Business Process

From ArticleWorld

A business process is a set of logical activities that are related to each other. These related activities are processed through the application of certain pre-determined methods of which the end result is a specified output. Such specified outputs are ordinarily meant as a particular customer or an identified market. Processes generally commence at a particular point and terminate at another definite point. It also involves interfaces and organizational units like the 'customer’s unit'.

Business process components

A business process should not be viewed as an isolated system. It is more often than not a part of a larger process. This larger process can itself be covering a number of such processes. The larger process can be termed ’global‘ whereas the original business process may be termed as ’local’. On the other hand, the business process itself may cover a vast number of subsidiary processes at different levels. At times the experts term the business process as the workflow that realizes an organization’s use of cases. High-impact business processes require owners. Business processes use three dimensions, namely:

  • ’entities’
  • ‘objects’
  • ’activities’

‘Processes’ are always co-coordinators of organizational units. In the case of entities, ‘processes’ roles are inter-functional, interpersonal, or inter-organizational. Electronic data transfer is a case in point. In the case of objects, ’processes’ end up manipulating objects. These objects may be physical or informational. ’Activities’ related to ’processes’ are managerial or operational. Administrative and financial measures may be termed as managerial while carrying out a particular order of a particular customer or group of customers as an example of operational activity.

Business process examples

A clear example of a business process activity is admission of a student to a college. To enroll in a college, a prospective student shall have to submit an application attaching all relevant documents such as high school leaving certificate, mark sheet, birth certificate etc… In order to properly process the application, the college should have an infrastructure such as assistants to deal with the paperwork, computers to analyze the data, accountants to calculate the payables etc… If the prospective student satisfactorily fulfills all criteria, only then can he be admitted to the college.

Once satisfied with the validity of the documents submitted and eligibility of the student, only the college management may allow the prospective student to join the college. Notification in this regard must be sent to the student to the address he or she has provided on the forms.

Ordinarily a business process arises from specific activities such as ’business process design’ or ’business process re-engineering’. The term ’business process re-engineering’ is often quoted as ’BPR’. Business process re-engineering either changes the process or redesigns it, causing business transformation. Business process re-engineering was developed by Frederik Taylor and is discussed in his book 'Principles of Scientific Management'. Business process redesign has been defined by the great authors Davenport & Short as 'the analysis and design of workflow and processes within and between organizations'. Business process is the ’spice’ that adds delicacy to the ’recipe’.