What are Business Processes? A business process, also referred to as business process management, business process or business function is an interconnected series of linked, structured activities or steps whereby an objective is attained by individuals or machinery that result in a product or service for a specified consumer or clients. These activities enable companies to achieve certain objectives and meet customer demands successfully. As they become more complicated, the need for additional people to manage them arises.
Business Processes can be categorized into three broad areas: Information Technology, Customer Management, and Business Process Outsourcing. Each area has its own inherent processes required to ensure the smooth running of organizations. Business Processes can also involve activities like quality management, information systems, project management, human resources management, engineering systems, etc. An information system provides the interface between people and systems and is an important part of Business Processes. Business Processes involve five basic stages namely Pre Conceptualisation, Development, Business Process Management, Project, and Business Systems.
A pre-conceptualization is an in-depth analysis of the organization’s present setup and goals and objectives. It is undertaken when the organizational culture and values are understood and it involves strategic planning and assessment of all tasks that have to be executed to realize an organization’s vision. A development process develops proposals for the future of an organization, based on existing strategies, targets, and organizational culture. Project management supervises activities designed to implement the business processes.
A business process may include data processing, production processes, information management, sales management, and administrative tasks. A production process refers to the processes involved in creating products and/or services, for which humans or machines are used. Information systems are networks in which computers are used to collect, organize and control information. Business Processes may also involve a sales process. An administrative process may be the collection, collation, storage, and retrieval of information or the preparation of reports at intervals.
An operational process may be any one of the following five: planning, starting, executing, monitoring, and controlling. Business Processes involve several other associated concepts and each has its own importance. For example, a company’s marketing process may be called Marketing Processes. A distribution process may be called Sales Processes. A customer service process might be called Customer Service Processes. And each of these processes has several phases.
The core business processes are primarily known as management processes. They are further divided into six broad functional areas. These are: identifying, managing, implementing, controlling, and improving. These business processes can be broadly classified into three types. These three types are generally classified as follows:
A business process may be a management process. A management process is designed to meet the needs of customers or other stakeholders. In this sense, a management process owner is responsible for providing customer service that meets desired results. Customer service may be provided by a salesperson, an accounting employee, a marketing person, or a product developer. Therefore, it is not the responsibility of the core business processes to satisfy customers; rather it is the responsibility of the process owner to satisfy customers.
Another type of business process is known as operational or administrative. This form of the process is less structured than the previous two and therefore relies heavily on human intervention. Operational Business Processes involve tasks such as the following: planning, organizing, staffing, and directing activities. These tasks can be performed by different sets of employees, depending on the organizational requirements.
Business Processes are broken down into several different sections. Among the core processes, customer support processes, and strategic processes all fall under the “customer service” category. These are the primary processes that help your organization provide its customers with satisfaction. There are also general procedures that deal with the organization’s day-to-day operations, as well as more specific processes that are necessary to deliver value to customers. These additional business processes are known as support processes.
The third category, strategic processes, are those that are designed to increase the competitive advantage of the organization. Strategic business processes may include expansion, restructuring, research and development, and implementation. In the recent past, BPM has been applied to several industries, including healthcare, finance, software development, and manufacturing. BPM has been found to have significant impacts on the organization’s performance.
All business processes are not created equal. When determining how to best structure an organization, it is important to identify what functions are critical to meeting organizational objectives. Then, organizations can determine what processes within those processes need improvement, and what new processes to implement to help achieve those business goals. This approach, known as Business Process Management (BPM), helps to ensure that the processes within an organization are in alignment with organizational goals. BPM can also assist in aligning all processes within an organization so that these processes become a single continuous flow.