Business process

collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers

A business process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers.

Prime Organization Elements of an Industrial Body
- Clinton Edgar Woods. 9105.


  • In definitional terms, a process is simply a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specific output for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong emphasis on how work is done within an organization, in contrast to a product focus’s emphasis on what. A process is thus a specific ordering of work activities across time and space, with a beginning and an end, and clearly defined inputs and outputs: a structure for action.
    • Thomas H. Davenport (1993). Process Innovation: Reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business School Press, Boston
  • A business process is a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer. A business process has a goal and is affected by events occurring in the external world or in other processes.
  • A process is a set of linked activities that take an input and transform it to create an output. Ideally, the transformation that occurs in the process should add value to the input and create an output that is more useful and effective to the recipient either upstream or downstream.
    • Henry J. Johansson Business process reengineering: Breakpoint strategies for market dominance. John Wiley & Sons, 1993. p. 209
  • Enterprise architecture is the organizing logic for business processes and IT infrastructure reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of a company's operation model... The key to effective enterprise architecture is to identify the processes, data, technology, and customer interfaces that take the operating model from vision to reality.
    • Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, David Robertson (2006). Enterprise architecture as strategy: creating a foundation for business. p. 47.
  • A business process is a series of steps designed to produce a product or service. Most processes (...) are cross-functional, spanning the ‘white space’ between the boxes on the organization chart. Some processes result in a product or service that is received by an organization's external customer. We call these primary processes. Other processes produce products that are invisible to the external customer but essential to the effective management of the business. We call these support processes.
    • Geary A. Rummler, Alan P. Brache (1995). Improving Performance: How to manage the white space on the organizational chart. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco
  • One man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head: to make the head requires two or three distinct operations: to put it on is a particular business, to whiten the pins is another ... and the important business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which in some manufactories are all performed by distinct hands, though in others the same man will sometime perform two or three of them.
    • Adam Smith (1776) Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 1 ; Description of processes in his famous example of a pin factory.
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, business processes were redesigned on average once every seven years. This rate of change was easy for the IT department to follow. The time needed to alter the information systems that supported new or changed business processes stayed within acceptable limits. In the 1990s, the rate of change began to increase and information systems began to lag behind. In 2000, a manager succinctly remarked: “We can completely redesign our business processes every three months and subsequently our IT department needs a year to catch up with the supporting information systems.”
    • Roel Wagter, Martin van den Berg, Joost Luijpers (2005) Dynamic Enterprise Architecture: How to Make It Wor. p. 15.
  • Innovative e-business projects start with a design of the e-business model. We often encounter the view, in research as well as industry practice, that an e-business model is similar to a business process model, and so can be specified using UML activity diagrams or Petri nets. In this paper, we explain why this is a misunderstanding. The root cause is that a business model is not about process but about value exchanged between actors. Failure to make this separation of concerns leads to poor business decision-making and inadequate business requirements.
    • Jaap Gordijn, Hans Akkermans, and Hans van Vliet. "Business modelling is not process modelling." International Conference on Conceptual Modeling. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2000. Abstract

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