Process Management in Firms with Quality Systems

Summary

The paper aims at exploring whether organizations can benefit from process management when investing in quality is carried out. Firms may manage their processes even though they have already documented the same processes through investments. In order to address the research question in the most satisfactory manner, the author investigates and executes the four primary dimensions of business process management. These dimensions are perceived as the cornerstones of any successful process development in organizations.

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To begin with, process awareness is one of the process management dimensions that an organizational process is documented, named, and identified. In this case, a firm’s main process should be visualized using a process map so that the outcomes, rules, resources, roles, and activities can be established and addressed at the right time. Second, process ownership is yet another core dimension of process management in firms. There should be a principle process owner who takes care of process outcomes in an organization. Third, process measurement is the third dimension of process management. It stipulates that performance and results require well-defined goals and objectives. The last dimension is referred to as process improvement. This dimension asserts that processes should be perfected and continually improved in order to enhance outcomes.

Key Learning Points

From the article, process management is not performed by organizations that invest in quality systems. In other words, process improvement, process measurement, process ownership, and process awareness cannot be impacted or influenced by quality systems in firms. The data collected and analyzed in the research study does not reveal any correlation between functional orientation and process orientation among employees. Besides, the same concerns are not used by firms to manage processes. This implies that each firm is unique in terms of both objectives and operational dimensions.

Most top managements lack conceptual and pragmatic understanding of business process management. This explains why the same is hardly attained in most firms. Hence, management failure in firms has led to either lack or poor application of business process management.

Most firms are often not keen to develop better evidence-based practices that can benefit both employees and other stakeholders. They seem to largely focus on optimizing their profit margins at the expense of quality management systems. Unless they receive external orders that compel them to institute quality systems, management in organizations are usually reluctant to implement such processes on their own. A case in point is the ISO 9001 quality statement for organizations. It stipulates that customer satisfaction should be a key area of concern for managers in organizations.

Although quality systems may be clearly documented by firms, the same practices may be executed quite differently by employees. This is an important learning point from this article since it demonstrates a lack of commitment towards evidence-based practice among leading firms. They may adopt attractive blueprints but equally lack practical applications on the ground.

There is a need for organizational managers and leaders to understand that the aspect of business process management is a complex concept that goes beyond a mere flow of processes, as documented in most pieces of literature. Thorough understanding of the same may assist quality managers in transit towards effective implementation of business process management in their firms. In addition, accountability principles are still static in most organizations. Unless accountability for performance is prioritized in a firm, then it can be cumbersome to gain the benefits of process management.

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Relevant Statements To the Session

  • Relationship between quality systems and business process management.
  • We are documenting processes in firms.
  • Primary dimensions of process management.
  • Process improvement, process measurement, process ownership, and process awareness.
  • Quality systems have not generated the much-needed results in firms.
  • Firms are compelled by external orders to implement quality systems.
  • Employees do not apply quality statements as stipulated by firms.
  • Failure of management is rife in firms.
  • Accountability is fundamental in order to transform quality management into process management.
  • Business goals cannot be easily transformed to process goals.
  • The performance of processes can be easily established owing to the poor availability and accessibility of business process management data of firms.

Critical Analysis

Although most managers in an organization are not willing to voluntarily apply quality management systems, it does not imply that their business process managements are equally ineffective. It is crucial to mention that quality standards, such as the ISO series, can be draconian and impractical in several instances. For example, ISO 9001 is built on the premise of customer satisfaction. However, customer satisfaction might not only be generated from the quality of a product. The cost, functionality, and design of a product are some of the standards that customers can set for satisfaction before making purchases. Therefore, quality standards proposed by government agencies and other regulatory bodies might be illogical when it comes to business process management in firms. Perhaps, managers in organizations should strive towards identifying the quality needs of their customers and thereafter make decisions on the best approaches to adopt.

Besides, redefining process management cannot guarantee quality management and effective business process management required in organizations. As much business process management has been described as a flow of events in a firm, such a weak definition cannot impact the practical implications of the concept in a firm. Unless organizational managers embrace and adopt rigorous quality systems that are compatible with the nature and operations of their organizations, it can be difficult to realize the benefits of business process management.

Practical Implications

To begin with, it is practically impossible for organizations to establish if they are attaining customer satisfaction in the absence of process management. Quality requirements in a firm are crucial in setting the best standards for meeting the varying needs, tastes, and preferences of the target consumers. Through process management, coupled with robust quality systems in organizations, quality managers can strategically position themselves to produce goods and services that justifiably satisfy customers. Process management provides managers with relevant ideas on how to satisfy customers and legal requirements.

On the other hand, the ideals of quality management have not been translated into business process management, owing to laxity by managers in organizations. If quality improvement strategies can be formulated and applied accordingly, then process management can boost both profitability and social reputation of a firm.

Learning Reflections

I have learned that process management is a complex phenomenon that does not simply mean the systematic occurrence of events in a firm. As a matter of fact, the four dimensions of process management can attest to the deep nature of the concept.

The article has also offered a unique approach to quality systems and process management in organizations. For instance, managing processes in firms do not necessarily go hand in hand with the quality system. There are numerous organizations that manage their processes contrary to what is documented in the quality systems. Although the article has extensively addressed the research question in this study, I suppose there is still a need to undertake an empirical investigation of whether the undocumented quality systems translate to positive process management in organizations.

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