(customer, supplier, regulator, etc.). This approach can commence at the functional level
and grow outwards until all groups are represented in the chain. In taking this approach,
you may well find some tasks do not link with any other tasks or an external party and
should be marked for action because clearly they appear to add no value. However, a task
may not add value to one external party but may add value to another. If you focus only
on customers, you will find a number of tasks that do not contribute to the achievement
of customer needs but do contribute to satisfying the needs of other interested parties.
Now examine the chains and group those together that achieve a common objective
or deliver a common output. You can call these groups ‘processes’. The processes you
identify may not be like those of any other organization – they don’t have to be, as every
organization is different, even those that appear to be in the same business. The
processes you identify might include:
Quality management system 123
Work processes
Accounting Internal auditing New product planning Promotion
Advertising Inventory management New product trials Purchasing
Asset management IT Infrastructure Order processing Recruitment
Business planning maintenance Organization Resource planning
Calibration IT Infrastructure development Service design
Design analysis planning Packing Staff development
Despatch Manufacturing Plant maintenance Strategic planning
Distribution Manufacturing process Process improvement Tendering
Enquiry conversion design Product audit Tooling design
Goods receiving Market research Product design Training
Installation Materials development Production planning Waste disposal
You could now ask, what do these processes have in common, and then put all those
having the same things in common into a new set. There is a remote chance that you
would discover the same four business processes as using the top-down method but it
is, unlikely, simply because the focus is different.
The bottom-up approach involves everyone but has some disadvantages. As the teams
involved are focused on tasks and are grouping tasks according to what they perceive
are the objectives and outputs, the result might not align with the organizational goals;
these groups may not even consider the organization goals and how the objectives they
have identified relate to these goals. It is similar to opening a box of components and
stringing them together in order to discover what can be made from them. It is not very
effective if one’s objective is to satisfy the external customer; therefore, the top-down
approach has a better chance of linking the tasks with the processes that will deliver
customer satisfaction.
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