Business Process Management and Support Processes






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Business Process Management and Support Processes

Ing. Michaela Hájková

Department of Industrial Engineering and Information Systems Tomas Bata University in Zlín

Zlín, Czech Republic

Abstract—The aim of this paper is to point to low level of focus on support processes management in of Czech companies. Based on the results of research conducted in 2006 the article provides an overview on the usage of business process management in the context of supporting processes. The paper demonstrates through case studies conducted in the Czech manufacturing company that focus on support processes of companies can bring considerable benefits. The purpose of the article is to point out that a lack of focus on support processes can cause problems with the successful implementation of BPM. Moreover, the article shows the possibility of support processes management.

Keywords-Business Process Management; support processes; process maps; Facility mangement


Literature [7], [8] refers to process approach as a philosophy underlying the organization of work in the company and the foundation of all business operations and activities. It is one of the ways it is possible to implement a strategic, tactical or operational management. The purpose of the process approach is to reveal the processes that are covered by a functional organization, cleanse them from activities that do not add value for customers and bring them to the centre of interest. Equally important purpose of the process approach is the creation of infrastructure and corporate culture that enables continuous improvement of existing processes and the creation and improvement of new processes. Its key feature is its ability to respond to different customer requirements and their fulfilment, as it allows flexibility and rapid transition from one to the other requirements.

Process organization, according to the author [8] tries to organize and manage all the work as a an integrated process, which is further decomposed into individual and logically linked to each other and arranged sub-processes. This work is organized into a coherent process is easily steered as the sum of separate functions. Process-driven company is focused on the outcome of all their activities, namely to add value for customers who pay for it. This company is flexible and can respond more quickly to market changes and customer preferences.


The process is a set of interrelated activities or subprocesses, which pass one or more organizational units or one or more cooperating organizations, that consume the

material, human, financial and information inputs and the result is a product of value to external or internal customer[2], [5].

According to [9] Business Process Management is defined as a methodology for evaluating, analysing and improving of core business processes, based on the needs and desires of customers. BPM involves finding needs, development and implementation of operating processes, executive, administrative and control functions that lead to the continuous processes meet business objectives and meet the requirements and desires of customers. Processes are the main intellectual property and means of visibility over the competition in all business activities and operations. The company, therefore, must design, implement and carried out it with great effort, care and high art.

A. Business processes and devision of business processes The central problem of process management, of compilation of business process model and of process structure is the identification of the process. Each company consists of a large number of processes. All business processes can be divided into several groups. There are many approaches to the division of business processes; some of them deal with the following text.

Business processes can be divided in several ways and from several perspectives. There is a division from the perspective of the value chain by Porter or of the creators of the Balance Scorecard concept. Other approaches to the division of business processes were identified by professor Scheer, a pair of Edwards and Peppard, and Earl. For purposes of this article will be structured business processes to core, main and support processes [3], [4].

Core processes: the value added processes that ensure accomplishment of the company, creating value to satisfy the external customer, represent the key area of business. It includes for example: production, sale or distribution.

Main processes: the cross-cutting processes that ensure controllability and stabilization of the company ensuring; ensuring the development and performance of company, and create conditions for the functioning of other processes. One example is the strategic planning and quality management.

Support processes: processes that ensure a product for an internal customer or key process; may be provided


externally without compromising the mission of the company, these processes are carried out internally because of the economic benefits, and minimize risks and provide specific conditions for the functioning of other processes. They include activity or function that supports the day-to-day operations of an organization, such as accounting, communications, and maintenance, sales. Eg.: Economic management, human resources management, IT services, environment, maintenance of equipment, etc..

According to author [2] customer can be identified as a major difference between these groups of processes. The core processes are the reason for its existence, and their output, respectively result is for an external customer. Unlike the key processes, management and support processes serve internal customers and their purpose is to ensure the smooth running of the main processes.

B. The goals of business process management

The objective of process control is possible by [1] define as developing and optimizing running of the organization to effectively, efficiently and economical respond to customer requirements

This objective can be achieved as follows [6]:

 To define a process (workflow) as an integrated sequence of activities across the organization (to remove the existing functional interpretation of the process);

 To determine for each process inputs, outputs and resources;

 To define responsibilities for various activities and processes;

 To adjust a system of performance measurement process;

 To monitor and evaluate the status of all processes. The complexity of the processes taking place in the administration or non-productive parts of the business causes that observer difficult reveals their problems and then removed it. The disadvantage is the complexity of the administrative process of determining the value added, _ even to define the desired output. What is not defined cannot be measured; what cannot be measured cannot be even driven. The effectiveness of non-manufacturing processes is characterized by [5] as follows:

 Availability: claims processes and activities on the inputs / outputs are met in a timely manner, with clearly defined links between processes and activities

 Quality: Processes and activities are standardized, have well-defined input / output, the process described and specified measurable criteria

 Individuality: processes are divided into sub-processes (modules), this combination can achieve the desired output for the customer.

 Cost: when the process is well optimized, and the loss eliminated of processes and activities are quantifiable, the costs are lower.


Managers have been asked for their present opinion and for their plans for the future (in the horizon of 5 years). Responses reflect the degree of agreement or disagreement with the arguments given in the tables below the graphs. Questions were focused on different aspects of usage of BPM. The responses range between 0 and 1. The results in the charts are average of all responses obtained through questionnaire.

The first question was aimed at providing an overview of the objectives which are followed by managers by the implementation of BPM.

Figure 1 Persued objectives in the implementation of BPM (adapted from [7])

Table 1Legend of the chart (adapted from [7])

Code Persued objectives in the implementation of BPM

1:4AS BPM as strategic change (present.)

2:4BS Certification to ISO 900X (present) 3:4DS Implementation IS (present)

4:4CS Fractional process improvement (present) 5:4AB BPM as strategic change (future)

6:4BB Certification to ISO 900X (future) 7:4DB Implementation IS (future)

8:4CB Fractional process improvement (future)

Results of the questionnaire show that managers understand the implementation of BPM as a strategic change. The result evidenced a good understanding of BPM because BPM can be described as a holistic approach to corporate governance.

As for future plans, the survey results show that managers in these days almost certainly agree with the statement that the BPM should be seen as a strategic change.

The second question was aimed to detect criterions of choice processes for BPM. The managers have been asked which processes are appropriate for BPM. From the responses are possible to determine the priority of processes for implementation BPM.


Figure 2 Criterions of choice processes for BPM (adapted from [7])

Table 2 Legend of the chart (adapted from [7])

As shown Figure 4 the asked managers expressed quite certain agreement with the statement that the most important processes, which is necessary to optimize, are the one which have the biggest influence on external customer. Managers identical agreed that is necessary to optimize processes which are the most important from aspect of goals.

The respondents do not consider two last responses as important. It is possible to deduce that managers concentrate on main processes by implementation BPM only. The low performance of business processes does not play important role by implementation BPM. In conclusion, results of this question dispute basic principles of BPM. BPM should deal with all identified processes of enterprise not only process with influence.

Figure 3 Factor of support of BPM (adapted from [7])

Table 3 Legend of the chart (adapted from [7])

Code Factors of support of business process management in companies

1:2A Satisfacttion of external customer needs

2:2F Decreasing of process cost

3:2C Monitoring of process performance

4:2D Initiation of process change

5:2E Differentiation of processes: fixed structure vs. processes with degrre of freedom

6:2B Satisfacttion of internal customer needs

The responses on the third question confirm the response on previous question. In fact the managers do not consider the satisfaction of internal customer needs as important. In other words the managers do not focus to the support processes. This result also disputes the principles of BPM.

The last question was focused on determining the rate of agreement with usage of individual BPM components.

Figure 4 Utilization rate of BPM components (adapted from [7])

Table 4 Legend of the chart (adapted from [7])

Code BPM components

1:8A Definition of core processes

2:8B Definition of owner and customer of processes

3:8F Continuous process improvement

4:8E Performance measurement processes

5:8C Creation of process maps

6:8D Usage of process maps

The result shows moderate disagreement with usage of process maps. Creation of process map has no sense without subsequently usage of it for evaluation of all identified processes. It is necessary to mention that the all BPM components are closely connected to themselves. Creation of process maps demands defining of core processes, main processes and support process, defining of owner and customer of all identified processes. The created process maps are suitable tools for establishment performance measurement systems through identifying key performance indicators for all processes. The subsequently usage of process maps is tool for continuous process improvement. The creation and subsequently usage of process maps are key BPM component because they link the other component together.

Code Criterions of choice processes for BPM

1:14C Processes with the biggest influence on external customer 2:14B The biggest priority from aspect of strategic goals 3:14B Processes with the biggest influence on internal customer 4:14A Malfunctioning processes and processes with low preformance




The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of applications of principles of Business Process Management in department of energetics in company Barum Continental, Ltd. This department ensures the energy operation of manufacturing and office building of this company. The case study tries to point out benefits and importance of focusing not only on the management of core business processes but also the management of support processes.

Analysis using software support ARIS Business Designer was conducted by following these steps:

 Identification of the core processes (Value-added chain diagram)

 Analysis of running of processes, subprocesses and activities (event-driven process chain –EPC)

 Collecting metrics (duration of activities, frequency of activities)

 Analysis of value-added of identified processes

 Improvement suggestions and recommendation The objectives of the analyses were consistent with the goals of business process management mentioned in the previous chapter.

A. Results of the case study

Information required for the processing of this case study was obtained through interviews with staff of the department. Risk derived by subjective responses of workers was removed respectively minimized cross-talking, when one employee responses were compared with responses from others. On the basis of these responses a little over 20 process maps were drawn. For purposes of this article, the following procedural map was chosen as an example because it shows the processes, which include most of the identified deficiencies. For purposes of this Article, the following procedural map was chosen as an example because it shows the processes, which include most of the identified deficiencies. The following process map is the result of the first step of the procedure mentioned in the preceding text. Monitoring Solving of random problems Control perambulation activity

Figure 5 Value added chain diagram – the most problematic processes

The result of the second step is to draw an event-driven process chain called EPC. This is a procedural map that shows the process in more detail, down to the level of activity. As an example EPC diagrams next picture is shown.

Moment of beginnig of control...

Small removable failure was found

out Persueing control perambulation activity Accident was found out, necessity o... Current situation without failure Solving of random problems Service fitter Notebook on monitorint stations Monitoring Solving of random problems

Figure 6 Control perambulation activity (EPC diagram)

The result of the third point of the procedure was collected information about the duration of individual activities and their frequency of repetition throughout the year. Using the data can be processed the following chart.

Figure 7 The distribution of time-consuming of processes

The most time-consuming processes in the department are Solving of random problems, Preventive maintenance and Contrail perambulation activity.

The last step in the analysis was to analyse the value-added processes. This analysis showed that nearly 70% of the identified processes of the department do not add value. The reason for this high non value-added is primarily no conceptual approach to the performance of the identified processes, particularly the three processes in Figure 5.

The largest weaknesses can be summarized as follows:

 Poorly identified inputs and outputs


 Low level detail processing operating records

 Absence of collecting relevant data needed to the evaluation the equipment failure and other disorders predicting

The current state of department can be characterized by the following figure.

Figure 8 Revealed problems in the department of energy

Currently there is no planning process, ie. that links with other processes, inputs or outputs are not defined. The problem with the current situation is that there is not feedback between the process Solving of random problems and the process Monitoring. There is no targeted process of Monitoring and Control

perambulation activity

to the evaluation of relevant facts. Due to confidence of workers in IT systems, process monitoring and control activities overlap in some cases, rather than to complement each other. Currently, with regard to almost complete absence of records are not set measurable criteria. The outputs are properly defined only in relation to production in terms of ensuring the smooth running of production through defined volumes, temperatures and pressures of the media to production needs.

B. Proposal

The analyses conducted at the department of energetics revealed several problem areas. The greatest deficiencies have been shown mainly in process Monitoring, Control Diversionary activities and Solving of random problems shown in the Figure 5 as have been mentioned in previous text.

The proposals which have been recommended to management of company were mainly in proposal of new process Diagnostics equipment, which consists of two subprocesses Annual diagnostic equipment and Regular diagnostics equipment. Annual diagnostic equipment Regular diagnostic equipment Diagnostic equipment

Figure 9 The proposed new processes

Both sub-processes are mainly based on the collection of relevant data and their subsequent evaluation and use for predicting failure.

C. Conclusion of the case study

Processes running on the analysed department of energetic can be characterized as non-productive. The immediate customer of this department is production department, which for its work needs to deliver all the media supplying the machinery and equipment. These media are automatically transported into the production pipeline, the necessary reduction of steam pressure is controlled by computer, and the only function of this department is to ensure the functionality of the equipment, which conveys the necessary media. Therefore, processes can be described as energy maintenance, respectively as mentioned earlier, for non-production. The disadvantage of non-manufacturing processes lies in the complexity of their measurement, determining their value for customers, financial statements and their benefits.

The proposed processes are based on a conceptual approach and systematic components. Proposals include a description of each of the necessary inputs and outputs between the individual activities, respectively processes (see Fig. 8). The proposals should lead to all the processes that take place in those workplaces will provide figures respectively measurable criteria, which the process of financial and operational planning consistently will be based on. In other words there is created a closed circle, which allows measuring the effectiveness of processes and its continuous improvement in the availability, quality, individuality and cost.


Figure 10 Scheme of proposals and their effect


Article based on a survey carried out showed that managers of Czech companies understand the implementation of BPM as a strategic change. The research also showed that managers concentrate on core operations to external customers. Management Czech companies attributed little importance to support the process. They also showed that managers attributed little importance to BPM components - the creation and use of process maps. However, these components form a complex and for the successful implementation of BPM need to be used by all. As the case study has shown, using the component creation process maps it is possible to successfully met all objectives BPM.

The paper through the conducted case study also illustrates the benefits of using previously little used, as shown by research, process management components such as creation and subsequent use of process maps. Mapping of all processes, drawing up the process maps and quantifying the results was performed in order to analyse activities adding or not adding value. Using this analysis it was found that most of the activities of this department do not add value. Inspection and maintenance is not performed on the basis of categorization, respectively prioritization based on the weariness and failure of equipment. This is due to the lack of targeted diagnostic of equipment and low quality level of operating records. Existing records are not used for subsequent evaluation of failure, to predict other failure and they are often reported retrospectively. The maintenance system is not based on planning. There is not written standard, which could guide new employees. The absence of any standards results in redundant performing of certain activities. These include physical readings of data from some equipment which are compared with the same data obtained by using IS

The biggest problem of the department is considered no conceptual and no systematic approach to the management and operation of the department, which is then reflected in the results in terms of low value added. It is for these reasons; proposals for management was focused on developing of new processes that would be brought elements of systematic

evidence base for future measurability of process efficiency. The proposed changes try to introduce a hitherto non-existent system of measurement and evaluation of process efficiency. By filling out the frequency tables can be carried out regularly analysis of time-consuming, as it shows the case study of this paper, this time based on actual, verifiable facts and not on staff estimates. Through targeted diagnostics and failure statistics will be regularly evaluate the state of the device, based on which plan the reconstruction and development facilities will be supported by quantitative data and deteriorating failure statistics serve as a basis for approval of the necessary financial investment. Proposed changes with them held almost no investment in technology and know-how because they lie only in changing the organization of work.

BPM is considered a strategic tool for improving performance and profitability of the enterprise. To be successfully implemented BPM, must apply to all processes in the enterprise, all employees and not just the key or core processes. Although that brings profit only the main processes is certainly important to take proper attention on support process. If support processes are managed effectively, it will increase the efficiency of core processes and thereby contribute to the profitability of the enterprise. Management of support processes is mainly in large companies a cost-and time-consuming, it is appropriate to use facility management options.


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