Improving Business Processes: Understanding The RePro Technique

Business Processes Management

Business Processes Management is a system of evaluating and improving the processes of a business for the purpose of creating an organization that is more effective and efficient. Business process management has created a base for improving the business process. BPM improves the efficiency, insight, and order of the entire workflow that a given process of a business is made up of. BPM reduces chaos in a given workforce that forms a particular business process (Weske 2012). Business Process Management supports the leaders of an organization towards achieving operational efficiencies as well as overarching the organization’s goals. In this essay, the “Improving Business Processes: Does Anybody have an Idea?”  article is discussed.

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 The process of business redesigning is essential in cases of cutting down the throughput times and costs of the process as well as enhancing the satisfaction of the customers (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). A characteristic process redesigning initiative comprises of defining the is-as process, examining the is-as process to identify the weakness of the process and creating the improvement ideas of the process. In this report, it is discussed how business process management has created a basis for business process improvement.

Significant time is consumed on carrying out systematic analysis and description of the is-as process as part of the redesigning initiatives of a process. The article evaluates the new technique that generates ideas for process improvement, this technique is referred to as the Rethinking of Processes (RePro) method. The basis of the technique is developed by the improvement principles of a process that lead the specialists in a comprehensive and systematic examination of the resolution space (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). An experiment carried out to equate the RePro technique’s performance to the traditional or conventional brainstorming techniques indicate that there is the need for employing a technique that is more advanced during the workshop redesigning process.  The experiment’s results also confirmed that the performance of a particular process is strongly affected by the way the advanced technology is used (Becker at al. 2013).

The RePro technique basically supports the care processes of re-thinking, RePro depend on a group of the improvement principles of a process that originate from the innovation principles of TRIZ and the best practices of the Business Process Redesign. All the principles of the RePro can be observed as solutions previously applied and are useful in being applied in other settings or situations. The Rethinking Process technique comprises an application process that enables the practitioners to systematically assess the list of ethics (Harmon 2010). The RePro method involves two innovations which are; the application procedure and a two group integration of the principles of process improvement.

The Process of Business Redesigning

The research technique was a cross-case survey that involved applicable checking of the possible end-users. The study ensured that the RePro method offered a well-structured, compact and comprehensive support for the processes of the rethinking care. The participant in the experiment were eighty-nine graduate scholars in Industrial Engineering at the Ghent University (Harmon, and Trends 2010). Basing on the idea that most of the practitioners that take part in the process improvement generation are not experts in the process redesign of business, the participants in the study were not expected to be specialists. The participants were taught about the EPC modeling notation process prior to the study to avoid problems of failure in understanding the models of the process to be examined in the experiment (Vergidis et al. 2008).

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The task of the experiments involved the generation of improvement ideas for the surgery process of cataract at a Medical Center in a University by the participants. Cataract is known to cause decreased vision as a result of eye-lens clouding and can be treated surgically. The process of cataract surgery described all the steps for diagnosis and treatment from the time of admission to discharge of the patient (Rebuge and Ferreira 2012). The long-term association with the Eye clinic enabled the participants to develop case-description in real-life. The case-description comprised of information based on; objective redesigning (that is reducing the throughput times and reducing costs and increasing the satisfaction of the patients) (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). Other case-description include; Limitation redesigning which emphasized on supervision of surgery process, process models comprising of prognoses of the routing fractions and the cost information, the descriptions of the textual process and identification of the major areas with a problem basing on the patients’ and employees’ findings (Rebuge and Ferreira 2012). The case-descriptions helped in offering concepts towards the generation of the ideas of process improvement. A pilot study and pre-test was conducted to identify the case study’s description understandability.

The considerable factor in the study was the method applied in generating the ideas for process improvement. Two levels of factors were distinguished, leading to two conditions of experiments which are; the RePro and the traditional brainstorming. The participants were assigned randomly to either of the conditions, forming group sets of 45 and 44 persons per condition (Van Der Aalst 2013). The participants in traditional brainstorming were offered a document with instructions that comprised of the four rules of brainstorming while the participants in the Repro received a document with the instruction which comprised of a 46 principle list and the rules (Vanwersch, et al., 2015).

The RePro Technique and Its Innovations

The procedure of the experiment involved the videotaping of the medical manager’s statement within the Eye Clinic. The video involved discussion of the experiment’s objectives and the process of cataract surgery. The participants were then offered with handouts with rules and guidance steps and were asked to create various ideas for process improvement based on their assigned technique. For any idea created, the participants were to write down the concrete change of process and the potential effect. The individuals in the RePro group were to indicate the RePro principle that inspires them towards a particular improvement idea (Jacobson at al. 2005). The participants are then given post-experiment, digital questionnaires for the purpose of indicating personal characteristics such as sex and age, the individuals in the RePro conditions were further asked of their intention of using the technique.

A pilot experiment and pre-test are conducted prior to the study; the pre-test checks the hand-out material understandability as well as examine the session’s timing. The experiment involved twelve students with at least a three-year educational experience in Industrial Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). The pilot study, on the other hand, evaluated the student’s understandability of the restructured handout, the study involved thirteen undergraduate students in third-year partaking in Industrial Engineering at TU/e. The pilot and pre-test experiments indicated that the students were enthusiastic and motivated towards developing ideas for process improvement within the time setup (Srivastava at al. 2009). 

The results indicated that application of the RePro method is greatly linked to productivity (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). The participants who adopted the application scheme of opportunity-centric category-by-category came up with 65-70% ideas more than the other RePro participants who adopted the generation style of problem-centric or the contestants who used traditional brainstorming (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). The findings show that the presentation of solutions categories sequentially supported the participants in creating more improvement ideas (Sharp and McDermott 2009).

The authors of the article claimed that a real-time presentation of the categories of the solution categories might have overwhelmed the individuals and therefore preventing them from focusing on each prime aspect (Vanwersch, et al., 2015). The article’s authors also suggest that the problem-centric screening of a complete principle list of RePro might inhibit the yield gain. For these reasons, there is the need for further research to examine the effect of applying the different RePro styles on productivity as well as the measure of the outcomes (Ray at al. 2004).  The participants also require strong guidance when adopting the style of an opportunity-centric generation.

The Experiment’s Methodology and Task

There is very little knowledge concerning the RePro technique and its significance in process improvement. The experiment assesses the process improvement method’s performance. The experiment’s results confirmed the possibility of using the technique that is more advanced in generating ideas for process improvement, however, the results also indicated that the style of using of such a method has a strong impact on the performance level (Manfreda at al. 2014). The findings in the article are significant in BPM as they help the leaders of an organization to understand the effective technique relevant for business improvement and the relevant style of applying the technique to increase productivity (Lapouchnian, and Mylopoulos 2007). The understanding of the RePro technique and the style of using the method enables the organizational leaders to enhance their BPM skills and therefore they are able to understand the processes within the organization and evaluate as well as improve the processes (Vanwersch, et al., 2015).

The article “Inspection Coming Due! How to Determine the Service Interval of Your Processes!” suggests that the business processes need inspection timely. The process managers are usually in charge of the various processes, however, they lack adequate resources for simultaneous inspection of all the processes. The managers, therefore, need to be guided on how the service interval of the process can be determined, that is in determining the time when the managers need to critically analyze the process and identify the need of project redesigning (Manderscheid at al. 2015). The authors in the article suggest that there is the need for inspecting a process for the purpose of further improvement since there is the need for observing and regulating the approaches in existence for the purpose of ranking a process, the study employs the critical process instance method to support article’s claim. The article is concurring with the article “Improving Business Processes: Does Anybody have an Idea?” in the aspect of observing the relevance and the style of applying a technique for the purpose of process improvement (Reijers 2003).

The article “Data-Driven Performance Analysis of Scheduled Processes”, addresses the gap between the process perspective and the queueing semantics. The article addresses the gap by creating a novel technique that utilizes the process logs that analyze the scheduled process performances. Based on the extension of a formalism of the Colored Petri Nets, the model for an individual-case from the data is discovered. The performance queries are answered y simulation of the model, however, it is inefficient, and therefore, the model is projected to the Queueing Networks for efficient analysis of the performance (Senderovich et al. 2015). Just like the article; “Improving Business Processes: Does Anybody have an Idea?” this article discusses the improvement factors of a business process. The “Data-Driven Performance Analysis of Scheduled Processes” article employs a technique that ensures efficient analysis of a process’s performance while the “Improving Business Processes: Does Anybody have an Idea?” applies a technique for effective development of ideas for process improvement, both cases result in effective BPM.

The Results: RePro vs. Traditional Brainstorming

The “Detecting Inconsistencies between Process Models and Textual Descriptions” article offers the approach to be followed in identifying the inconsistencies between a textual description and a corresponding process model. A quantitative examination of the 46 real-life model-text sets indicates that the approach enables the users to effectively and quickly recognize the inconsistent descriptions in the repository of the process (van der at al. 2015). The paper gives a technique that allows efficient identification of inconsistency in a process which in return ensures effective BPM just like in the article; “Improving Business Processes: Does Anybody have an Idea?”.

Conclusion

Business Processes Management is a system of evaluating and improving the processes of a business for the purpose of creating an organization that is more effective and efficient. BPM employs techniques that result in an improvement of the efficiency, insight, and order of the entire workflows that make up a given process of a business. BPM ensures reduction of chaos in a given workforce that forms a particular business process (Smith and Fingar 2003). Through effective BPM, the leaders in an organization are able to achieve the operational efficiencies as well as overarch the organization’s goals. 

References

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Harmon, P., 2010. The scope and evolution of business process management. In Handbook on business process management 1 (pp. 37-81). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Harmon, P. and Trends, B.P., 2010. Business process change: A guide for business managers and BPM and Six Sigma professionals. Elsevier.

Jacobson, I., Ericsson, M. and Jacobson, A., 2005. The Object Advantage: Business Process Reengineering with Object Technology. ACM Press. Reprint ed. Addison-Wesley, New York.

Lapouchnian, A., Yu, Y. and Mylopoulos, J., 2007, September. Requirements-driven design and configuration management of business processes. In International Conference on Business Process Management (pp. 246-261). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Manderscheid, J., Reißner, D. and Röglinger, M., 2015, August. Inspection Coming Due! How to Determine the Service Interval of Your Processes!. In International Conference on Business Process Management (pp. 19-34). Springer, Cham.

Manfreda, A., Kovacic, A., Štemberger, M.I. and Trkman, P., 2014. Absorptive capacity as a precondition for business process improvement. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 54(2), pp.35-43.

Ray, G., Barney, J.B. and Muhanna, W.A., 2004. Capabilities, business processes, and competitive advantage: choosing the dependent variable in empirical tests of the resource?based view. Strategic management journal, 25(1), pp.23-37.

Rebuge, Á. and Ferreira, D.R., 2012. Business process analysis in healthcare environments: A methodology based on process mining. Information systems, 37(2), pp.99-116.

Reijers, H.A., 2003. Design and control of workflow processes: business process management for the service industry. Springer-Verlag.

Senderovich, A., Rogge-Solti, A., Gal, A., Mendling, J., Mandelbaum, A., Kadish, S. and Bunnell, C.A., 2015, August. Data-driven performance analysis of scheduled processes. In International Conference on Business Process Management (pp. 35-52). Springer, Cham.

Sharp, A. and McDermott, P., 2009. Workflow modeling: tools for process improvement and applications development. 2nd ed. Artech House.

Smith, H. and Fingar, P., 2003. Business process management: the third wave (Vol. 1). Tampa: Meghan-Kiffer Press.

Srivastava, R.K., Shervani, T.A. and Fahey, L., 2009. Marketing, business processes, and shareholder value: An organizationally embedded view of marketing activities and the discipline of marketing. The Journal of Marketing, pp.168-179.

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Vanwersch, R.J., Vanderfeesten, I., Rietzschel, E. and Reijers, H.A., 2015, August. Improving business processes: does anybody have an idea? In International Conference on Business Process Management (pp. 3-18). Springer, Cham.

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