Chapter Twenty-Eight: Activities – Disciplined Execution

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…reducing waste where it counts.

Why are activities the elements that make processes work?



Conceptual Pattern for Activities

An activity is a measurable amount of work or behavior performed to convert inputs to outputs with the capacity to undergo change. Activities lead to a series of actions and an aggregated response. It is directed toward a specific aim, intended to achieve a result, happens due to a special set of circumstances and is significant between two or more things that depart from expectations and vary from a norm or standard.  Activities require mental or physical energy, undertaken by an individual or group of people, performed to convert inputs to outputs, and result in a likely final state. An activity is a phenomenon that follows,  and is caused by some previous phenomenon. Activities react to internal stimuli; the same way in which a person, organism, or group responds to a specific set of conditions. (Pattern Engine – Activity N=12 © 2014)

If activities are understood the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of an activity is the efficient and effective execution of processes.

Second Principle:  Activities are the smallest unit of work and have four characteristics: (1) duration, (2) relationships with other activities (3) resource consumption, and (4) and cost.1

Third Principle: Activities must be monitored as a discipline providing the route to improve both the value received by customers and the profit earned by providing that value. 2

Fourth Principle: Activities enable: a product to be produced as a unit or batch; a technology to produce a product; and production to occur. 2

Fifth Principle: Activities are performed to service customers and prospects.3

Sixth Principle: Activities consume costs, products, and services; customers consume activities.4

Key Conceptual Patterns


A discipline is a branch of knowledge involving the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior via a system of rules of conduct. A discipline is the psychological result of systematic execution and a manner of acting.  Disciplines are orderly, logical arrangements of acts, usually in steps, according to a plan, that result in perception, learning and reasoning.  A discipline germinates from the combination of data, information, experience, and individual interpretation leading to the awareness or understanding of a circumstance or fact. A discipline is gained through association, management, and controlling of a process or activity. (Pattern Engine – Discipline N=12 © 2014)


Execution is the act of accomplishing some aim using knowledge, as distinguished from merely possessing it, terminating in effective action and success. Execution is the achievement of an anticipated outcome that causes a result. It is marked by certain qualities, allocating powers to produce an intended effect, accomplishes its planned intended purpose, produces good results, and guides planned actions. (Pattern Engine – Execution N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Processes – Linking Activities

  1. Business Dictionary Online
  2. Cokins, G., A. Stratton, and J. Helbling : An ABC Manager’s Primer, Institute of Management Accountants, 1993.
  3. Cokins, G. (1996). Activity Based Cost Management: Making it Work, 1996.
  4. “The “Principles of Activity Based Management”, ICMS, Inc


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Patrick Kelly