Business Process Modeling and Process Management

A business process is a series of tasks that are repeated in order to produce a measurable output. Pay attention to how the business process has been defined in business literature over the years. Take a moment to write a definition of a business process in your own words.

Learning objectives

  • understand why process management is important
  • be able to explain what a process is and the different types of processes
  • state the difference between process orientation and other organizational principles
  • understand the necessity of process modeling
  • be able to draw simple ePK-diagrams
  • be able to discuss the use software for process modeling
  • be able to name and briefly summarize some methods used for the analysis of processes

The development of process management

To improve and maintain organizational efficiency, there must be a constant willingness for innovation and reorganization. Information and communication technology has become an indispensable aid and medium for efficiency gains. Organizational science and information systems are close partners in this pursuit of efficiency. A focus on process thinking is a feature of the modern organization. As a result, techniques such as Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Business Engineering (BE), Business Modeling (BM) have emerged to support the methods and goals of process management. In this chapter, the fundamental principles and perspectives are conveyed and the state of technology and its practical application are introduced.

Since the beginning of the 1990 , enterprises have put greater emphasis on analysis for optimizing business processes. A clear trend is observed is the shift in attention from a functional orientated organization to an alignment around business processes. In functional orientated organizations, the traditional functional departments such as procurement, production, logistics, finance, IS, marketing and so forth are dominant. Now, there is a new way of thinking: "The endeavour for optimum and profit generating satisfaction of the clients wishes should (...) come from a process orientated organization structure, in which the position and department formation would be conceived considering specific requirements in the course of the process for performance in the organization". The goals are more precisely explained in the following section on the Concepts of Process Management, namely the optimization of the combined work of all functional areas independent of the organizational structure and therefore there it is more common to find an overlapping of functions, areas, and departments.

Business processes are value added activities that produce a strategically valuable output for an organization. Business Process Management is the optimization, automation, as well as specific regulation and improvement of a business process. The tasks of Business Process Management, can be divided into Process Identification, Process Modeling, Process Analysis and Process Management. Process modeling documents the identification of processes in a standardized form, which is usually supported by software. These process models form the basis for process analysis and the adaptation or redesign of a process. Process management should ensure systematic planning, steering, and supervision of the execution of a process. At the same time, the process results will be controlled by the previously established measurement system that used to monitor performance and will be the basis for future. process adjustments.

The general goal of process management is to increase client (customer) satisfaction as well as to improve the efficiency of business processes. Consequently, the firm should gain a productivity increase. Both a client and value added orientation is necessary. A client can be the final consumer of a product or a person within an organization.

Process management can be considered from three organizational perspectives: strategic, operational, and administrative:

  • Strategic management is concerned with creating the general framework in which the business process are executed.
  • Operational management creates the workflow for formalizing and automating business processes and applying information systems, as appropriate, to support process execution.
  • Administrative management, typically the role of the IS unit, is responsible for developing the organizational and information systems infrastructure to support business processes.

Source: Richard T. Watson,
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