Business Process Representations Used in Redesign Projects Should Focus on Communication Flows
46 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2006
Date Written: February 6, 2006
This paper reports on a quasi-experimental field study in which business process redesign groups in four different US organizations used two different types of business process representation. One of the representation types emphasized an activity flow (or workflow) view of business processes, which appears to currently be the most prevalent in actual operational-level business process redesign projects; the other emphasized a communication flow view. The study suggests that, contrary to assumptions likely underlying most of the current business process redesign practice, communication flow-oriented representations of business processes are perceived by those involved in their redesign as significantly more useful in the identification of opportunities for process improvement, more useful in the application of process redesign guidelines, more useful in the visualization of process changes, and more useful in the development of generic information technology solutions to implement new business processes, than activity flow-oriented representations. Important implications for managers and researchers stemming from these results are discussed.
Keywords: Quasi-experimental Research, Field Research, Data Triangulation, Contrast Analysis, Nonparametric Techniques, Business Process Redesign, Organizational Communication
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