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Human resources and business processes

Business Process Reengineering involves the radical redesign of core business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity, cycle times and quality. In Business Process Reengineering, companies start with a blank sheet of paper and rethink existing processes to deliver more value to the customer. They typically adopt a new value system that places increased emphasis on customer needs. Companies reduce organizational layers and eliminate unproductive activities in two key areas. First, they redesign functional organizations into cross-functional teams. Second, they use technology to improve data dissemination and decision making.
Business Process Reengineering is a dramatic change initiative that contains five major steps. Managers should:

  • Refocus company values on customer needs;
  • Redesign core processes, often using information technology to enable improvements;
  • Reorganize a business into cross-functional teams with end-to-end responsibility for a process;
  • Rethink basic organizational and people issues;
  • Improve business processes across the organization

Companies use Business Process Reengineering to improve performance substantially on key processes that impact customers. Business Process Reengineering can:

  • Reduce costs and cycle time. Business Process Reengineering reduces costs and cycle times by eliminating unproductive activities and the employees who perform them. Reorganization by teams decreases the need for management layers, accelerates information flows, and eliminates the errors and rework caused by multiple handoffs;
  • Improve quality. Business Process Reengineering improves quality by reducing the fragmentation of work and establishing clear ownership of processes. Workers gain responsibility for their output and can measure their performance based on prompt feedback.

Within the framework of this basic assessment of mission and goals, re-engineering focuses on the organization’s business processes—the steps and procedures that govern how resources are used to create products and services that meet the needs of particular customers or markets. As a structured ordering of work steps across time and place, a business process can be decomposed into specific activities, measured, modeled, and improved. It can also be completely redesigned or eliminated altogether. Re-engineering identifies, analyzes, and re-designs an organization’s core business processes with the aim of achieving dramatic improvements in critical performance measures, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.
The cost area concentrates around three business horizontal processes: product and services, sales process and employee, efficiency. A business process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers. It often can be visualized with a flowchart as a sequence of activities. There are three types of business processes:

  1. Management processes, the processes that govern the operation of a system. Typical management processes include “Corporate Governance” and “Strategic Management”.
  2. Operational processes, processes that constitute the core business and create the primary value stream. Typical operational processes are Purchasing, Manufacturing, Advertising and Marketing, and Sales.
  3. Supporting processes, which support the core processes. Examples include Accounting, Recruitment, Call center, Technical support.

A business process begins with a mission objective and ends with achievement of the business objective. Process-oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid functional silos.
A business process can be decomposed into several sub-processes, which have their own attributes, but also contribute to achieving the goal of the super-process. The analysis of business processes typically includes the mapping of processes and sub-processes down to activity level. Business Processes are designed to add value for the customer and should not include unnecessary activities. The outcome of a well designed business process is increased effectiveness (value for the customer) and increased efficiency (less costs for the company). Business Processes can be modeled through a large number of methods and techniques. For instance, the Business Process Modeling Notation is a Business Process Modeling technique that can be used for drawing business processes in a workflow.

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