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The process approach to the description of business processes of the design organisation
The company “Челябэнергопроект” has successfully obtained the certificate of compliance which certifies that the quality management system corresponds to requirements of GOST R ISO 9001-2008 (ISO 9001:2008). One of the major (and the most difficult) requirements ISO 9001:2008 is introduction of the process approach. The standard recommends to allocate processes and to organise management of them, but the mechanism of these actions is not registered in it. Heads of many companies, starting working out and introduction QMS, say about informal character of introduction, that them the certificate on QMS, how many real improvements which should arise on an introduction course not so much interests. However at practical realisation of the project there are many difficulties. Therefore, unfortunately, the management of the organisations which perform design works, quite often aspires to be limited to execution of formal requirements ISO. The system also becomes formal, and the personnel has an uncooperative altitude both to QMS, and to the process approach which is its major part.

Let's consider a number of the problems connected with by introduction of the process approach in the Russian design organisations:
- misunderstanding by management of necessity of introduction of the process approach as ideologies;
- unavailability to serious changes in structure of management of the company (and in organizational structure);
- construction of system of the processes inadequate to real business of the company;
- misunderstanding of that, the regulation of processes what for is necessary and how correctly to make it;
- errors at creation of system of indicators, coordination of processes and indicators;
- absence of necessary patience, desire and the resources necessary for real optimisation of processes;
- inability to organise management of processes;
- inability to create system of constant improvement of processes (i.e. To introduce cycle PDCA).

Let's consider the process approach as ideology.

In what of the reason of the specified problems? Why real, instead of formal introduction of the process approach to management is such difficult business? Difficulty consists in a lack of leadership of a management and personnel involving. Changes are necessary, first of all, in minds of employees of the design organisation. They should be ready and aspire to use new management methods, and it demands indispensable encouragement with a management. company management is obliged to concern the process approach, first of all, as to ideology, which needs to be introduced in weights, and already then to see in it a set of some methods or software products.

Let's consider insufficiency of readiness for serious changes.

As owners, and heads of many design organisations simply are not ready to serious changes, which is inevitably mentioned a control system of the organisation at informal introduction of the process approach (as all would like to receive fast result at rather small investments). Starting its introduction, many do not understand, how much serious efforts be required for reception of notable results. Proprietors can see ways of real increase of efficiency of the company at the expense of purchase (re-structuring) of actives, introductions of new technologies and modernisation of the equipment, expansion of commodity markets, attraction of new managers, etc. They should analyse a situation and to solve, on management of what changes they really will have time. Thus the part of problems on management of changes can be coordinated by directly proprietors, others are assigned to top-managers or transferred advisers etc. But all should realise priority directions and problems of development of the organisation performing design works, and resources necessary for it (first of all – expenses of time of proprietors and management). Otherwise declared changes will really not cope that will result or in formal introduction (and to absence of practical effect), or to a stop of projects of changes.

Let's consider a case when the system of processes is inadequate to real business.

Activity of any design organisation is a performance of processes. Heads and experts intuitively understand it, but, as a rule, find it difficult to allocate processes adequately. For what purpose it is necessary to allocate them and to build system of processes of the organisation performing design works? To that should this system be adequate? Problems of increase of efficiency of business and its further development define requirements to tools of management of which managers can take advantage. A sight at the company as on system of processes and the organisation of management of them are one of possible approaches to business management optimisation. Adequately allocated processes and the system constructed of them (sometimes speak – a network) processes should correspond to essence of considered business and the purposes of its development.

It is not necessary to be surprised that introduction of the process approach does not bring notable effect when business processes in the organisation are allocated subjectively, and the system of processes is constructed formally and does not correspond to real business. If proprietors approached to a question of construction of business as superficially, as some heads and experts to allocation in the organisation of processes and to creation from them system such business hardly would take place. But responsible people – owners of the design organisations and managers of top level – are engaged in business, and control system optimisation “on principles of the process approach and taking into account requirements of standards ISO 9001:2008” trust heads of an average link and experts …

Let's consider the reasons, leading to construction of inadequate system of processes in the design organisations.

There are some reasons leading to construction of inadequate system of processes in the organisations, trying to introduce the process approach. It is important to remember that the system of processes inadequate to real business allocated and issued documentary, interferes with original, informal introduction of the process approach and reception of notable results from the point of view of improvement of business of the company.

For what the organisations performing design works, describe, and then regulate the business processes, and whether it leads to appreciable growth of efficiency? Experience shows that direct dependence is not present. Moreover, the regulation of processes often does not lead to efficiency increase. If processes of the organisation performing design works, are not described (and furthermore are not regulated), it means that work is conducted on the basis of the settled norms and rules which strongly keep in minds of employees. People know how to carry out processes and to receive result demanded by a management. At such organisation of work losses of various kinds of resources (financial, material, human and time) are inevitable. But the regulation which is not accompanied by the analysis and changes existing in organisation, performing design works, almost does not give processes, effect.

Nevertheless, processes it is possible and it is necessary to describe and regulate for the following:
- the analysis of problems, bottlenecks, losses at performance of processes with the subsequent working out and realisation of actions for improvement;
- standardization of activity, maintenance of repeatability of processes and possibility of management of them;
- distributions of experience to other design organisations (the branches, the new organisations performing design works);
- comparisons of with competitors and improvements of processes;
- that definition as work (for the new design organisations, in case of creation of new directions of business in the existing organisations performing design works, etc. should be carried out.);
- accumulation of knowledge and transfer to their new employees (at training, employment);
- for carrying out of internal audits.

Unfortunately, in the Russian organisations performing design works, for reception of certificate ISO the question of a regulation of processes dares more often formally. Kinds of documents used in these purposes are inconvenient. Often there is a following situation: employees of the design organisation long time work on creation of regulations, and in the end of this work of people start to torment doubts, whether it is possible (and as it is concrete) these regulations to use further. Besides, in the domestic organisations performing design works, formal ways of representation of processes in regulations are very extended. These ways are unsuitable for the real analysis and management of processes.

Thus, absence at heads and employees of understanding of the purposes and regulation problems (and as the skills, adequate techniques and experience) does not allow to use it as the useful tool of increase of efficiency of activity of the organisations performing design works.

Let's consider the basic errors at creation of system of indicators.

Error is the opinion that introduction of the process approach is only the detailed description and reorganisation of processes. Even if the design organisation will manage to execute their single improvements in due course efficiency again will start to decrease. It is natural, as to the organisations, as well as to people, it is peculiar to grow old and become less mobile, strong, ready to changes. Processes need to be improved constantly, thus it is necessary to support the reached levels of efficiency. To make it without system of the purposes adequate to business and indicators for management of processes it is impossible. It is possible to be convinced. You can see this, consider the situation described below.

Let's admit, in the organisation performing design works, allocate top level processes so, and then it is incorrect (without real chains of creation of value, the analysis of material and information streams, business strategic targets, etc.) detail them (creating corresponding schemes and the list). Then the management defines indicators for all detailed processes, consistently considering each of them and defining indicators. As a result, most likely, it will appear that:
- the constructed system is fragmentary (i.e. In it there is no number of the major indicators necessary for management);
- the part of indicators is inconsistent (it means that achievement of one of them excludes achievement of another etc.);
- indicators are not focused on achievement of strategic targets of the design organisation, its general productivity and efficiency.

On the basis of similar system of indicators it is impossible to operate effectively as at its construction following key errors have been committed:
- there was no orientation to organisation strategic targets;
- as base for definition of indicators the system of processes inadequate to real business was used;
- orientation to over result and efficiency from the point of view of interfunctional interaction was not considered (i.e. On “through” processes).

Thus, to construct really operating, adequate to the purposes of business system of indicators for management of processes, to management of the organisation performing design works, it is necessary to make considerable efforts.

Let's consider a lack of patience, desire and the resources necessary for real optimisation of processes.

Proprietors of the design organisation and its heads can sincerely wish introduce informally the process approach to management and even to make the corresponding decision. But one desire a little – it is necessary to allocate the resources necessary for realisation of changes. First of all time of proprietors and heads of the organisations performing design works concerns such resources. They should be reserved by patience and desire long time actively to participate in the project. The statistics asserts that principal causes of failures of projects are absence of leadership of a management and insufficient involving of the personnel. As shows experiment, in the absence of leadership it is difficult to achieve good result even if financial resources enough and external advisers are involved.

So, proprietors and heads of the organisation performing design works, should allocate the working hours for participation in the project and provide personnel involving. Besides, for performance of the project of introduction of the process approach it is necessary to create working group of the qualified experts. The working group should be provided with accommodation, the computer equipment and communication to possess the techniques of introduction of the process approach tested in practice. Techniques can be received at training at corresponding experts, an exchange of experience with other organisations performing design works, attraction of qualified personnel from outside, use of services of advisers etc.

Thus, the project of introduction of the process approach demands from the organisation of certain expenses. It is not necessary to think that it is possible to achieve serious results, without having enclosed thus copecks.

Let's consider inability to organise management of processes.

Only then it is possible to consider the process approach introduced when in the organisation administration of processes is exercised. In many companies introduction of the process approach stopped at a stage of the description and the subsequent regulation of processes. On some organisations performing design works, systems of indicators have been created. However only in very small amount of the companies management it is system has approached to a question of the organisation of management of processes.

For management of processes it is not enough to write in regulating documents that processes should cope owners, etc. It is necessary to create corresponding really operating mechanisms of management. Such activity directly depends on changes in minds of heads, and it is connected with certain complexities: long enough time that the management began to think and work in a new fashion is required. If in introduction of the process approach proprietors and heads of top level do not give to this question of priority attention the control system of processes will be hardly created.

Let's consider inability to create system of constant improvement of processes.

Proprietors of the organisations performing design works, can lay down the aim for its management – to introduce system of constant improvement of processes (we will notice that within the limits of introduction QMS to do it it is necessary). However business is frequent further formal declarations and some corresponding additions in documents does not go. The system of continuous improvements will not arise in the organisation performing design works, by itself, for its realisation the corresponding mechanisms first of all motivating the personnel are necessary. If such mechanisms are not created, no positive changes in the company will occur.

The material interest of workers in carrying out of processes of improvement should be combined necessarily with readiness of the heads participating in this process, actively to co-operate with employees. Often in the companies there is a situation when the management does not want and cannot (owing to excessive loading) to be engaged in improvements (except what bring a notable gain of profit or reduction of expenses). In particular, the higher managers usually do not have desire to consider any small, minor improvements. Thus, proprietors and heads of the company are not able to develop and introduce the system of improvements using a time and intellectual resource of average management and experts. Introduction of the process approach to management in this case is incomplete.

The term “reengineering” and ideology of reorganisation of business for orientation on processes, instead of “success” functional divisions, are connected with names of two American researchers in the field of management: Michael Hammer (Michael Hammer) and James Champi (James Champy). They in the late eighties – the beginning of 90th years have ceased to set to managers and experts standard questions like “how much effectively (quickly, it is cheap) at you those or other problems are carried out?” and have asked in a root other question: “What for you in general make this or that work?”. They in 1993 have published results of the researches in the book “reengineering corporations: the revolution Manifesto in business”.

The conclusions made Hammer and Champi, it was really possible to name at that point in time revolutionary. They asserted that:
1. The overwhelming part of the operation, made in the organisations performing design works, had no relation neither to work with the customer, nor to increase in the added cost of products, but only to maintenance of internal functioning of the design organisations;
2. The experts of a narrow profile who are professionally carrying out the local duties, concepts had no about quality of products on an exit of all chain of the operations which part they were (better to say, there was no concrete responsible person for an end result);
3. The most part of time for performance of orders of clients was occupied with internal transaction: an information transfer and stages of works between departments, the coordination of their results, the repeated control and alterations in cases when vision of work of one service did not coincide with the point of view another etc.

As panacea from this fatal situation Hammer and Champi have offered a sight at the organisation not as on set of services and departments, and as “factory of business processes”. Concept “business process” they have characterised as follows: “Under “process” we understand a set of operations which, taken together, create the result having value for the consumer – for example, working out of a new product”.

Let's notice that, developing the concept, future “the guru of management” leant against the practical experience existing in staff structures of the NATO, describing the regulations in terms of processes on technology IDEF (about it – hardly more low) since 60th years. But Hammer and Champi have qualitatively developed this idea for needs of business. Besides the term “business process” researchers have entered one more basic concept of the concept – reengineering (in some Russian transcriptions: reengineering) which essence consists in construction of activity of already existing and functioning organisation “from zero” but already with orientation to processes, instead of the separate closed functions. As have proclaimed in 1993 Hammer and Champi: “It is necessary to begin all anew!”.

Let's consider means of the description of business processes.

In the today's market of software for the description and modelling of business processes “extended” it is possible to name two technologies:
1. IDEF (English Integrated DEFinition for Function modelling – the Integrated Means for Functional Modelling), presented by variety of products of several developers.
Examples of products: BPwin and ERwin (the developer – Computer Associates), Design/IDEF from MetaSoft Corporation, Rational Rose from Rational Software.
2. EPC (or related to it technology UML – Unified Modeling Language), realised in family of products ARIS of German firm IDS Scheer AG or Russian “ИНТАЛЕВ: the Navigator”.
In Russia the opinion is popular that both groups of software products it is logical to carry to so-called CASE-means (English Computer-Aided Software/Systems Engineering – Systems of Working out of the Software). This opinion as it seems to us, is based on that, as IDEF, and EPC are widely used for automation of business processes. However, in feature two systems, and, accordingly, to reasonable practice of their application there is an essential distinction: if the products based on technology IDEF, are intended for the description of processes at low machine levels (i.e. a following stage in the description is already creation of a program code) EPC is means of the description high, better to say “human” level. Thus, in our opinion, to CASE-means it is correct to carry only IDEF-products, whereas EPC – to independent technology under the methodical description of processes. Problems of our article do not include the analysis of technical subtleties of the given systems, and we will be limited to analysis of their possibilities from the point of view of reengineering.

Let's tabulate characteristics of both technologies.

The table – Comparative characteristics of technologies IDEF and EPC
CharacterizationIDEFEPC
Objects description1. Streams of functions
2. Resources (including information)
3. Organizational divisions (participants)
4. Operating influences
1. A tree of the purposes
2. Organizational structure
3. Streams of functions and events
4. Streams of resources
5. Information streams
6. Chains of the added cost
7. Essence (property) of objects
The format data presentations (semantics)rigidly set standardAny (with observance of the general logic of process)
Number of objects on the schemeFrom 2 to 8Any
Logic of construction of processThe principle of domination of one function over anotherThe chronological sequence of performance of functions
Characteristics of communications between objectsIs defined by a communication direction (i.e. 4 types: at the left, to the right, from above and downwards in relation to function) + commentsalmost unlimited number


Is defined by individual properties (attributes) of communication, i.e. Let's give an example one concrete process – “Performance of the order of the client” – described in formats of both technologies. In drawing the IDEF-diagramme is presented.

The IDEF-diagramme of process performance of the order of the client
The process IDEF-diagramme “Performance of the order of the client”


It is clear that an end result of the description of real-life process in a life, in whatever format it was made, will be identical. However, there are also essential distinctions in technicians of the description who allow to consider the same process differently. Here only major of them:
1. IDEF-diagrammes are more static, as reflect structural (hierarchical) interrelations between functions, but practically speak nothing about their parity in time. It IDEF advantage as in formats EPC it is unevident, what function what, on the one hand, gives operates (if only speech does not go about the enclosed process), but, with another, contains also that lack that without time interrelation of functions it is extremely difficult to explain processes to their potential participants and, hence, to introduce.
2. The format of IDEF-diagrammes is rigidly set: it is possible to display only from 2 to 8 functions on one scheme, – that strongly reduces freedom degree in the creative description of processes and deprives of the individuality diagramme.
3. The same restriction plus necessity to reflect all essential details and properties of process is done by IDEF-diagrammes by the overloaded specific designations – they are badly perceived by users.
4. Accurately formalized approach IDEF facilitates interaction of developers and implementers of the applied software as, as a rule, it is easier to technical workers to talk on common language.

All factors set forth above force us to draw a conclusion that for problems of financial management and convenient technology EPC on which base we and will build further the work is more productive.


Sources:
1. Hamme M., Champi J. Reengineering of corporations: the revolution Manifesto in business. The lane with English – SPb: Publishing house of the S.-Petersburg university, 1997.
2. Borovkov R. The ideology of the process approach and technique descriptions of business processes. – 2008 [http://www.klerk.ru/boss/articles/106655]
3. Repin V.V. Business processes of the company. Construction, the analysis, a regulation. M: Standards and quality, 2007. – 240 P.

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 03/23/2010

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