Processes are at the root of work. When we work, we are operating within a process. From the simplest job to the most complex job, processes are being used.

Businesses grow and increase in complexity because of processes. Humans have an innate ability to manage complexity by creating, learning and using processes. It is the conscious use of processes that improves the performance of a business beyond existing learning curves.

Core Process is a business methodology that improves the management and performance of a business by focusing and aligning resources.

Core Process uses a simple model:

  1. Take Stuff
  2. Do the Work
  3. Make Something
  4. Deliver It
  5. To Someone or Some place

When we work, we take some stuff and we do some things and make something of more value. We take this thing that we?ve made and we make it available for someone else or we put it somewhere.

That?s work.

Most people learn about their jobs through a job description prepared by the employer. Job descriptions describe the duties and responsibilities of the job.

A job description is largely inadequate when it comes to actually performing work. A job description doesn?t explain the systems, processes and value-added steps used to manufacture the product required of the job. Most job descriptions fail to see the light of day once they are produced.

A Simple Job

Here is a brief scenario of a job and how it?s described as a core process.

Joe has a very simple job. He sits in a chair in a garage. Every night, several trucks used for hauling drive into the garage. Joe?s job is to check several nuts, bolts, and hoses on the trucks to make sure everything is secure and in place. If everything is OK, the truck drives off. If something is wrong, Joe reports it and the truck gets fixed.

What?s the stuff Joe needs for his work? He needs the chair he sits in and the garage to house the chair. He needs the trucks that drive into the garage. He needs a schedule to know when the trucks are arriving. He needs the training and knowledge of his job so he knows what work to do.

What things does he do? What?s his work? When a truck arrives, Joe gets out of his chair and systematically checks the nuts, bolts, and hoses of the truck according to a diagram. He uses tools and his hands to check the tension of each item. If something is loose, he records it and notifies the truck driver and the shop that a repair is needed

What?s his product? He? is producing a completed safety check. The safety check is then used to create a safe, operating vehicle. He is helping to produce a truck of greater value when he?s done. It?s a truck known to be in good working order.

He delivers his product ? the completed safety check ? through a digital report. His results of each quality inspection are recorded in a software program. The report is delivered, or viewed, by the truck driver, the repair shop and management.

The definition of Core Process presented above is a very simplistic view and description. We need to formalize it a bit more so we can add more depth and value. Here?s the formal description of Core Process:

  1. Raw Materials (Take Stuff)
  2. Manufacturing (Do the Work)
  3. Product (Make Something)
  4. Distribution (Deliver It)
  5. Target (To Someone or Some Place)

Steps 1 through 5 describe the steps of process. Every process in every job follows these same steps.

What Makes It a Core Process?

A Core Process is essential to the health and well-being of the system within which it operates. That?s the meaning of ?core?. A job can consist of dozens of processes. Not every process is an essential process. A Core Process is one that you can?t do without if you are going to successfully complete a job.

A Core Process is a process that is essential to the health and well-being of the system.

The litmus test for a Core Process is the question, ?Can we remove the process and not affect the whole system?? If the answer to this question is yes, then you are not working with a Core Process.

A core process has shutdown capability. If a core process is impaired or not performed it can shut down the entire job.

The key to success for every job is to identify your core processes and master them. Control them. Excel at them. The performance of every job and every business is based on the core processes operating minute by minute and day by day.