A process is a sequence of interdependent and linked procedures designed to transform inputs into the desired outputs. Each stage of a process consumes some type of resource (e.g. time, energy). Some parts of a process are intended to create value while other parts of a process are intended to support the creation of value.
Primary processes are end to end processes that directly deliver value while focusing on the core creation activities of an organization. Secondary processes support the primary process and do not directly deliver value.
To put it another way, processes are a series of steps, actions or operations that transform or advance materials or information from its current state to another state.
Let’s take for example a part that is machined. A raw material is placed on a machine and transformed into a part. Depending on the process the part is then transported or moved over to the next step. Once complete, it likely will be inspected or compared to a standard that defines what is acceptable. Finally the part may be placed in a warehouse until it is sold or to wait for further processing. This defines four basic steps or operations in a process:
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