
It affects some aspect of organisational capabilities;
It can be accomplished in different ways that make a difference to the contribution it generates in terms of cost, value, service or quality; and
It involves coordination”
Peter Keen in “The Process Edge”

The Elements Of A Process

A process is a combination of:
People – those working inside and around
Equipment – simple or complex
Methods – the work activity steps
Materials – necessary inputs
Environment – working area & conditions

Process Output

The purpose of the process
Business – profit & customer value
External & internal customers
Customer’s” opinion matters
What, when, how, how much

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