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business processes

William H. Glick


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A process is the transformation of inputs into outputs through some sequencing of activities. A business process carries the additional distinction of creating outputs that are valued by a customer external to the organization. Although a series of accounting procedures may produce financial records for a restaurant, accounting is a function, not a business process. The financial records are not valued by the customer; good food and good service are the valued outcomes. Note, however, that the accounting may be necessary for the longā€term survival of the organization. Further, accounting activities may be included as part of the overall business process of delivering good food and service. In the context of business process reengineering , the accounting activities would not be considered in isolation, but might be reengineered in conjunction with the overall business process. Alternative definitions of business process also appear ( Keen and Knapp, 1996 ). For example, Harrington (1991) excludes production processes, while Davenport (1993) excludes unstructured, unmeasured processes, and/or processes with nonspecific outputs. Keen and Knapp (1996) explicitly include coordination processes as key business processes that create competitive advantage. ( 1993 ). Process Innovation: Reengineering Work through Information Technology . Boston : Harvard Business School Press ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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