The 3 main types of process: management, implementation and support

In the context of the cross-functional management of an organization, it is essential to model and control its processes. What exactly do these terms mean? What are the different types of existing processes? How can we properly categorize the processes?

What is a process?

Process refers to an activity system that uses resources to transform input elements into output elements. It describes the “what to do” in a predefined order. Transversal by nature, it involves several businesses and transforms data and/or materials to create added value.

Processes correspond to all the contributions made by an organization’s employees to ensure the promise made to the customer.

What are the types of business processes?

There are three main types of processes in three families: management processes, execution processes and support processes.

Management processes

The management processes transcribe the strategy and objectives and enable the Quality approach to pilot while ensuring its continuous improvement. These are, for example, the processes for planning actions, steering improvement or defining and monitoring objectives.

The realization processes

The realization processes are the processes that contribute directly to the realization of a product or service, from the detection of the customer’s need to its satisfaction. They represent the core business of the organization. Examples include research and development, design, manufacturing, delivery, maintenance, training, etc.

Support processes

Support processes contribute to the smooth running of other processes by providing them with the necessary resources, both tangible and intangible. These processes include maintenance, provision of equipment or human resources, control of documentation and communication, metrology, etc.

An identical process can be a realization or support process, depending on the company’s activity. For example, an IT maintenance process will belong to one or more of these categories depending on whether it does intend for end customers or internal production services.

It is therefore essential to make a clear distinction between these three main categories when carrying out a process documentation project.

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