ITIL – Process and Process Control Part 1

August 20, 2008

There have been many previous posts on this blog regarding the utilization of the ITIL framework in the small business / medium business space (One of the first ones on the basics of ITIL is here)

Many of these posts refer to the term “process

I want to back up a bit and provide some definition of the term in the context of ITIL. Again, this will be a high level “non-techie” overview geared towards non-technology managers in the SMB space.


In the ITIL texts, a “Process” is defined as;

A connected series of actions, changes, etc, performed by agents with the intent of satisfying a purpose or achieving a goal

The Process Manager vs. the Department Manager

To use a non technology example, lets assume you are a SMB manufacturing or distribution firm. You have the standard sales department, shipping, warehousing, accounts receivable etc. Each of these departments has a manager responsible for their function.

Now lets imagine you just received an order for 13 pallets of one of your widgets. We have to ship that order to the customer and get that invoice out to get paid. A simple as it may sound, to get this shipping and invoicing done, we must cross various departmental functions. This is the purpose of the Process Manager

Therefor the Process Manager is responsible for the end result and process control of that cross departmental or cross functional “process” (and yes, a departmental manager could be a process manager)

Inputs, Outputs

In a process, our series of actions are made up of various inputs and outputs that make up a process flow.

In our simplified example, shipping that customer order of 13 pallets could theoretically touch;

– The sales Department – getting the order to warehousing
– Warehousing – for pick, pack and load
– shipping – for freighting to the customer
– Accounts Receivable – for invoicing

With so many cross functional touch points, things can obviously get lost in the cracks. Another post will dive a little deeper sample inputs, outputs and the process controls.

UPDATE: Part 2 is now here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s