Traditionally management has concentrated on the
individual tasks which together make up a process.
Productivity and efficiency has been measured on
how these individual tasks are performed. Although
much investment has been made in aids such as
computer systems and individual PCs, average
productivity in the office environment has improved
very slowly. In reality much inefficiency arises from
the processes which connect the tasks, and this is
where very significant improvements can be made.
There are often large discontinuities between tasks,
and indeed many tasks prove dispensable on close
analysis. As a matter of fact without clearly defining
e-Zest Solutions Ltd the processes, a business can't grow to its full
We have all seen statistics about the reason that X% of projects fails due to requirements. They
always point back to the fact that the “Business Architect” did not capture the correct
requirements. Well, maybe, it isn't an individual fault. It may be the way in which our industries
are set up that force us to miss requirements. But now that it has been said, we can no longer
use it as an excuse. We need to understand how the industries are set up so that we can
overcome those obstacles and become more effective. If we work within silos, we need to
understand how to overcome these silos in order to develop an effective business process.
Every business operates as a collection of interlocking processes. Each process starts with some
kind of request, and finishes with delivery of a service or product. Some processes serve
external customers or users, while others may be purely internal or administrative in nature.
Clients waiting for deliverables and prospects knocking at the door, working on refining the
process doesn't exactly seem like top priority. It can wait until later, when there is time, but
there never is time. And the process never evolves, and so employees fails to understand when
someone asks what exactly is their business process.
But the fact is, without clearly defining the processes, and integrating such process a business
can't grow to its full potential. The process integration provides a thorough transparency in the
working system of the organization and also enables the employees of the organization to see
where they fit into this in turns generates a sense of ownership and pride amongst employees
and also develops a sense of respect for its next in line customers.
In ancient times when Greek was not competing in the Olympics or writing epic poems about
Odysseus, built temples. Imagine yourself as a temple worker assigned to column duty, we'll call
it column A. It was your job to understand the dimensions of Column A, what the column should
look like, height and width, etc. Basically, you were a “Business Analyst” working within
Column A and Column A only. Occasionally, you would interact with those working on Column
B or C over lunch or something, and you would learn what they were doing. But, basically, you
stayed within the confines of your own column and you made a great column. But there were
business analysts back then that were assigned the responsibility of the Architrave. In
architecture, the Architrave is the ornamental band that rests on top of the columns (sometimes
called a lintel). If the business analyst working on the architrave did not coordinate all the efforts
of the individual column makers, it would not work properly, or rest properly across the
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Building showing Silos
Many companies today are organized in very much the same way, but replacing the physical
columns with product silos. We have built our product lines into neat, organizational silos (the
columns from the temple), and the analysis work is performed within these silos. Since authority
and control from the top of the column only extends to the bottom of the silo, analysis does not
normally occur outside of the column, or silo. What happens is that when the Architrave project
comes along, no one silo wants to take ownership of the work required to analyze it because it is
not in their "column authority." The result is that the business process that crosses over the silos
is not fully analyzed because no one examined something that went across the silos. A manager
in silo A controls the activities (and probably budget) within the silo and is reluctant to allow one
of his analysts to go outside of the silo. The reluctance may come from budget concerns ("If I'm
paying for the analyst, I'm accountable budgetary-wise for the work that analyst performs"), it
may come from control ("This is my department and my analysts only work on my projects"), or
it may come from organizational policies ("No analysts may perform work outside of their
department"). However it occurs, it hurts the project because the overall business process that
needed to be analyzed was not analyzed.
Let's take up an example to understand how this happens. Imagine a grocery store with product
lines (or silos) of Marketing, Retail, Sales, and Distribution. A corporate sponsor comes up with
a great idea to have customers order groceries over the internet. Since it was initially pitched as a
Marketing idea, a Marketing business analyst performs a stakeholder analysis and determines
that Marketing need to update the store's website and Distribution needs to deliver the product.
So Marketing goes off and starts collecting their requirements and Distribution do the same. But
the Distribution business analyst uncovers that Marketing has no plan to sell the product, so
Sales should be contacted for their input. Now Sales is involved, but they are off creating their
sales requirements, and not involved with Distribution or the website. The head of Retail hears
about this project, and wants his silo to be involved because there could be an option for
customers to pick up their ordered groceries at the closest retail store and thus drive business to
his retail sector. So now there are four separate efforts going on to create the requirements, but
they are not talking to one another.
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When they all come together, the requirements do not match up, as each person understood the effort
from a different perspective (e.g. they were all concentrating on their individual column). The end result
is that it's a mess, and there are probably cost overruns, unsatisfied sponsors, and the business loses a
lot of potential sales if their competitors are able to beat them to this particular idea.
Business from the Architrave's Perspective
The Architrave has the advantage of sitting across all of the columns. To do so, it needs to have a lot of
information about each column: it needs to know how much weight each column can hold (or manage),
it needs to know the design of each column, to keep that design going into the architrave, and it needs
to span across all the columns. It also has a viewpoint above the columns, so it is able to see the "big
picture." Before you can even go into understanding the business process, you need to determine
exactly what business processes that you are going to discuss. Since you are at the top, think of
processes that you would have to perform as part of this Web-ordering idea. There are probably more,
but within 10 seconds, you can probably come up with, "Sell new service", "Promote new service",
"Order product", "Purchase product", "Distribute product" and so on. Look at all of these from a
process-perspective, not a "which silo owns it?' perspective.
Business processes represented across business silos
By looking at it from a business process level, we can see that the process goes across silos for several of
these processes, and we begin to see how they work across the entire organization, not just in one silo.
For instance, with "Promote new service," we might just think that it is a Marketing function, or a Sales
function. But when the analysis is done across silos, we are able to understand that the real intent of the
sponsor is to combine the promotion with the Retail function so that they can coordinate the
promotion. If analysts did not study the business process from a point-of-view of the business process,
the coordination with the Retail channel would have been lost. Also, it may be that in studying the
promotion process, the analysts discover more groups that become stakeholders: Legal, to negotiate
contracts for Radio and TV ad spots; or the Customer Call Center, to understand the new service and be
able to explain it to customers when they phone with questions. You will likely find more stakeholders
as you analyze the entire process, instead of just looking at it from your own silo's perspective.
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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. It often can be visualized with a flowchart as a sequence of activities.
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 - The processes that constitute the core business and create
the primary value stream. Typical operational processes are Purchasing, Manufacturing,
Marketing and Sales.
Supporting processes - which support the core processes. Examples include
Accounting, Recruitment, and Technical support.
A business process begins with a customer’s need and ends with a customer’s need fulfillment.
Process oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to
avoid functional silos.
A business process can 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
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 costs for the company).
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.
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Importance of Business Process
1. Factual Decision
Process management teaches the skills to collect and analyze data and make decisions based
on research, rather than instinct, politics, or personal relationships. The result is greater
objectivity and better decisions.
2. Reducing Organizational Chimney
Process management teams must include representatives from all college areas affected by the
process under review. Because of this, areas of the college that might not collaborate on a
regular basis, if ever, come together to address problems and create solutions. The result is that
people who do not know each other or have never worked together before develop strong
professional, and sometimes personal, relationships that extend far beyond process
3. Optimum Utilization of Available Resources
The ability to maximize limited resources represents one of the main benefits of implementing
process management strategies. This is accomplished by minimizing the drain of wasted time
and energy that is inherent when dealing with outdated and ineffective processes. Real and
significant savings are realized when workflow systems are designed to optimize the potential
of the available resources, particularly in an environment where those resources are stretched
thin by ever-increasing demands.
4. High Degree of Effectiveness & efficiency
Necessary processing and communication of critical information is done more effectively and
efficiently. This has a direct and positive impact on enrollment and retention.
5. Better Decision Making
The benefit of process management goes beyond the processes that are addressed by the
process management teams. Once faculty and staff become comfortable with process
management tools, they will begin to use what they have learned in their daily decision making.
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Process Driven Culture changes the face of Business
The Process driven culture helps the business to change its face of operations in the following
1. Trust -- To exchange ideas and create something different with others, trust must be
developed. This is a challenge, especially in competitive organizational cultures.
Nevertheless, we must substitute our fears with trust to collaborate freely with other
2. Sharing -- Hoarding information prevents the free flow of ideas and therefore
sabotages collaboration. Sharing helps to improves collective creation by an order of
magnitude and therefore makes everybody more valuable.
3. Goals -- Taking the time to agree on goals at the beginning of a collaborative project
pays off exponentially by providing the impetus for shared creation.
4. Innovation -- Collaboration enhances innovation.
5. Constructive Confrontation – successful process driven business culture requires
exchanging viewpoints, and at times it means construction confrontation -- expressing
candor about ideas. Collaborators must confront each other so that they can hash out
their differences and make their shared creation better.
6. Communication – Processes are inextricably linked with communication, both
interpersonal and organizational.
7. Community – The process driven business helps in creating a sense of community.
Process in business ensures presence of community for effective process
synchronization to occur.
8. Value -- The process involved in business helps to create value -- reducing cycle or
product development time, creating a new market, solving problems faster, designing a
more marketable product or service, or increasing sales.
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e- Zest Solutions
e- Zest is an ISO 9001:2008 certified & SEI-CMMi Level-3 global software outsourcing company
with expertise in outsourced product development and custom software development services
through global software development model. e- Zest has served 80+ industry leader clients in
four continents about a decade with a huge team of software professionals on board.
Manufacturing, Legal, Education, Sports, HR & Travel business verticals. e-Zest have dedicated
Microsoft, Sun & Open Source Competency Centers which focus on solutions and services on
based Microsoft .NET (3.0/3.5), Sun Java EE (2.0/5.0) & LAMP respectively.
e- Zest is technology partner with Microsoft, Sun, IBM, Intel, Palm, and Citrix. e- Zest is
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with competencies in custom development solutions with
specializations in smart client development & web development, and data management
solutions with specialization in business intelligence. e- Zest is also Sun Partner Advantage -
e- Zest Pune offshore development office (Global HQ) is a 100% export oriented unit (EOU)
registered with the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI). e- Zest subsidiaries are situated
at e-Zest (UK) Ltd. at London UK and e-Zest inc. at Chicago USA.
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