EP 71: Defining Your Core Process

Show Notes:

Dr. Roger K. Allen is back to talk about defining an organization’s core processes. Dr. Allen first made his appearance on the High Performance Leadership Podcast back in episode 60.

What is a core process? 360 Solutions defines it as the interrelated sequence of steps and tasks an organization takes to accomplish its core work.

For an organization to survive, especially in an ever-changing world, it’s important to map out core processes to see if there’s room for improvement. Let’s break the mapping process into four steps. It’s important to keep this map accurate but simple:

Four Steps to Definition

  1. Start by listing key inputs and outputs for your organization’s core process. For example, how many widget parts do you need to make a profitable amount of widgets?
  2. Identify and list the major steps in sequence, one per box. (see model below)
  3. List the tasks performed under each major step. Use action verbs.
  4. Identify and list key customers, suppliers, and support groups. Who are you selling to? Who gets you those supplies? Who helps you make sure you reach your goals?

Sometimes, it’s confusing how much detail to go into during the mapping process. I recommend starting as broadly and generally as possible. Get into more detail as you go.

There are typically 3 levels:

  • Level 1 we call the Macro Core Process. This is the most zoomed-out view of the core process; how your organizations functions at the broadest level.
  • Level 2 is a step down from Level 1. Once you’ve fleshed out Level 1, the smaller processes inside is Level 2.
  • Level 3 we call Micro Core Process. This is the smallest, most broken-down version of core process analysis. Really get into the details of how the organization functions.

After you’ve mapped out your organization’s core processes, look for redundant or unnecessary steps. Getting rid of even one could save your organization serious money. Freeing up redundant manpower to work on other projects could also save your organization. Creating a good map also benefits the organization by showing everyone how individual jobs are connected in creating the end product.

Mapping core processes doesn’t just work in organizations. You can map every aspect of your life! How about mapping your family’s core process for getting ready in the morning? Recently, my family found savings by having the kids get all their clothes ready the night before. The usefulness of defining core processes is limitless!

Ready more about core process on our Medium article on the subject.


This podcast is sponsored by 360 Solutions. 360 Solutions helps people start, build, and run successful business consulting firms. 360 Solutions’ proven High Performance Framework has helped hundreds of companies reach their full potential for over 20 years. Ready to work for yourself and make an impact in your community? Visit 360solutions.com to learn how to get started.

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