A business process is a term often used in today’s industry, and there is also a lot of confusion around them. To provide some clarity here is all the information you need for what they are and why your business needs them.
What is a Business Process?
Business processes are a series of steps performed by a group of stakeholders to achieve a specific goal. Each step in a business process specifies a task assigned to a participant. It is the basic building block for several related ideas, such as Business Process Management, Process Automation, etc.
A business process is a collection of related tasks that find their end with the delivery of a service or product to a customer. A business process is also defined as a set of activities and functions that, once completed, will achieve an organizational goal. The process must include clearly defined inputs and a single output.
Examples of business processes include:
- Shipping of products
- Receive orders
- Updating personnel data
- Determination of marketing and other budgets.
Some of the main reasons for having well-defined business processes are:
- Identify which tasks are essential to your primary business goals.
- Improve efficiency.
- Streamline communication between people/functions/departments.
- Establish approvals to ensure accountability and optimal utilization of resources.
- Prevent chaos from creeping into your daily operations.
- Standardize a set of procedures to perform tasks that are truly important to your business
The seven steps of the business process
Step 1: Define your goals
What is the purpose of the process? Why was it created? How do you know if you succeed?
Step 2: Plan and chart your process
What are the strategies needed to achieve the goals? This is the broad roadmap for the process.
Step 3: Establish actions and assign stakeholders
Identify the individual tasks that your equipment and machines must perform to execute the plan.
Step 4: Test the process
Run the process on a small scale to see how it works. Look at the gaps and make adjustments.
Step 5: Implement the process
Begin by performing the process in a live environment. Communicate and train all stakeholders properly.
Step 6: Monitor the results
Review the process and analyze your patterns. Document the process history.
Step 7: Repeat
If the process is capable of achieving the set goals, repeat it for future processes.
What are the key features of an ideal business process?
Four important features make up an ideal business process:
1. Destination: a good business process has a clear starting point and endpoint. It also has a limited number of steps.
2. Repeatable: good business processes can be performed an indefinite number of times.
3. Creates Value: Ultimately, it aims to translate value creation into executable tasks and has no step in the process of the simple fact of doing so. In other words, if a step in the process does not add value, it should not exist.
4. Flexibility: it has a built-in nature to be flexible to change and is not rigid. When any room for improvement is identified, the process allows the change to be absorbed in itself without operatively affecting its stakeholders.