the building blocks of business

EARLY IN MY CAREER, my consulting focused primarily upon process reengineering. Through the 1990s, I assisted many companies by analyzing their business processes and looking for ways to improve their results. My recommendations to clients could include removing certain process steps, foregoing excessive or needless review or approval steps, streamlining the flow of work products, and eliminating late-stage quality reviews and rework. During that era, process reengineering was a hot topic in business, and I learned a great deal about how processes operate and how to make them better.

One of the key things I learned is that the vast majority of business processes include several steps that add little ...

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