- 1 Definition
- 2 Summary
- 3 Description
- 4 References
- 5 Related articles
A managed process that produces business related outcomes
In other words, business process is a structured, controlled and monitored set of tasks or activities designed to accomplish a specific organizational goal and produce a specified output for a particular customer: both internal and external. Business Processes are designed to add value to the inputs and provide outputs ensuring increased effectiveness and efficiency for the organization and other interested parties. Process management method provides a systematic approach to continuous improvement of the business processes.
Business process management
Process management approach
The processes of the management system that are needed to achieve the goals, provide the means to meet all requirements and deliver the products/services of the organization shall be identified, and their development shall be planned, implemented, assessed and continually improved.
All processes should be aligned with the objectives, scope and complexity of the organization, and should be designed to add value to the organization.
Some organizations have found it beneficial to group their processes as core processes, management processes and supporting processes.
The sequence and interactions of the management system processes shall be determined and processes shall be documented to the appropriate extent. To document processes different methods could be used, such as graphical representations, written instructions, checklists, flow charts, methods using visual media and electronic methods.
Complex processes could be devided into sub-processes and further into activities and tasks. To visualize/structure the processes and to reflect all interrelations among the sub-processes (activities or tasks) a process map could be developed that is usually called process model.
Each process has its life cycle, that includes the following stages:
– Process Definition and Design
– Process Implementation
– Process Monitoring and Measurement
– Process Improvement or reengineering
Process Definition and Design
Process Definition and Design includes setting process goals, defining process title, assigning process owner and process structuring to determine logical and streamlined path so that the goals may be effectively and efficiently achieved.
During this stage process title and its customers and other interested parties should be defined. When designing a Business process it is advisable to define all inputs, outputs, owner and participants. The processes flow in sequence and interaction should be determined as well.
Inputs to the process, include requirements, needs and expectations of interested parties ,outputs of other processes, information, etc. to define the intended output and sproces goals and objectives . Process outputs are results/products that can be measured/considered/provided, including its quality characteristics.
Individual roles, responsibilities and authority for ensuring the implementation, maintenance and improvement of the process and its interactions should be assigned. An individual that is managing the process and responsible for the process outcome and effectiveness is usually referred to as the "process owner". The process owner is, as a rule, a post holder that has appropriate knowledge and all the information regarding the process flow and details. To manage complex process and process interactions, in some organizations additionally a "process sponsor" could be assigned or a "process management team" established to provide support to the process owner.
Other process participants are individuals that performe/fullfil specific activities, tasks or functions within the process and ensuring its implementation.
When designing the process the sequence and interaction of the activities within the process, the monitoring and measuring criteria for process control and process performance, the resources needed for the effective operation of the process and how the process shall be documented should be determined.
Process Implementation involves ensuring process workflow and resourcing process so that each activity is supported with the needed staff, equipment, time, and budget.
The processes and its sub-processes and activities should be implemented as planned. Process management activities include, but are not limited to:
- Leadership and communication,
- Training and awareness,
- Change management,
- Management involvement,
- Applicable review activities.
To maintain satisfactory control of the process the monitoring and measurements should be performed as planned so that it ensures proactive process feedback loop.
Process Monitoring and Measurement
Process Monitoring and Measurement ensures tracking process performance against established goals and performance indicators, giving feedback and identifying deficiencies. The controls applyed should provide:
- direct and immediate feedback on process progress,
- information about main steps/stages of deliverables including compliance with the exit criteria.
Additionally, process effectiveness and efficiency can be assessed through internal or external review processes, such as peer reviews, audits, surveillances and etc.
Process Improvement or Reengineering
Process Improvement or Reengineering involves correcting deficiencies and improving performance, resetting goals and redesigning the process when required.
All information andd data obtained from process monitoring and measuring should be analyzed and evaluated in order to undersatnd and quantify process performance (statistical methods may be used, where appropriate). The results should be compared with the defined process goals and requirements, to confirm process effectiveness and efficiency and to identify any need for process improvement.
Whenever corrective or preventive actions are needed, the direct and root causes of the problems should be identified and eliminated (e.g. organizational problems: lack of adequate training or process controls, or human errors, defects). The effectiveness of the actions taken should be reviewed.
When planned process outcomes are being achieved and requirements fulfilled, efforts should be focused on actions to improve process performance to higher levels, on a continual basis.
When results of analyses and process outcomes provide obvious evidence of essential problems, the process should be re-engineered. That basically means radically rethinking and redesigning the existing process, e.g. the way process is performed or work is done to better support process goals and objectives and fullfil established requirements.
The results of process performance analyses should be reported within the organization, as appropriate.
Types of business processes
All processes are usually classified into groups as follows:
- Core or Operating processes;
- Supporting or Enabling processes;
- Management processes.
A core/operating process is one which performs one of the major functions of the organization and the output of which is critical to the success of the facility or activity;.
Examples of these core processes are:
- Work management
- Equipment reliability
Supporting/Enabling process is one which provides the support, resources and infrastructure necessary to eneable the core processes (e.g. procurement, training, etc)
Examples of these Supporting/Enabling processes are:
- Document and record management
Management process is one which ensure the operation and improvement of the entire management system
Examples of these Supporting/Enabling processes are:
- Continual improvement
A process owner is an individual that possesses the knowledge and all the information regarding the process flow, is responsible for process outcomes and effectiveness, and has appropriate authority for implementation, maintenance and improvement of the process.
 IAEA safety requirements GS-R-3 “Management System for facilities and activities” (2006);
 IAEA Safety Guide GS-G-3.1 “Application of management system for facilities and activities” (2006);
 IAEA Safety Guide GS-G-3.5 “The management system for nuclear installations” (2009);
 IAEA Safety Glossary 2007 Edition;
 ISO 9001:2008 “Quality Management System – Requirements”;
 ISO/TC 176/SC 2/N 544R3 “ISO 9000 Introduction and Support Package: Guidance on the Concept and Use of the Process Approach for management systems” (2008)
 Davenport, T.H, & Short, J.E. (1990). The new industrial engineering: information technology and business process redesign. Sloan Management Review. 31. 11-27.