Baldrige Education Glossary: Process

Process

The term “process” refers to linked activities with the purpose of producing a product or service for students and other customers within or outside the organization. Generally, processes involve combinations of people, machines, tools, techniques, materials, and improvements in a defined series of steps or actions. Processes rarely operate in isolation and must be considered in relation to other processes that impact them. In some situations, processes might require adherence to a specific sequence of steps, with documentation (sometimes formal) of procedures and requirements, including well-defined measurement and control steps.

In many service situations, process is used in a more general way (i.e., to spell out what must be done, possibly including a preferred or expected sequence). If a sequence is critical, the service needs to include information to help students and customers understand and follow the sequence. Such service processes also require guidance to the providers of those services on handling contingencies related to the possible actions or behaviors of those served.

In knowledge work, such as education assessment and diagnosis, strategic planning, research, development, and analysis, process does not necessarily imply formal sequences of steps. Rather, process implies general understandings regarding competent performance, such as timing, options to be included, evaluation, and reporting. Sequences might arise as part of these understandings.

In the Baldrige Scoring System, your process achievement level is assessed. This achievement level is based on four factors that can be evaluated for each of an organization’s key processes: Approach, Deployment, Learning, and Integration. For further description, see the Scoring System.

Note: Blue words above are hyperlinks to other Glossary terms.

 

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