A business process is a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input from one or more different sources and produces value for the customer (see Figure K-1). The focus of the business must be to ensure that the effort of dealing with the process does not out-weigh the value received from completing the process.
For example, order entry/fulfillment is a clear example of a business process. From the customer’s viewpoint, the process starts when customer places an order and ends when the customer receives the goods requested. There are numerous activities in between. Credit checks may be run to confirm that the customer can pay for the order. Inventory is accessed to confirm you have what the customer is requesting. A typical list of activities would include:
Receiving the order
Logging the order
Verification of completeness
Customer credit check
Determining the price
You will notice that the activity in a high-level business process might be regarded as a process itself by the performing organization. Processes can be decomposed into other processes until you reach the task level where some interim component is produced. The key is to start with the customer as the focus of the original process and define the subprocesses by their ...