APQC — Process Classification Framework

This article was originally published on my old blog.


If you work in a business where there is a complex environment of business processes and information systems it can become very difficult to get a good understanding of what is going on in the business. This could lead to wasting money inside the business and not effectively execution of business processes in the business environment.

Enter the APQC Process Classification Framework. This process classification framework assists you to align your business process to industry best practices and benchmark your business processes. The process classification framework is a taxonomy of cross-functional business processes intended to allow the objective comparison of organizational performance within and among organizations.

The process classification framework was developed by APQC and its member companies as an open standard to facilitate improvement through process management and benchmarking, regardless of industry, size, or location.

Who is APQC?

Here is the official about statement from the APQC site:

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the world’s leading proponents of business benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management research. We follow our mission to help organizations around the world improve productivity and quality by discovering effective methods of improvement, broadly disseminating findings, and connecting individuals with one another and with the knowledge they need to improve.

APQC focus on the following topics:

  • Knowledge Management
  • Process and Performance Management
  • Education
  • Financial Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Supply Chain Management

I highly recommend that you visit the APQC site: https://www.apqc.org/

Overview of Process Classification Framework

The process classification framework is organized in operating and management processes into 12 enterprise-level categories, including process groups and more than 1000 processes and associated activities.

Here is an overview image:

Figure 1 — Process classification framework

You can download the official document here: https://www.apqc.org/pcf


I believe the APQC Process Classification Framework provides an excellent framework to manage business processes and provide benchmarks to ensure you are effectively executing your business processes. Does not matter how big or small your business is the framework will guide you to use a structured approach to managing your business processes.

Currently where I work the Process Classification Framework is used to classify all internal information systems to business processes. This assists to identify if there are duplicated information systems for the same business process and does the information system provide value to a specific business process.

Written by

Passion for Software and Enterprise Architecture. I like to play with Azure and programming languages (C#, Rust, JavaScript and Angular).

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