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New Post 4/17/2009 2:31 AM
User is offline Luka
17 posts
9th Level Poster

Process-centric enterprise 
Modified By Luka  on 4/17/2009 6:37:00 AM)

As a BA I am interested in knowing the opinions of my colleagues about the transition from functional silos to process-centric enterprise.

Back in the 18th century, Adam Smith and his idea of specialization of labor established the foundation for the present functional organizations in which corporations align themselves.
In this fast and shrewd today business environment, we need to optimize and innovate all the internal resources of a company in order to reach its desired results. In this way, we can  assess and take steps toward a competitive organization. To accomplish all that, we need the power of business processes (end-to-end work of delivering value to the customer, AS-IS vs. TO-BE simulations, risk management, et cetera). 

It would be noteworthy to perceive the reality of nowadays companies in shifting to a process-centric approach, from all involved in business analysis. Do you think we can recognise a trend in this direction? If yes, are the business processes smart enough to transform business operations and also, the terms of thinking about a 21th century enterprise?




New Post 4/17/2009 2:21 PM
Online now... Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: Process-centric enterprise 

Hi Luka,

You bring up a great question!

There's a great discussion in the comments section of the Process Mapping 101: A Guide to Getting Started article on the topic of AS-IS vs TO-BE processes as well as process modeling vs. functional modeling.  Check it out you'll get some great insights.

Also - I would like to point you to Michael Gerber's book: The E-Myth Revisited which deals with businesses setting up and understanding their business functions and processes.  It's a classic book and easy read.  I've put a link to it in this post: Should the BA care about BPM and SOA?

- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 4/19/2009 5:04 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: Process-centric enterprise 

Luka and Adrian,

Great question!
Ever-so-often I see a new fad. Process awareness and process improvement are two of the ones getting most traction lately.
I’ve read Michael Gerber's book: The E-Myth Revisited a few years ago and it makes excellent sense if you want to franchise a business. In fact you perfect, sell and manage the process. Imagine if you could bottle quality learning processes at schools. Well this is happening (see – an Australian outfit are teaching process and process management to school children and staff with really good results.
Large organizations are combining the process-centric view with the Adam Smith functional excellence philosophy, by taking their administrative and stable processes and grouping them into shared services Departments. These processes are normally the purchase-to-pay, hire-to-retire, order-to-cash etc.
In some instances, the process must be so simple that any person off the street should be able to learn the process steps with relative ease and speed. However, there is a social cost to micro managing process. One of the largest fast food chains used to manage some of their “frying” processes with beeps.
I reckon we’ll hear a lot about processes in the first half of this century: more about the pluses and less about the social costs.
Warm regards,
New Post 4/20/2009 5:51 AM
User is offline Luka
17 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Process-centric enterprise 
Modified By Luka  on 4/20/2009 8:15:05 AM)

And I might say, kmajoos, great response!

You provided real examples (Australian schools) about the first steps that must be taken to shift toward a process-centric enterprise: learning about process management. Also, I believe training is very important to employees, because it provides the fundamental knowledge on how to handle tasks in a process-oriented manner. So, I would be glad to read in this topic opinions of trainers providing business analysis courses. Are those involved in the training process enthusiast or confused when learning BPM?

kmajoos, regarding the social cost you talked about, can you detail a little further? This is a new dimension to the topic and must not be omitted. It is very important to keep a balance on everything that is engaged in this transition: IT (what BPM tools are most pervasive?), internal organization (case management organization, horizontal process management organization, et cetera), quality management, influencers (customer, environment, regulation, etc.) and, as you best noticed, social costs.

I am a little disappointed because we have just 2 answers.
I think the question is exhaustive and no matter the experience gained in the BPM field, any moderanalyst member is capable to find a quick example that supports or denies the assumption that BPM is becoming everyday more important in the business life. 

New Post 4/20/2009 7:27 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Process-centric enterprise 


In my opinion, process-centric enterprises are but a vague dream until analysts begin thinking seriously about processes.    A process is typically (a few exceptions) defined by its data inputs and outputs and these data inputs and outputs are typically data flows.  Yet Use Cases pretend that data flows really don't matter and BPMN does not give data flows a high priority.




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