Business Processes: Definition, Life Cycle, and Identification

Business Processes: Definition, Life Cycle, and Identification

Victor Portougal (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-979-3.ch001


Organisations are fundamentally systems that convert inputs to certain outputsand hopefully, in the process, add value. Inputs could be anything from people,to materials, to money to information, while the outputs could be products,services, waste, or even intellectual property (Figure 1.1). To support thisconversion, most organisations would carry out hundreds to thousands ofprocesses that span functions such as production, research, development, andmarketing. These processes, in turn, would be overseen by planning, organisingand control mechanisms. While the flow of products and services occurs in theforward direction, there is an equally important flow of information backwardthat enables feedback and control. But for these mechanisms and flows tofunction effectively, business, information and decision processes need to beinterwoven together synergistically. We club all these processes together underthe umbrella term “business processes.”

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