Thursday, June 22

SimWord of the Day: Business Process

A set of repeatable structured activities that add (or seem to add) predictable value, (including creation, marketing, refinement and transportation) at a predictable cost to an enterprise.

Business processes can be around transforming ideas, money, people, and products, delivering a service, branching to alternative processes, or triggering an action. There is often the movement and enrichment of some container of value, whether a widget to be painted or a form to be approved (or kicked back). Inventories are kept.

They often have an owner that takes responsibility for them. Some business processes are core, and presumably unique, while others are tangential.

Business processes can be ongoing (infrastructure), or triggered by an event.

Improvements to an organization can be made within a process (business process redesign), or changing processes (called business process re-engineering).

Business process can be simple or complex, and need to be connected to other business processes, sometimes through paths. Processes can also be done in parallel, avoiding a chain reaction of failures. A string of business processes can be called a value chain. And the integration between the processes is called “the process fit” which can be as strategically significant as the process itself, avoiding delays. Business processes maps are also called business process diagrams.

Business processes often need units, resources, and can be represented on a map by structures.

Business processes can be automated.

In many cases, when we come to organization, we don't know what the processes even are, and have to probe.

Ownership can vary. A business process can be
· done internally (retailer’s employees stock shelves),
· outsourced (retailers contracts independent workers to stock shelves), or
· transferred completely to another organization (retailer asks vendors to stock shelves, or retailer becomes online retailer and asks vendors to ship directly to customers).

Typically, the more important the business process, the more control the enterprise wants to use.

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