Process Management Essentials

January 25, 2021

Process Design, Process Management, Workflow Management


Isn't it nice when everyone knows where, when and what to do?

Many agree with a big YES on this question, because when the work rolls smoothly, it can be fun.

Unfortunately, it is usually not like that, even when there are processes it often still doesnot work out. There are numerous reasons for this. For example, there are different understandings of the process, the process is long outdated, or simply unsuitable.  

A professional process management helps! In concept, this is the management of business procedures, i.e. processes and workflows in the company.
There are three fields into which process management is divided:

- Process organization

- Process structure

- Process optimization

The design of processes should harmonize with the company's goals. The goals of process management are derived from the individual company goals, but usually look like the following:

- Reduce costs

- Minimize risks

- Increase customer satisfaction

- Improve quality

- Improve process stability / process constancy

- Increase safety

- Simplify processes


What do we mean by processes?


By a process we understand the interaction of people, machines and materials to provide a service or product. In an "end-to-end" process, there is a defined input, which is transformed by the process into a defined output. Process management is therefore concerned with everything that happens between theinput and the output.


In this"end-to-end" process, several types of processes can work together toachieve the defined output. These can be assigned to three categories:

- Main process: is directly related to the delivery of the output.

- Support process: for example, IT or HR processes that enable the delivery in the first place

- Management process: The control and coordination of the company's operations.

Usually, these processes are represented graphically and documented on a "process map".



What exactly is process management?


Process management refers to the leading, directing or controlling of processes. This is usually done by the process owner or the person responsible for the process. The task of process management is to achieve the company's goals by managing processes. However, we distinguish between strategic process management and operational process management. Mostly the operational process management is mentioned as an example because here the workflows are clearly recognizable.

The tasks of process management can be divided into several areas:

- Process development: defining the vision, mission and strategy for implementing processes in a company. Here, for example, process models and workflows are identified and defined. In this area, therefore, the process is developed which is to produce the defined output from the input.

- Process management: Once the process has been developed and implemented, it is necessary to define the roles and persons responsible for managing it. Certain instruments are defined and used to measure the process on the basis of key figures. If a deviation is detected here, it is worthwhile to review the process in detail in order to initiate a revision of the process if necessary.

- Process culture: It is also important for the company to establish a culture, a kind of "framework", in which the processes are to be executed. Such a culture is for example Lean Manufacturing or Total Quality Management.

- Support through tools: Within the framework of process management, technical documents, tools, checklists, templates and coaching should also be developed to support the process organization.

In process management, it is important to make process performance and quality quantifiable. Key figures help to enable comparability between processes. However, key figures are also used for target/actual control. Thus, the early identification of problems in processes can take place if parameters deviate conspicuously and frequently. It is important to choose parameters that are really relevant and meaningful to determine whether the process is achieving its goals.


One more thing to conclude, one-time processes, such as a projects, are not considered under Process Management. This is the responsibility of a Project Management Office. Read here for more information on the Project Management Office.


What methods are there in process management?


Various methods are used in process management depending on the process culture. Among the most useful and commonly used methods are the following.

New methods:

- Kaizen

- Six Sigma

- Business Process Reengineering

- Change Management

- Lean Management


Classical methods:

- Activity Based Costing

- process modeling

- process optimization

- process organization

- process control




For processes to run effectively, continuous monitoring is essential. Also, automation can only happen when all processes are running in a standardized and defined way. The primary goal of process management should be to make work easier and more efficient. A process is a hindrance if it is not aligned withthe service to be provided.


We are happy to support your company in topics related to process management.