What Is a Business Process?
We have all heard the term process before, but what exactly does it
mean? A process is a series of tasks that are completed in order to
accomplish a goal. A business process, therefore, is a process that is
focused on achieving a goal for a business. If you have worked in a
business setting, you have participated in a business process. Anything
from a simple process for making a sandwich at Subway to building a
space shuttle utilizes one or more business processes.
Processes are something that businesses go through every day in order to
accomplish their mission. The better their processes, the more effective
the business. Some businesses see their processes as a strategy for
achieving competitive advantage. A process that achieves its goal in a
unique way can set a company apart. A process that eliminates costs can
allow a company to lower its prices (or retain more profit).
Documenting a Process
Every day, each of us will conduct many processes without even thinking
about them: getting ready for work, using an ATM, reading our email, etc.
But as processes grow more complex, they need to be documented. For
businesses, it is essential to do this because it allows them to ensure
control over how activities are undertaken in their organization. It also
allows for standardization: McDonald’s has the same process for building
a Big Mac in all of its restaurants.
The simplest way to document a process is to simply create a list. The list
shows each step in the process; each step can be checked off upon