Business Process

A series of steps to achieve a business goal.

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What is a Business Process?

In Project Portfolio Management (PPM), the term “business process” is fundamental. A business process is a series of steps or tasks that a business undertakes to achieve a specific outcome. It functions like a recipe, detailing what needs to be done, when, and by whom.

Business processes form the backbone of any organization, regardless of size. They ensure that all activities are executed systematically and efficiently, leading to consistent results. 

These processes act as a roadmap, guiding teams toward achieving the company’s goals and objectives. Without well-defined business processes, an organization can quickly become chaotic and unproductive.

Why are Business Processes Important?

Business processes are essential for ensuring organizational efficiency. They provide a structured approach to operations, leading to numerous benefits:

  • Ensure consistency – Business processes standardize activities, ensuring consistent outcomes across the organization.
  • Enhance efficiency – Business processes reduce waste by optimizing workflows and improving productivity.
  • Improve quality – Structured processes help maintain high quality in products and services.
  • Facilitate training – Well-documented processes make it easier to train new employees effectively.
  • Support decision-making – Clear processes provide data and insights to inform better decision-making.
  • Boost customer satisfaction – Consistent and efficient processes enhance customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Enable scalability – Scalable processes support business growth and expansion.
  • Mitigate risks – Identifying and managing risks is easier with well-defined processes.
  • Enhance communication – Clear processes improve communication and collaboration within teams.
  • Ensure compliance – Business processes help organizations adhere to regulatory requirements and standards.
  • Drive innovation – Systematic processes encourage continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Optimize resource use – Efficient processes ensure optimal allocation and use of resources.
  • Improve accountability – Defined processes clarify roles and responsibilities, enhancing accountability.
  • Facilitate process automation – Well-structured processes are more accessible to automate, leading to further efficiency gains.
  • Support performance monitoring – Business processes provide benchmarks and metrics for monitoring performance.

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What are the 3 Main Types of Business Processes?

Business processes can be broadly categorized into three types: management processes, operational processes, and supporting processes. Each type is essential for an organization’s smooth functioning.

Management Processes

Management processes define a business’s strategic direction and ensure alignment with its overall objectives. These processes involve decision-making activities, including strategic planning, tactical planning, and business performance management.

  • Strategic planning involves defining the organization’s mission, vision, and goals. It determines the company’s direction and the methods to achieve its aims.
  • Tactical planning entails creating detailed action plans to achieve strategic goals. It translates the strategic vision into practical, actionable steps.
  • Business performance management monitors and manages the company’s performance against its strategic goals.
  • Risk management identifies, assesses, and mitigates risks that could impact the business.
  • Compliance management ensures the business adheres to laws, regulations, and internal policies.

Operational Processes

Operational processes are a business’s core activities. These customer-focused processes create the business’s product or service and aim to deliver customer value. They include product development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and customer service.

  • Product development involves designing, developing, and testing new products.
  • Manufacturing entails producing products at scale.
  • Marketing and sales involve promoting products and selling them to customers.
  • Customer service focuses on supporting customers after the sale.
  • Order fulfillment manages receiving, processing, and delivering orders to customers.

Supporting Processes

Supporting processes aid the core operational processes. While they do not directly add value to the product or service, they are vital for the business’s smooth operation. These include human resources, accounting, and IT services.

  • Human resources involves recruiting, training, and managing employees.
  • Accounting manages the company’s finances, including budgeting, financial reporting, and tax planning.
  • IT services handle the company’s IT infrastructure and systems.
  • Procurement manages the acquisition of goods and services needed for the business.
  • Facilities management ensures the maintenance and management of physical facilities and workspaces.

How Business Processes Aid Project Portfolio Management

Business processes are vital in Project Portfolio Management (PPM), helping align projects with strategic goals, improve resource allocation, and enhance overall project outcomes.

  • Alignment with Business Goals: Mapping business processes enables project managers to align projects with business objectives. This ensures that every project contributes to the organization’s strategic goals, delivering maximum value.

  • Improved Resource Allocation: Understanding business processes allows project managers to identify inefficiencies and allocate resources more effectively. This leads to optimal resource use, reduced project costs, and enhanced outcomes.

  • Higher Return on Investment: Aligning projects with business goals and optimizing resource allocation ensures higher returns on investment. Projects deliver more excellent value, improving financial performance and overall business success.

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Well-defined business processes streamline project execution. By eliminating redundancies and optimizing workflows, project managers can improve efficiency, reduce delays, and enhance productivity.

  • Better Risk Management: Transparent business processes help identify and mitigate risks early. Project managers can develop strategies to minimize risks and ensure success by understanding process dependencies and potential bottlenecks.

Mapping the Path to Success

Business processes are a cornerstone of Project Portfolio Management (PPM). They provide a structured roadmap that guides organizations toward their strategic goals. Recognizing and refining these processes enhances project outcomes, optimizes resource allocation, and increases return on investment.

Consider the significance of business processes in your organization. They are not merely buzzwords but essential tools driving strategic objectives and success.

Embracing well-defined processes ensures consistency, efficiency, and growth. How can your organization benefit from improving its business processes today? Reflect on this as you aim to remain competitive and productive in a dynamic market.

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