Process Institutionalisation — What is it?
Institutionalisation is an important concept in process improvement. When mentioned in the generic goal and generic practice descriptions, institutionalization implies that the process is ingrained in the way the work is performed and there is a company-wide commitment and consistency to performing the process.
Institutionalization ensures that
- process improvement is related to business goals
- processes will be executed or managed consistently
- the processes will survive staff or leadership changes
- commitment to provide resources or infrastructure to support or improve the processes
- historical data will be useful to support future projects
When the requirements and objectives for the process change, however, the implementation of the process may also need to change to ensure that it remains effective. The generic practices describe activities that address these aspects of institutionalisation.
The degree of institutionalisation is embodied in the generic goals and expressed in the names of the processes associated with each goal as indicated in the following table.
|Generic Goal||Progression of Processes|
|GG 1||Performed process|
|GG 2||Managed process|
|GG 3||Defined process|
|GG 4||Quantitatively managed process|
|GG 5||Optimising process|
A process can be instantiated by a project, group, or organisational function. Management of the process is concerned with institutionalization and the achievement of other specific objectives established for the process, such as cost, schedule, and quality objectives. The control provided by a managed process helps to ensure that the established process is retained during times of stress.
A critical distinction between a performed process and a managed process is the extent to which the process is managed.
A managed process is planned (the plan can be part of a more encompassing plan) and the execution of the process is managed against the plan. Corrective actions are taken when the actual results and execution deviate significantly from the plan. A managed process achieves the objectives of the plan and is institutionalized for consistent execution.
While generic goals and generic practices are the model components that directly address the institutionalization of a process across the organisation, many process areas likewise address institutionalization by supporting the implementation of the generic practices.
Such process areas contain one or more specific practices that when implemented can also fully implement a generic practice or generate a work product that is used in the implementation of a generic practice.