What is a Business Process?

Adam Smith conceptualised the term business processes in 1776. A business process is a collection of linked tasks or activities, decisions and events which end with the delivery of a service or product to a client (a business goal). Often visualised with flowcharts they have proven to be a good way to depict an otherwise very complex and intricate process.

Types of Business Processes

A business process must have clearly defined inputs and outputs. Inputs make up all of the contributions to a product or service. These factors can be categorised into three terms: management processes, operational processes and supporting business processes.

  • Management processes – processes that regulate control over a system, such as strategic management.
  • Operational processes – core businesses values that generate the primary value stream such as taking an order from a customer.
  • Supporting processes – as suggested processes that support the operational processes. A good example would be health & safety or recruitment.

Business processes aim to increase the satisfaction of your customer with either your products or services while also decreasing the resources and time required to provide them.

A documented business process provides great clarity and insight into where tasks can be improved. When readily available to the workforce it can also give a great opportunity for new staff to quickly catch up to speed or to learn their activities relevance in the entire spectrum of a process. It also allows the people who do the work to make suggestions on how to improve standard procedures.

Example of a Business Process in the Gluu platform:

Process Diagram, or process map in the Gluu platform

In the above image, we can see a process map for one of Gluu’s Business Processes, in this case running a content marketing campaign. They can be very complex so documenting them on a map like this can be a great reference for staff as mentioned previously. Gluu provides a visual tool for people to understand at a glance. But, you can also click on any of these elements for more information previously provided by the process owner. It’s also encouraged for those who do the work to contribute their knowledge on how to complete a task through comments and labels to help find the most effective method for completing the process.

In this example above, for instance, we frequently update our processes when we find a more effective way to communicate ideas for a new piece or find a new community who we think will find out articles useful.

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