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1.

0 A business process is a series of tasks that are performed in order to achieve a specific
business function. The primary aim is to create value. A business process will consist
of three elements: inputs, tasks and outputs. An example of a business process is the
manufacturing process that might be used in a factory to produce a specific good like
a computer. In this case the inputs are the raw materials that are purchased. The tasks
are the connection of the raw materials into the configuration through an assembly
process into a computer. The output is a computer that can be sold. An example of a
financial process is the input of invoices, the tasks are the processing of the invoices
and the output is the payment.
A business task is an activity that is performed within the process. In the example of
the manufacturing process a task might be clicking the circuit board into place in the
computer case. In the example of the financial payment process, a task might involve
checking that the goods contained in the invoice have been received by the purchasing
department.
2.0 Business processes are standardised for four reasons. Firstly, the standardisation of a
process involves the development of standards and policies that are consistent and can
be understood by all of the people involved in the process. Management can check to
see that the policies have been followed and enforce the conditions and standards that
have been captured in the standards. Secondly, the standards set the performance,
quality and time elements required in delivering a process. This can be measured and
checked to ensure that the process is being followed consistently over time. Having
standard business processes means that they can be duplicated in other settings and
locations and therefore is scalable. Fourthly, because processes are standardised and
designed to deliver the desired outcomes on time to the right people in the right place
and to the right standards it reduces the level of risk that might arise from variability
in the process.

3.0 Strategic processes are the processes that are involved in assessing the internal and
external state of the business and their environment and determining the optimum
direction for the overall organisation to develop. The strategic process is the planning
process of the organisation. The strategic process is different from operational and
management processes as the scope of the process is wider, it is more people-
orientated and is likely to occur only once or twice a year while operational processes
occur on a daily basis and managerial processes on a weekly or monthly basis. Each
process is supported by different technologies. Strategic process will be supported by
an executive support system while a managerial process will be supported by a
management information system and an operational system by a transaction
processing system.

4.0 An operational service process involves ensuring that services are provided to the
right person in the right time, at the right place and to the right level of quality. An
operational service could be the delivery of training to a customer. Managerial service
processes would involve checking that the system is meeting its requirements and
seeking to improve the performance of the operational service process through an
assessment of the inputs, activities and outputs of the process. Managerial service
processes involve ensuring that there is continual improvement and ensuring that the
process delivers customer satisfaction. Strategic service processes involves
determining potential markets for the provision of services that can allow for the
expansion of the company. This can involve comparative country analysis.

5.0 The article highlights the need to reengineer workplaces through leveraging
information technologies, innovation and creativity. Management need to create
visions of a future desired state that can motivate people to be tasked with the
transformation of their organisation using the new technologies available to it. This
involves using technologies to redesign business processes into new configurations.
The reconfiguring of new business processes should be driven by the need to deliver
higher quality products and services faster and in a more innovative manner. The
nature of the changes in technologies that occurred in the 1990s required a complete
redesign of the operational and managerial processes in an organisation.

The article identifies that there were barriers to the change. These were the standards,
rules and procedures, many that were embedded in how things were done. Rather than
seek to change these established processes in incremental steps, Hammer (1990) is
advocating for radical change processes that transform the organisation. Entering the
unknown is frightening for management and so Hammer seeks to provide guidance on
how reengineering should be performed. Reengineering is grounded in discontinuous
change thinking that seeks to create a future desired state that is not limited by
traditional thinking. Every aspect of how the organisation has traditionally performed
tasks has to be challenged. That which is implicit must be made explicit.
Reengineering is comprised of a number of principles. The first is that processes
needed to be organised according to outputs rather than according to the tasks. Where
possible seek to have a person responsible for the process. The second is to ensure
that the individuals= who use the outputs of a process are responsible for the tasks
that are involved in producing the output. This aspect of reengineering involves multi-
tasking employees in order that they have the skills and knowledge to perform a wider
range of tasks. This has resulted in many parts of the transaction processes being
performed by customers. For instance ATM allow the customer to manage the deposit
and withdrawal process without the intervention of a person from the bank. The third
principle is to centralise decentralised geographically dispersed resources through the
use of technology. The fourth principle is to create linkage between activities that are
created in parallel in order that outputs might be synchronised from different
locations. The fifth principle is to allow those performing the tasks the autonomy to
make decisions and to control the inputs, the tasks and the outputs of the process. This
increases the level of responsiveness. The sixth principle to only capture information
at its source and do not duplicate its collection. By applying these principles to the
reengineering of business process the organisation is able to improve efficiency and
achieve economies of scale.

These changes are unable to occur unless senior management are willing to unleash
the insight and innovation amongst the staff of the organisation and encourage them
to leverage technologies to reconsider how processes are performed. Companies such
as Ford who have embraced radical change have been able to reconfigure their
processes in order to remain competitive. The resulting changes in an organisation
have extended beyond business processes to encompass changes in the structures of
organisations The result are greater integration between the elements that comprise
organisations. Skills and attitudes of employees and managers have had to change to
these new structures. The technology becomes the tool to unleash the creativity and
innovation of the employees. The greater the willingness to push out the boundaries
and set new performance targets the greater the competitive advantage of the
organisation. The great change predicted by Hammer (1990) has become the norm of
business practice in the 21st century.