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Business process optimization - A continous improvement process

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Case Study on BPO

The Internal Order of the Organization

Optimized processes enable top performance

In times of transition and rapid change, companies now face even greater challenges than ever before:
Growth, economic changes, efficiency gains... the list goes on. 

An essential element for overcoming these challenges is the good "internal order" of a company. Processes are the blueprint of this "internal order". Only the optimal configuration of all business processes to create a "high performance" organization can meet the challenges of tomorrow.

are the processes that ensure the effective execution of core processes and are indispensable (EDP, accounting, etc.).

Three types of business processes

A business process always consists of a sequence of tasks and activities that are carried out step-by-step in order to achieve a final business objective. We distinguish between three different types of business processes:
  • Management processes – all processes that go hand in hand with the "design, steering (control) and development of purpose-oriented socio-technical organizations" (Ulrich).
  • Core processes – all processes that are directly geared toward the benefit of the customer and enable the concrete provision of services.
  • Supporting processes – the processes that ensure the effective execution of core processes and are indispensable (EDP, accounting, etc.).

The four key elements of business process optimization...

... In our opinion, these are the creation and safeguarding of: fast and efficient processes.
  • high transparency in all areas
  • stable processes
  • flexible processes that are and remain adaptable

In addition to designing a suitable work and operational structure,
specific roles should also be defined in the course of business process optimization to ensure efficient management of all processes from the beginning to the end of their "lifecycle".

The three process roles

  • The process owner defines and owns the business process.
  • He is responsible for keeping the process up to date at all times, from the implementation to the achievement of the objective(s).
  • The people involved in the process participate in the execution of the process and thus have an implementation-oriented role in process management.
The process controller is responsible for target-oriented control of all strategic and operational requirements. He monitors the execution and the outcomes of the processes. If he sees opportunities for improvement, he can initiate them. The role does not necessarily have to be filled by a single person, but can also be taken over by a group of people. The same applies vice versa - one person can occupy several process roles at the same time.

Different approaches to process optimization

Two ways to reach the finish line

We distinguish between two basic approaches to business process optimization: Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and the method of continuous improvement. The latter is derived from the Japanese quality management method "Kaizen".

Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

The BPR approach pursues the radical redesign of business processes. Existing processes are neither analyzed nor gradually improved. The organization, as well as success-critical processes, are fundamentally redeveloped so that they support the fulfillment of the strategy. The approach is top-down and is often criticized because due to time and resource constraints

Continuous improvement process (CIP)

In contrast to BPR and in the sense of Kaizen (to change for the better), the goal of a continuous improvement process is the continuous, gradual optimization/perfection of the processes. Because the employees who are directly involved in the process see necessary improvements and initiate and implement them in an ideal way, this approach is bottom-up. With CIP, the emphasis is geared toward isolated, local processes, and the sum of changes forms a whole.

Both approaches are justified. CIP is used very little in a turnaround in which the survival of the company hangs on by a thread. In contrast, BPR would be the infamous use of the sledgehammer to crack a nut when it comes to functional processes.

Together we will find

In our business process optimization consulting projects, we never lose sight of the fact that the best process is useless if it only exists on paper and is not lived by people. Your business and your processes are unique - and that's why we work together in finding individual solutions to make your processes - the blueprint for your company's "internal organization" - more efficient and profitable and help bring them to life.


EFQM Ecxellence Modell

Method: The following checklist consists of an extract of the essential questions of the EFQM Model for Business Excellence. By editing the checklist, you will find it easy to understand the systematics of the EFQM model and will be able to determine the quality level of your organization, as well as begin appropriate initiatives to promote performance and increase quality.

Approach: Answer each question in regard to the strengths and potential for improvement and then evaluate the degree of fulfillment. Add up all results and divide by 12. This will give you a first indication of the quality level of your organization.

Offer: Contact our consultants if the result is around 50% or lower. We would be happy to show you the way to success using the EFQM model. If your result is around 75%, we will show you how to sustainably secure and expand the standard.