Business process approach
management approach is a great opportunity to all organizations
for enhancing overall business performance and realizing modern
professional quality management and quality assurance.
approach to practice process management covers following topics:
- Recognizing general concepts, guiding ideas, and principles of
business processes and process management
- Understanding development stages in the process management
- Developing business processes from strategic needs of an organization
and within organization's business system and its networked environment
- Integrating process management practices within operational and
strategic business management
- Realizing quality integration through process management
- Applying effective information /communication technology for process
management that also covers documentation needs
- Monitoring, evaluating, and analyzing process performance
- Understanding people issues in process performance and management
including knowledge and mental aspects
- Taking consistent measures for process performance improvements
- Striving for a comprehensive enhancement of the business process
Process concept in business environments
to all daily doings or activities within an organization. In fact
originally the process concept just denoted action or operation.
Business processes particularly are processes for fulfilling the
business needs of an organization. Business processes consit of
interlinked different business activities, "elementary processes".
of business processes are interesting from management's point of
view for increasing process efficiency. In some cases, however,
there has been a danger that structural aspects, e.g. process diagrams,
are being over-emphasized in process management. Business structure
and business processes are orthogonal issues to each other. Processes
should have primary role and structure, e.g. organizational chart
and process diagrams, is a secondary issue.
Business process management
is a comprehensive business management issue. Today truly effective
and efficient process management implies a radical change to the
traditional established management thinking and structures in organizations.
Process management as a management practice has a remarkable
role in both "getting better" (strategic change) and "earning
money" (operational run).
is realized through process / project management. Projects are singular
processes for singular business tasks. Basic business processes
imply continuously running business activities. A major challenge
for the top management is to convert a traditional vertically emphasized
hierarchical organization into an approach that consistently and
effectively reinforces horizontally interlinked and interacting
activities (i.e. business processes). Both strategic and operational
management levels are involved in this approach, the strategic one
focuses on the network of business processes (i.e. the whole business
system) and the operational one on single processes and projects.
of the process approach within an organization starts normally from
strong vertically organized functional business units, organizational
"silos", and with a clear need to improve the effectiveness
and efficiency and customer-focus of the organization. Development
means movement towards emphasis on horizontal business processes
for providing products (goods and services) to the customers. This
development is always in practice a long-term development journey.
management consists of planning, controlling, improving the operations,
and assuring quality. Most practical general model for process management
is PDCA (Plan + Do + Check + Act) (see the diagram).
The basic lines
of process management include:
- Management of existing processes based on existing plans: process
network and individual processes
- Process re-engineering, i.e. improvement of process plans and
People issues in process management
critical issue for process performance is the operation of individual
human performers within processes. This should include also mental
and knowledge aspects.
One of the most
difficult questions in practice is the clear understanding of roles
of the process owners and line managers. In fact, there could be
no process management without a process owner. Process owner's responsibilities
should be clearly defined. There is always a potential risk of conflicting
interests between the roles of process owners and line managers.
Information technology for business
Process automation and modern collaborative software applications are
important challenges in using information and communication technology
(ICT) in the development of business processes and their management.
The use of information have been increased overwhelmingly within
all kinds of organizations, and particularly in business processes.
However, often only ICT solutions have been emphasized. This has
induced to difficult situations in many business cases because,
ICT is much more than only a technological issue. One should also
take into account thinking, understanding, competences, skills,
commitment, and feelings of the users of the technological systems
in business processes. These things are linked to the tacit or implicit
knowledge of people.
Modern Web-operated social networking applications have a wide
variety of applications for business process management. They are
particularly useful for connectivity, interactivity, and sharing
information and knowledge taht are key issues in operations and
development of business processes.
Business processes in modern business
management calls for responding to the realities of the modern business
environments and especially nowadays the needs for managing variety
and agility. Managing
process complexity goes beyond simplistic tools, and the managing
feedback loop needs to be much faster than the business system's
response time. The modern business environments require
especially understanding organizations as complex responsive processes
Challenges for continual development
Comprehensive enhancement of the business process approach is carried
out according to the principles of organizational learning. That
is also a good and practical basis of quality management development
and establishing solutions for quality integration and quality assurance.
that process management is a very simple thing, but its implementation
seems incredibly difficult because it always puts a strain on the
organization's leadership issues. Development of the business processes
and their management is a long-term effort and should take into
account realities of business environments in question.
material has been presented in different forms in differerent seminars