Within the Six Sigma framework processes are classified as either core processes or enabling processes.
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A core process is directly related to generating revenue, providing products or services to a revenue generating customer or creating a strategic advantage for the company.
Typically there are only 4 to 6 core processes in a company and they are made up of various major processes and sub-processes.
Typical core processes are sales and marketing, manufacturing/fulfilment, design engineering, order entry and processing, etc. As you can readily begin to comprehend, these are large processes to which many departments contribute.
Enabling processes exist to enable and support the execution of the core processes. A core process could not sustain itself without the support and services provided by the enabling processes.
Typical enabling processes are Information Technology, Human Resources, Finance, Legal, Documentation, etc. Enabling processes do not touch or directly impact the external customer.
A part of process management is to identify those processes and process steps which are critical to the success of these higher level processes. Metrics are generated to either monitor or control the performance of these processes.
Because the processes are critical to success, the associated metrics are tracked on a periodic basis in what is called a Process Management Summary report.
The Process Management Summary is most often owned by middle management and is a simple aggregation of the key inputs and outputs of each critical process.
You will learn later that the metrics you will want to track are called Critical X’s and significant Y’s or CTQ’s.
The Critical X’s and significant Y’s actually exist as part of the sub-processes and their numerous process steps. These consist of the many detailed activities, tasks and decisions involved in satisfying a process output.
These processes are owned by the members of the process and their immediate manager, this person is usually referred to as the Process Owner.
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