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business process

A business process combines many tasks to achieve a certain business result. It is acceptable to the degree it is measurable: whether it has a recognizable start and a measurable end, whether it is possible to compare the performance of different persons or organization protocols to achieve those.

A process may intersect with one or more organization protocols of itself or an allied or apposite organization (such as corporate governance, partner due diligence, customer due diligence, comparison shopping or regulatory compliance ). Since private sector activity is engaged in for profit, typical business process definitions begin with an identifiable action and end with a closed measurable result. Continuous improvement and throughput accounting focus directly on improving the efficiency, narrowly defined, of the process by looking at how it processes resources.

Efficient Civics Guild study of task-based information architecture for private sector activity resulted in the following active ontology of sixteen business processes commonly found in almost any business; Each is broken down into an approximate series of steps using terms in living ontology:
  1. require: assess need, state issue, refine IPA, take positions, compromise, develop solution
  2. acquire: attract attention, present business case, first sale, thank for coming onboard
  3. reinvest: cash deposited, pay cost of sales and total cost of operations and cost of capital, identify excess costs, require reduction, invest
  4. release: design, deploy
  5. sell: engage potential customer, discover specific needs, present match to product line, persuade, close
  6. support: install the product in customer's environment, test, receive acceptance, maintain
  7. buy: receive order, receive payment, process payment, inquire as to post-purchase satisfaction, support
  8. budget: plan specific period of time, determine highest priorities over that period, allocate and get resources, act
  9. product: plan to meet specific need with specific product, identify pre-requisites, retool, retrain, receive supplies, produce
  10. invest: plan use of specific financial resources, determine greatest opportunity that can be reliably executed, invest, monitor, receive reward
  11. project: propose solution to specific problem widely agreed to exist, stage, monitor phases, inspect outputs, test for quality, mark as complete
  12. monitor: record event, relate to metric widely agreed to measure an objective phenomena, measure
  13. issue: request attention, identify issue statement, communicate default position, negotiate, resolve
  14. outsource: source identification, price negotiation, delivery, quality inspection, invoice acceptance, settle
  15. market: target identifiable market, do competitive analysis, grow trust in that segment, engage
  16. provision: track usage, identify bottlenecks, source commodity services, contract, authorize, deploy

Note that the human command verb "to plan" can have very different meanings based on context. One may plan the use of any capital asset but this involves very different activities depending on which type of asset is involved: finance is mere spending, but people require training.