Understand Interface Activity Noise

Interface Activity Noise consists of those interfacing activities, including checking, correcting and chasing, which are necessary to enable 'stuff' to enter the business and be passed from one business process step to the next. It includes both the work that needs to be done to enable difficulties at entry to be resolved and the downstream effort required to compensate for not managing prior interface activity properly.

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Interface Activity Noise are often mistakenly classified as essential, because if they are not performed to compensate for the problem associated with a particular transaction at that step in the business process, the 'stuff' cannot be processed.

Interface Activity Noise is both within the organisation and across the enterprise, including suppliers and end customers.


Identifying and reducing the "Noise" in the interfacing activities provides a significant cost and performance improvement opportunity, through:

  • Freeing up staff time, reducing wage costs or increasing output capacity;
  • Reducing process cycle times;
  • Delivering improved service.

The most significant finding from interface mapping and categorising the 395,832 activities is that one-third of staff and manager's time (33.6%) is routinely absorbed in interface activity noise. That is 1⅔ days out of every five days worked by each person, raising their staffing costs per transaction by 50% and distracting the organisation from its performance drivers.

Interface Activity Noise is found everywhere where people work, that is in every process in every team in every organisation.

No organisation can deliver its strategic outcomes if it ignores interfacing activities

  • Most organisations define and sequence functional activities well in process maps, procedures and job descriptions.
  • Interfacing activities link the functional activities together.
  • None of the 400 organisation who have used XeP3 methodology had ever mapped their interfacing activities properly; XeP3 revealed that they absorbed 30-50% of the staff time.
  • Three weeks can be all you need to map, measure and understand your interfacing activities to provide the platform to fix your business fast, by achieving:
    • Strategically defined and sequenced functional activities (business processes) – what staff have to do to deliver strategic intent
    • Minimum efficient interfacing activity.

Learn about XeP3