Business Processes: Manage to Know or Know How to Manage?



“a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”

The theory has a lot to say about business processes. Since the time of Taylorism, scholars have been working to put the practice in order. There is no doubt they have succeeded in theory.

What does real-life experience show though? Is the knowledge on the subject ever enough?

A business process is like a living organism. It requires a suitable environment to exist and function (an organization that is ready for it). It needs sustenance (people and technology). It benefits from parental guidance (leadership support and process ownership control). It grows (scope and maturity), sometimes deviates (in terms of variation and compliance), replicates (through various organizational units), and retires (in lifecycle terms).

Almost every daily activity of ours is part of a process. A simple example is the preparation of a predefined operational report. Does it start with the reminder in the calendar for the task at hand? Or does it start with the definition of the report requirements? Or with collecting the data inputs from the business units over the time period the report will capture? And does it end with compiling the tabular outputs and charts?

Every organization that aims at sustainable growth nowadays recognizes the importance of end-to-end business process management. However, connecting all the dots is not a simple exercise. Every step that is taken to the achievement of a certain goal should be looked at in a holistic way, as the quality and timeliness of every action have a material impact on all subsequent steps and on the end result.

Here is a list of a few key questions your organization needs to answer when (re)discovering its processes:

  • Where does the process start?
  • Where does the process end?
  • What are the steps between start and end?
  • What are the dependencies?
  • Who are the actual “clients” and are they happy?

You will be able to achieve much-needed visibility if your end-to-end process is properly understood, documented, and subjected to critical cross-functional review. What naturally follows is an impetus toward valuable business transformation in the form of standardization, optimization, digitalization, and automation.

Let us help you manage to know your business processes so you can know how to manage them to success.