A business process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers. It can often be visualized with a flowchart as a sequence of activities with interleaving decision points or with a Process Matrix as a sequence of activities with relevance rules based on data in the process.
There are three types of business processes:
Management processes, the processes that govern the operation of a system. Typical management processes include “corporate governance” and “strategic management”.
Operational processes, processes that constitute the core business and create the primary value stream. Typical operational processes are purchasing, manufacturing, advertising and marketing, and sales.
Supporting processes, which support the core processes. Examples include accounting, recruitment, call center, technical support.
A business process begins with a mission objective and ends with achievement of the business objective. Process-oriented organizations break down the barriers of structural departments and try to avoid functional silos.
A business process can be decomposed into several sub-processes, which have their own attributes, but also contribute to achieving the goal of the super-process. The analysis of business processes typically includes the mapping of processes and sub-processes down to activity level.
Business Processes are designed to add value for the customer and should not include unnecessary activities. The outcome of a well designed business process is increased effectiveness (value for the customer) and increased efficiency (less costs for the company).
Business Processes can be modeled through a large number of methods and techniques. For instance, the Business Process Modeling Notation is a Business Process Modeling technique that can be used for drawing business processes in a workflow.