Business Process

A business process is a collection of linked tasks which find their end in the delivery of a service or product to a client. A business process has also been defined as a set of activities and tasks that, once completed, will accomplish an organizational goal. The process must involve clearly defined inputs and a single output. These inputs are made up of all of the factors which contribute (either directly or indirectly) to the added value of a service or product. These factors can be categorized into management processes, operational processes and supporting processes. The definition of the term business process and the development of this definition since its conception by Adam Smith in 1776 has lead to such areas of study as Operations Development, Operations Management and to the development of various Business Management Systems.[1]

Business Process
source: Dr. Jackie Damrau, BPMN

Types of Business Process
There are three types of business processes:

  • Management processes, the processes that govern the operation of a system. Typical management processes include "corporate governance" and "strategic management".
  • Operational processes, processes that constitute the core business and create the primary value stream. For example, taking orders from customers, and opening an account in a bank branch.
  • Supporting processes, which support the core processes. Examples include Health & Safety, 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 complex business process may 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/task 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 use of resources). 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.[2]

See Also

Business Analysis
Business Capability
Business Capability Modeling
Business Strategy
Process Analysis
Process Mapping
Process Model
Process Architecture
Process Capability
Process Control
Process Decision Program Chart
Process Integration
IT Capability
IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF)


  1. Business Process Definition Appian
  2. Business Process Overview Wikipedia

Further Reading