Improving the company’s business processes
What is a company (enterprise, organization, institution): a set of structural units (departments, divisions, bureaus, workshops, sites, services) or a set of business processes? Of course, both. However, looking at a company as an aggregate of business processes and managing them has significant advantages in a competitive environment for better and faster customer satisfaction, which are not only consumers of products (finished products, goods, works, services), but also company owners, suppliers, staff. Thus, those interested in improving the organization’s business processes are its owners, personnel, consumers, suppliers and the state, who are the “joint-stock” groups of the organization, and the company’s ability to survive in a complex, demanding and changeable environment and to achieve the goals for which it was created.
Why do they need it? The need to introduce a process approach to management and regular improvement of the company’s business processes can be justified as follows.
At a certain historical moment, it became clear to the person that performing time-consuming or complex work is impossible alone and requires the participation of other people. In this case, any joint work requires concerted action. For example, when a farmer hired laborers in the distant past for plowing the land, sowing, and harvesting, he did this because the entire scope of work was too large to cope with him alone. The task was to satisfy the demand for food by organizing a certain production process. In other words, the farmer’s actions were process oriented. Employees were not divided into plowmen, sowers and reapers. They performed any work in which the need arose. Also occurs in any organization in its infancy.
Over time, the work became more complicated. The number of people employed in each enterprise increased. When enterprises with a significant number of employees appeared, they were structured into divisions (departments, workshops, sites, bureaus, and other structural units). It was then that once the whole enterprise began to consist of relatively independent structural units. The work itself became so complex that every worker had to specialize in performing some separate operations (functions). It has become impractical to keep universal workers for any kind of work. Consequently, it became logical to organize functional departments consisting of employees of related specialties (functions). The organization of departments in enterprises has become widespread in all types of organizations, both economic and public. Until recently, this method of organizing enterprises was dominant. He completely supplanted the original way of building such an enterprise, when its structure was determined by the nature of the production process and was directly connected with it. The integration of employees performing related types of work (functions) into functional departments, of course, gives and gives certain advantages:
(1) employees have the opportunity to specialize in their chosen profession (group of functions) and, thus, to develop high-level professional skills through training and experience;
(2) due to the centralization of various functions in large mega-functions or functional areas of activity, it became possible to optimally reduce the costs of an organization to perform work in functional areas of activity;
(3) labor has become more productive and safer, since everyone now knows his workplace, as well as the work that he had to do, and due to her constant performance (training), people learned how to do it with fewer errors (costs, injuries) and faster;
(4) it has become easier to form the organizational and functional structure of the company, to change it in order to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and effectiveness of its activities.
Thus, a modern company (enterprise, organization) is a set of specialized functional departments, and at the same time it is an activity for the implementation of business processes, between which there is a contradiction if they are not coordinated.
The existing contradiction between the organizational and functional structure of the company and its business processes raises a number of problems. The boundaries of structural units often represent difficult barriers to business processes, and department personnel must constantly remain within their functional boundaries. At the same time, communications across the boundaries of structural units are limited, and their employees perform only those functions that are naturally located in the area of responsibility of their units. Each unit inevitably seeks to expand its area of influence in order to optimize the level of its own indicators.