Process Analysis is a systematic examination and evaluation of process data to identify components of the process and uncover their interrelationships. It aims to divide the process into structural elements (e.g. phases, stages, activities, sub-phases) to define what inputs, outputs and operations belong to the process and how all these components contribute to process change. Process analysis is opposite to process synthesis.
Analyzing a process means trying to understand how the process operates and what can be done to improve process performance. This activity results in determining potential targets for process improvement through eliminating waste and increasing efficiency.
The following steps are generic to process analysis:
- Research: examining a process to identify whether it suffers from inefficiency or negative variation
- Problem identification: identifying and describing a problem(s) that causes negative variation
- Solution proposal: developing a solution(s) to remove the problem(s)
- Alternatives analysis: identifying and evaluating alternatives to the proposed solution(s)
- Decision making: approving the solution and beginning to implement it.