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What makes a good process?

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by Rob Davis in ARIS BPM Blog posted on 2009-11-03

Everyone wants a good process. Our businesses would be more profitable if we had them. But do we know what a good process is? Would we recognized one if we saw it? And how do we ensure we can design them?

So what makes a ‘good process’? This is a question that I am often asked. Usually the person asking is looking for a simple answer: “one that has no more than 10 task boxes” or “only has two handovers” or “one that looks long and thin”. Of course things are not that simple and there is a difference between what makes a good process and what makes a good process model. It is often the latter that people are really asking about, but a process model is just that; it is a model, it is not the ‘real thing’. It is perfectly possible to have a good process model of a poor process, but you cannot have a really good process without a good model or design.

Read my full article on BPTrends where I explore what makes a good process and what we need to model to ensure that we get a good process.



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Rob Davis posted on 2009-11-03

For the link to the article go to the BP Trends Website and scroll down to ARTICLES or click here to go straight to the PDF file.

Rune Becker posted on 2009-11-03

For all who want to know more about the basics of business processes I'd like to recommend the e-learning course 'What is BPM'. Rob and I have made this course some weeks ago to bring people in touch with Business Process Management.


Ismael Shameem Etowar posted on 2009-11-04

Dear Rob,


Thank you for this post.

I went through the article. Really brilliant.

Moreover I took the e-learning course too. Absolutely amazing:). The course is concise, explicit and really interesting.

I have encouraged my fellow colleagues to take the course too.


Thank you again to both Rune and you for everything.





Rob Davis posted on 2009-11-05

Hi Shameem

Glad you found it useful - did you also check out the other two e-learning courses?

Lesson 2 “Before you start modelling”

Lesson 3 "Your first steps in ARIS Business Designer"



Mitesh Kumar posted on 2010-05-31

Hi Rob- these were really useful articles and help in gaining a stronger view of the need of a good process.

In general, how does ARIS provide a cutting edge to achieve a good process specially for telcos like BT?

I have learnt etom but I guess mature telcos have a perspective beyond that

Rob Davis posted on 2010-06-07

Hi Mitesh

The real cutting edge that ARIS gives you is the ability to focuss around three things:

  • Taking a customer view
  • Taking an end-to-end view
  • Providing transparency

In any organisation, but especially in large businesses and in Telcos, people tend to become very focussed on concentrating on just "what they do" and on the technology. There is tendency to forget to think about what the customer wants and the experience they will get. Its only by looking across the business at how all its processes work together to provide and end-to-end customer process or journey can you start to make real progress in customer satisfaction. Creating a process portal using ARIS provides the transparency of the end-to-end flow and the component process. It also encourages standardisation and reuse.

eTOM provides a checklist of the component processes and guidelines for assembling them into process flows, but it needs to be adapted to a specific organisations needs.



Mitesh Kumar posted on 2010-06-07

Thanks Rob- We have a dedicated BPM practice in our organisation keen on use of ARIS and its various forms focussed on telcos. Telcos are better and mature adoptors of BPM and as there are various BPM/BPA tools available in the industry it becoms  extremely critical to select the right product to boost there business performance.