is glossary is provided as a service to the business process improvement com-
munity. e business process improvement vocabulary is a critical tool in
commun icating the consensual purpose, means, and results of your eorts.
We have built the following vocabulary and use it ourselves. Many of the terms
have been thrashed about repeatedly. We believe the following glossary provides a
solid foundation for executives, managers, and other stakeholders. Instructions
for linking to the glossary are at the bottom of this page. We invite you to link
to this page and help establish a common vocabulary among your community,
provided as a service by Morgan Madison and Company and eink Global.
For the most current glossary, navigate to the websites www.einkglobal.com
and MGRush.com and download or link to the most current and up-to-date
Action plan: A matrix that matches actions leading to a required outcome
including the who, the what, and the when.
Activity: A series of steps carried out in response to a business event such as
receiving an invoice. Activities have denite starts and stops. Activities
describe what needs to happen rather than how it may happen. Paying
bills or accelerating are examples of what, while writing checks or push-
ing the gas pedal with your foot are examples of how. What items are
abstract and hard to visualize, while how items are concrete and more
Alignment: Matching of goals, objectives, and vision to ensure that the achieve-
ment of any does not promote conict in the use of resources or curtail
the achievement of the others. e forming of relationships between
activities and objectives to note any inconsistencies or gaps that may
require a modication or addition to a plan. Mutual agreement and
consensus among the project team and key stakeholders on the direc-
tion of a project, the options, and other factors. Without alignment, the
change process often stalls or fails.
328 ◾ Glossary
Assumptions: e unstated beliefs about how and why the process is designed;
governs who does what in the process.
Audit: Independent and neutral test of the eciency and eectiveness of a
Audit team: Group of people responsible for conducting the audit. May be
internal or external to the process.
Benchmark: Comparative ranking of the process and its outputs, measure-
ments, and outcome to similar processes in other organizations.
Bottleneck: Any point in the process where activities are slowed.
BPI plan: Document presented to the executive team to get approval for the
BPI (ie, business process improvement) project. Includes the reason for
the selected process and how the team intends to improve the process.
Business process improvement: e simplication and clarication of the way
that people interact with (other) processes, people, and technology to
achieve an organization’s vision.
Champion: Member of the management team who is supportive of the busi-
ness process improvement team and its eorts. Someone who takes a
passionate interest in promoting a particular solution such as a new
process or product.
Change management: e recognition that the unknown changes to the
selected process will generate dierent levels of unease among stake-
holders and the conscious implementation of mitigation strategies to
resolve the issues that may evolve from their discomfort. Change man-
agement is a planned process, with a set of tools and key questions for
managing the people side of change so that project goals are achieved on
time and on budget, safely implemented, and accepted by stakeholders.
Communications plan: Identies exactly how and when the business process
improvement teams will interact with the target audience over the life
of the project. Usually far more extensive than e-mails, the commu-
nications plan uses several channels to update, inform, and request
feedback from stakeholders. e communications plan identies the
messages about the changes that need to be spread through the organi-
zation. ese include both the business messages (why the organization
is undertaking the changes, risks of not making the changes, etc.) and
the personal messages (how the project impacts a person’s day-to-day
work). e channels may include e-postcards, e-magazines, updates,
surveys, posters, and websites.
Concurrent activities: Activities in the timetable that can occur at the same time
as other activities without compromising the outcome of each other.