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5 Each of the steps in the business process mapping process is crucial to fully implementing a busi- ness process. Of all these steps, it is perhaps the institutionalization of the process that is most important in successfully translating a process into a core process within an organization. The research from the case studies suggests that implementing a process change and integrating vari- ous processes often occur at the operations level, but institutionalizing the process typically requires the participation and support of higher levels of the organization. Proven processes can benefit the organization and the participants for a few years, but institutionalization of a process is important to guarantee that the process will sustain and evolve beyond the current players and champions. Enablers that led to the successful integration and institutionalization of business processes were identified in many of the case studies. Among these enablers were the following: · Clear identification of performance measures and targets to provide senior-level managers with an incentive for process change; · Implementation of effective evaluation and reporting abilities to clearly demonstrate the success of a process and communicate the benefits to the public; and · Development of formal agreements to demonstrate buy-in of each participating agency and ensure consistency as personnel change over time. Institutionalization is the final stage for implementing a process change. It should include clear documentation of the process, the roles and responsibilities of the players, and the perfor- mance metrics used to evaluate effectiveness. The level of documentation will be unique to each organization but should reflect the complexity of the business process and the level of commit- ment from senior management. Recommendations As noted earlier, process integration can be divided into two distinct aspects: at the operations level and at the institutional level. Through the case study development process, unique benefits were identified that result from process integration at both the operations level and the programmatic and institutional levels. Benefits can include increased efficiency, more savings in financial and staff resources, greater scalability and flexibility of systems, and more integrated institutional processes. It is recommended that process integration be considered at the operational level to improve an agency's ability to effectively use its resources. Process integration can provide financial savings as a result of improved cooperation, reduced capital expenditures, and efficient use of staff. Process integration can allow agencies to plan for an integrated system that can be implemented in a scal- able format that can grow commensurately with needs. By integrating agencies and processes early in the planning process, agencies are less likely to miss opportunities for integration and are more likely to build systems that can expand to meet future needs. Finally, the formal documentation of a process and of changes to the process will allow agencies to identify any correlation that might exist between changes to the process and performance metrics. As changes are made to a process, it is important to determine if those changes resulted in any measurable difference in performance. By documenting a process and any resulting change, agencies can keep a record of the processes they follow and compare changes in the process with changes in the performance metrics. It is recommended that process integration be considered at the institutional level to allow agen- cies to define clear agency responsibilities that can improve cooperation and trust, because each agency and department understands its role and its partner agency's role in effectively carrying out a process. Documentation of these roles and responsibilities can provide additional benefit, inas- much as it records the roles and responsibilities that should not change even if personnel change. Buy-in from higher-level management at agencies is a key to establishing a process that is effective and remains in place. Processes that have support from the upper levels of management are more likely to remain in place and be viewed as a high priority by all levels of staff within an agency.