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Process management tasks: a conceptual and practical view

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to contribute to defining the tasks necessary to process management, considering both conceptual and practical views. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Bibliographic review for tasks mentioned as typically necessary to process management, plus a field survey involving professionals working in process management. Findings ‐ The bibliographic review yielded a set of tasks that were grouped conceptually into "designing processes", "managing processes from day to day" and "fostering process-related learning". These groups were then validated with practioners as valid constructs. The field survey produced two major findings: the first underlining the practical importance of the tasks identified as necessary to process management and the second demonstrating that most organizations where the study participants work are structured functionally, but have practices for managing cross-functional processes or "end-to-end process". The conceptual and practical comparison brings to light gaps between authors and professionals. Research limitations/implications ‐ There is significant variation in the job positions and sectors occupied by the group studied and the sample is not random, given that all are enrolled in postgraduate process management programs and thus share an interest in the subject. Practical implications ‐ Organizations can identify tasks that are necessary and important to process management and have an instrument (the questionnaire) for deciding how best to manage processes. Where functional management of cross-functional processes is found, this recommends developing organizational solutions to upgrade the capacity for coordination among activities without necessarily introducing changes in organizational structure. Originality/value ‐ The paper describes an unprecedented study and helps clarify what needs to be done to manage processes.
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Keywords: Performance management; Process control; Process management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 12, 2008

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