ERP pp 217-254 | Cite as

Business Process Improvement

  • Avraham Shtub
  • Reuven Karni


For a process-centric organization, the management and improvement of its business processes is an essential factor in organizational advancement. From the same perspective, the implementation and change of these processes has all the facets of Change Management - including managerial disputes about the nature of advancement; a socio-cultural challenge resulting from the severe organizational effects on the involved people, which may lead them to react against those changes; and a technical challenge, which is due to the difficulty in developing a business process redesign which aims towards an improvement of the current design (Reijers and Mansar 2005; Carr and Johansson 1995). To keep pace with the ever-changing environment, organizations need to be aware of their ability to adapt. Business Process Management is one approach to enhance internal efficiency and to change the way the organization functions (Forster 2006b). In effect, Business Process Management is an essential part of enterprise management. For an in-depth review of Business Process Management the reader is referred to the many books on this topic (see, for example, Jeston and Nelis 2006). Within the scope of this book, we focus on one aspect: the modification and improvement of business processes resulting from problems such as dissatisfaction with current processes, feedback from process performers and customers, changes in the modus operandi of the organization, enhancement of IT and knowledge resources, and adaptation of the enterprise to developments in the external environment.

In previous chapters we have concentrated on two levels: the enterprise process suite (Chap. 3) and the individual business process (Chap. 8). If we accept the definition by Davenport (1993) that business process improvement (BPI) is an incremental bottom-up enhancement of existing processes within functional borders, we take the opinion that “Business Process Improvement initiatives primarily have to deal with the improvement of the business process itself” (Grove and Kettinger 1998, quoted in Forster 2006b). This chapter therefore concentrates on the process redesign aspect of BPI. It provides a set of specific guidelines as to how an existing business process can be modified and thereby improved (for further reading on this topic see Reijers and Mansar 2005; Forster 2006a; Forster 2006b), how the ability of the process performer can be evaluated and improved, and how the capability of the process designer can be reinforced in order to take the lead in implementing a business process improvement.


Business Process Process Execution Business Goal Process Redesign Capability Maturity Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Industrial Engineering & ManagementTechnion - Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Engineering & ManagementShenkar College of Engineering & DesignRamat GanIsrael

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