Process Definition
Process Definition
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In the Handbook of Process-Based Accounting: Leveraging Processes to Predict Results, Jim Brimson defines Process as

  • "A repeatable series of actions or operations that consume resources to transform material, energy, or information into outputs that are provided to customers
    1. Proceeding or moving toward, progress course, tendency, progress, procedure
    2. A continuing development involving many changes.
    3. A particular method of doing something, generally involving a number of steps or operations"

So lets discuss this definition.

All processes are repeatable. Whether making a sales call, process financial statements or hiring employees all processes are repeatable. Processes may be performed in different ways over time due to technology, people, training, performance targets, etc. but all processes are repeatable.

Processes consist of a series of actions or operations. Although different people use different words, everyone agrees that a process is a series of activities, tasks, steps, operations. In order to perform a process, you must do more than one step.  You may not use all the steps every time you exercise the process. However, a process is a series of actions. For example, when you process a customer order, you may not always check the customer's credit rating if it is a large multi-national company. However checking the customers credit report is one action that may be performed as part of processing a customer order.

Processes consume resources to transform material, energy, or information into outputs A process may transform:

  • flour into a cake or iron ore into steel.
  • oil into gasoline.
  • data [number of customer orders} into useable information that can be used for planning and marketing

that are provided to customers A process transforms into outputs for an internal or external customer. Everyone has a customer whether that customer is inside the organization (e.g., employees getting a security badge) or an external customer.

Proceeding or moving toward, progressive course, tendency, progress, procedure9A process is making progress towards some output of material, information, service, etc. Even if original research with no stated output, the research process is still trying to create something of value that might me a final product or service or a product or service that is a jumping off point for a final product or service.

A continuing development involving many changes. Processes are continuing changing whether that change is planned or just happens. The changes may occur due to:

  • technology (i.e. internet)
  • new performance requirements
  • personnel changes
  • raw materials change
  • information changes

A particular method of doing something, generally involving a number of steps or operations As we discussed at the beginning, a process is a series of actions, activities, tasks, operations, or steps. If something is only 1 action then we might call it a task, or step or operation, but if there is only 1 action then it is part of a process but not a process.

The links to the right will give you more information about individual aspects of Business Process Management.

Call John Antos or Jim Brimson at 972-980-7407 to find out how Business Process Management can help you reach your goals and give you peace of mind

Business Process Management for any application

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