Business process (sometimes just a process) is the flow of work or activities. Each organization is essentially a system of processes and activities that interact with each other. They interact across organizational units, they respond to various triggers from the internal and external environment. Within processes, inputs and resources are transformed into outputs that are valued by the process’s customer.
Processes exist within and between organizations. There is always a flow of work and activity from one person to another.
Selected business process definitions
- The standard ISO 9001 defines the process as: “Set of interrelated or interacting activities, which transforms inputs into outputs.”
- Hammer, M. Champ, J., 1996: “The process is a set of activities that requires one or more types of inputs and creates output that has value for the customer.”
Processes exist within each organization and between organizations whether they are managed or not. Always there is some flow of work and activities from one person to another. Every day we are all participants in a variety of processes, whether we realize it or not. Processes in organizations can be managed in different ways, for repeated and same processes (for example the process of establishing a bank account) it is applied process management. On the other side, the management of the processes that are unique (for example implementation of a new information system) it is applied project management.
Processes in practice
Each organization is essentially an organized system of processes and activities that build on each other and interact with each other. To better achieve its objectives, it must manage them in order to be effectively and efficiently performed. Analysis, knowledge, management and process improvement is therefore the daily business of the organization of all workers and managers in particular. To analyze the processes of the organization they use different methodologies and approaches (see Process management). Continuous improvement is part of quality management, risk management and innovation management. All managers are responsible for process improvement in their competence.