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Investigating business processes: does process simplification always work?

Alan Harrison (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, Bedford, UK)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 1 June 1998



Describes the use of a meta‐level model to discover the core operations process, and how the boundaries around the business process were identified at an automotive manufacturer. Evidence was then collected both qualitatively and quantitatively for two models that shared the same business process in the same plant. This research design effectively removed much of the “noise”, such as organisation structure and payment systems, from the investigation. The study concludes that the two models have different and distinctive process needs, and that convergence through process simplification is actually a doubtful strategy to apply to all products in every context. Process simplification is not a general rule for improved competitiveness, and a business must understand the limitations in terms of product performance in the market place.



Harrison, A. (1998), "Investigating business processes: does process simplification always work?", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 137-153.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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