Thursday, August 14, 2014

Business Process Analysis

Before we talk about Business Process, let's just talk about Processes. In simple terms, processes are a set of steps which convert a set of inputs to a set of outputs or change the state of certain thing. For example, take the process of preparing tea. The inputs to this process are Tea leaves, Milk, Sugar and Water and if you so desire than a piece of ginger. Put everything in a pot and let it boil.(This is the way lazy people like me make tea). The output of this process is the prepared tea. The same things apply to Business environments. The process in business help in converting raw material to finished product. For that one has to procure raw material, do quality tests and do some conversion processes on them before the final product is ready. The final product is send to customer through a sales process.

Processes are so inherent to any organization or institution that they are a major driver in defining the character of an organization. It defines the dynamic nature of an organization. There are so many
jargons and big ticket assignments associated with the term Business Processes. I feel it's all about common sense, however it's so uncommon to have common sense. :)

The key to understand the business processes and make them more effective is to understand the organization, its people, culture and politics.

Improving Business Processes

There is no straight forward formula or magic wand to improve the Business process. It's a long arduous journey, which will change its course more often than anticipated. The goals itself will keep on changing or will keep on moving. The only constant factor for the success is persistence and to keep the momentum going.
One model that I find useful in improving the business process analysis is to analyze the things on three dimensions. The dimensions are Structures, Processes and Vision. Structure would involve both formal and informal organizational structures. Understanding political setup is very important aspect of improvement process. Processes is about how the things happen. At a broad level, understand the input and output and the thread going from input to output is a process. And everything should fall in place to further the vision of the setup.

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