Process: set of activities linked together that, starting from one or more inputs (inputs) transforms them, generating an output (result).
The activities of any organization can be conceived as members of a given process. In this way, when a customer enters a store to make a purchase, when a telephone line, a registration certificate, or the registration of a patent in the corresponding registry is requested, they are being activated processes, the results of which must be aimed at satisfying a demand.
From this point of view, any organization can be considered as a system of processes, more or less related to each other, in which a large part of the inputs will be generated by internal suppliers, and whose results will often be directed towards internal clients.
This situation will mean that the scope and scope of the processes is not homogeneous, and must be defined in each case when addressing the management of processes. This means that, sometimes, it is not so evident where a process begins and ends, and it is necessary to establish a delimitation for operational, management and process control purposes.
A process can be carried out by a single person, or within the same department. However, the most complex ones flow in the organization through different functional areas and departments, which are involved in it to a greater or lesser extent.
The fact that different departments intervene in a process makes it difficult to control and management, diluting the responsibility that those departments have on it. In a word, each area will be responsible for the set of activities it carries out, but the responsibility and commitment to the entire process will tend not to be taken by anyone in particular.
Obviously, the functional organization is not going to be eliminated. An organization has, as a basic characteristic, precisely the division and specialization of work, as well as the coordination of its different activities, but a vision of the same focused on its processes allows the best development of the same, as well as the possibility of focusing on the receivers. of the outputs of these processes, that is to say in the clients. So perhaps the management by processes is a key element in the Efficient from Quality.