Enabling Operational Excellence
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Does Your Business Have a 1000 Business Processes? … Not!

A practitioner recently wrote: ” … businesses typically have over a thousand different business processes. There are often variations of business processes for different regions, products, exceptions and business areas as well as other reasons, that’s why there are so many …”. What kind of “process” could he possibly mean!? A business couldn’t possibly have over a thousand business processes. Such a business would be unmanageable. (Unfortunately, some businesses probably aren’t.) The practitioner’s view misses the crucial insight that for both operational and financial reasons, a business must have a small set of core business processes that are standard. Variations can be handled … within what is acceptable … by business rules. Such variation might have to do with geography, products, best practices, etc. Without business rules, the complexity is simply unmanageable.

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Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.

Comments (2)

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    baptiste manson


    Interesting article,
    To start the debate, I’ll share my own experience. I’ve been working for the French post office. 280k+ workers there. You have several specialized processes per product (between how to charge, deliver, follow, collect, index, …) and 300 products overall. (between normal letters, packages, …).
    One can find in the supply chain more than 100 business processes (how to sort letter on these machines, how to dispatch according to geographical constraints). Especially because of its size and age, such a company got legacy processes still running and experimental business processes in some regions being settled.

    I can tell you 1k business processes IS possible. Especially for financial reasons, they must have the most adapted, local way of dealing with demographical and geographical constraints. Did you know that the french postal service was also a bank, an internet provider and a telecom operator? Why do they do that? Because they are everywhere.

    You need to define what is a core business process.

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    Thomas J. Olbrich


    only about a month late but I thought I’d better share a similar discussion with you. And while you might be amazed by “… businesses typically have over a thousand different business processes” (where incidentaly I would question the ‘typically), the discussion I inadvertently started on LinkedIn produced even weirder results. If you’re interested, the discussion of the summary is on our blog: http://taraneon.de/blog/2011/06/22/start-counting-1-process-2-processes-3-pro/


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