Processes are possibly the most important and most widespread element in the management of innovative companies, especially those that base their management system on Total Quality. Processes are currently considered the operational base of a large part of organizations and gradually become the structural basis of a growing number of companies. Functional-type organizations generated high levels of efficiency in the specialized operations addressed by each function, often at the expense of the overall efficiency of the company and of an ineffective communication between the different functions. Matrix-type organizations, designed to optimize the use of human capabilities, encountered many difficulties in their practical application. The success of the Japanese industries, well patent from the seventies and eighties, led to the application of models of productive organization, such as just in time or kanban. These models, despite having produced very positive results, have proven to be limited models, mainly because they focus on manufacturing companies of large series.
However, both the matrix model and those of Japanese origin already pointed to the importance of processes as the basis on which to develop sound operational policies and strategies. This gave rise to studies on the possibilities of the processes as the basis of management of the company, which were showing their adaptation to current markets, increasingly closer to the global market and, as a result, their ability to contribute in a sustained manner to the results, as long as the company designs and structures its processes thinking about its clients.
The processes, by requiring a set of material and immaterial inputs and consisting of activities that are transforming these inputs, repeatedly cross functional boundaries. By crossing functional limits, they force cooperation and create a different, more open, less hierarchical company culture, more oriented towards obtaining results. And because the processes are highly repetitive, their improvement, which requires a prior planning and reflection as well as the dedication of resources, sometimes considerable, provides a great return on those investments (ROI) made.
Importance of Business Process Management in Information Technology Sector
Today, technology is a critical factor in the success or failure of a business. Companies that successfully incorporate new software and systems into their information infrastructure are positioned to achieve sustained competitive advantages. In today’s business environment, that means implementing systems that provide simplified, low-cost operations. Other critical capabilities include the ability to communicate information timely and accurately to the growing mobile workforce, continuously improving employee productivity and the ability to protect the integrity of systems and intellectual property.
As business managers grow in number in search of a reengineering of business processes (Business Process Reengineering) as a measure of applying Information Technologies to their businesses, there is also a growing belief that an improvement in processes which includes some component of IT, will allow to give the company competitive advantages in addition to providing quality products and services to its customers.
In no way can we think about implementing in the first plane, an information technology, without first knowing perfectly, what are the business processes that affect a company in their people, policies, procedures, production and product, otherwise, we would be falling in the error of aligning the company to technology and not the technologies to the key business processes
The inputs and outputs of a process are usually quite direct in identifying. The inputs are what is necessary in a process as “raw material”, or in the case that the process is a service, the trigger that initiates the next process. The outputs are the product or service that the processes produce. The controls and resources are a little more complicated, since they vary according to the type of the business environment.
A business process is a complete and dynamically coordinated set of transactional and collaborative activities that delivers value to clients or is responsible for meeting other strategic goals of the company.
What is Business Process Management for?
For what purpose do we analyze the procedures that make our business work? It depends. For example, if we have too many customer complaints, we will have to keep track of where the problem lies: Is it in the quality of the product? Have we changed providers? Have we changed the way we manufacture the product? Is it in the time it takes to serve the client? Is it in the price? That’s what management by processes consists of: in optimizing them. After the analysis of the processes, failures, defects, anomalies or errors can be detected, all of them can be rectified, applying the necessary changes and adjusting the procedures. Therefore, process management serves to be more efficient, more profitable and, above all, more competitive.
When a company raises the possibility of having to rethink its business processes, it is very possible that it has to make an economic investment, either by hiring an expert to advise on the modifications to be taken into account, either through the acquisition of some product or technological solution available in the market or, in the worst case, both at the same time. However, it is absolutely essential that every company understands that its effective management is based on the understanding of its processes, its analysis, its evaluation and its optimization, using the various methodologies and regulations. Only in this way can the processes be aligned with the strategic plans of the business and the objectives of the company.
However, is it enough with the hiring of the external consultant and the acquisition of any product to use? Without a doubt, the answer is NO. The processes, whether good, bad or regular, must be carried out not only by machines, but by human beings. If the collaborators who carry out their work in the company are not involved in the correct execution of their tasks, nothing that is done will make sense. People are the basis of any business, regardless of whether these people themselves handle tools that help them. They are people who attend the telephone, those who visit their customers and those who sell or deliver the products and services that customers (who are also people) have acquired. Therefore, even if we talk about technology, let’s never forget the human factor.
There are several factors that effects the process management inside an organization. A good approach for management of business processes is compulsory in order to gain the beneficial output from an organization. To achieve the company’s goal proper team management and collective efforts is needed in business process management.