Improving the Business Process


McCabe, William J.   (1988, ASQC)   IBM Corporation, Kingston, NY

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3444    May 1988    pp. 344-351
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Article Abstract

The ability of an enterprise to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace is enhanced if there is a quality and productivity focus on its business processes. In a changing environment, processes have to be analyzed in terms of relevance to current business goals. The design of the process itself and its cost of implementation must be reevaluated. Finally, the process must be managed, it must do what it is intended to do at an affordable cost. This paper discusses issues faced by managers involved in improving business processes.

Process analysis involves questioning the design of the process. Identification of causes is discussed with a focus on individual vs. system caused problems. Employees form a system and in most cases they function as well as the system allows. Eliminating waste improves process efficiency. However, lasting productivity improvement must come from simplifying and redesigning the system to make waste less likely and to make the process run using less business resources.

Process management assumes that the process design is set and focuses on assuring the process results conform to the intended design. Requirements are discussed in terms of striving for an ideal rather than setting artificial targets. Inhibitors to good measurement are discussed.



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