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Ким Семен Вячеславич
ТОО "SM-UP Consulting", технический директор
Abstract. The basis of the process management of the company is the management of the structure of business processes. Continuous effective solution of its problems is a complex labor-intensive activity and must rely on a powerful instrumental environment. The use of information technologies in managing the structure of business processes allows it to be brought to a qualitatively new level.
            Key words: business processes management; business processes structure; business processes modeling; system of strategic objectives; monitoring of business processes performance; CASE-system; ERP-system; information technology.
            One of the most important tasks of the present time can be called the improvement of management processes, among which the use of modern information technologies is the key to the effectiveness of the work of almost any organization. Effective management of an organization today is impossible without management of its information activities, the entire system of corporate information. Of particular importance is the introduction of information management, which significantly expands the opportunities for companies to use information resources. The development of information management is associated with the organization of a data and knowledge processing system, their consistent development to the level of integrated automated control systems, covering all levels and links of production and sales vertically and horizontally. Informatization is widely used not only to improve the technological processes of creating and manufacturing products, but also in the preparation and management decision-making processes at all levels of enterprise management.
            The main direction of restructuring management and its radical improvement, adaptation to modern conditions has become the massive use of the latest computer and telecommunications technology, the formation of highly effective information and management technologies on its basis. Means and methods of applied informatics are used in management and marketing. New technologies based on computer technology require radical changes in the organizational structures of management, its regulations, human resources, the system of documentation, recording and transfer of information. Of particular importance is the introduction of information management, which significantly expands the opportunities for companies to use information resources. The development of information management is associated with the organization of a data and knowledge processing system, their consistent development to the level of integrated automated control systems, covering all levels and links of production and sales vertically and horizontally.
In modern conditions, effective management is a valuable resource of an organization, along with financial, material, human and other resources. Consequently, increasing the efficiency of management activities is becoming one of the areas of improving the activities of the enterprise as a whole. The most obvious way to improve the efficiency of the work process is to automate it. But what is really, say, for a strictly formalized production process, is by no means so obvious for such a sphere as management. Difficulties arising in solving the problem of automated support for managerial work are associated with its specifics. Managerial work is notable for its complexity and diversity, the presence of a large number of forms and types, multilateral connections with various phenomena and processes. This is, first of all, creative and intellectual work. At first glance, most of it defies any formalization at all. Therefore, the automation of management activities was initially associated only with the automation of some auxiliary, routine operations. But the rapid development of information computer technologies, the improvement of the technical platform and the emergence of fundamentally new classes of software products have led today to a change in approaches to the automation of production management.
            Automation of operational management of business processes using integrated systems (ERP Enterprise Resource Planning class) has become widespread and is a kind of standard for medium and large modern enterprises. The potential benefits of using it are obvious:
- simplification of management and accounting procedures;
- provision of operational information in real time;
- increasing the efficiency of using production facilities.
            At the same time, the positive effects that the provision of information technology support in the field of managing the structure of business processes has on the company's performance are not so obvious and have a time lag. Therefore, he is often given a secondary role. However, it is the quality of the structure of the system of business processes that is the main factor that determines the effectiveness of the firm. Automation of ineffective and inconsistent processes within ERP systems will not give a meaningful result.
Business process modeling
            The use of specialized software products can significantly increase the efficiency of managing the structure of business processes. The main task of modeling business processes is to represent the system of the company's business processes in a formalized form.
Formalization implies the creation of a model using a certain notation - a set of symbols, terms and rules for their use. It should be noted that the description of business processes should be formed using notations that have a systematic, well-defined set of terms and designations. This makes it possible to achieve unambiguous interpretations of the model elements and makes it more understandable. Recently, graphical approaches have been intensively developed and used in the description of business processes. It is recognized that they are most effective in solving problems of describing, analyzing and optimizing the company's activities. Graphic visualization enables users of the model to more easily perceive and effectively work with complex multilevel processes, better understand their interconnections and functioning mechanisms [7]. The use of modern software products designed for modeling various structures of a company (organizational, functional, process) - the so-called CASE-systems (Computer Aided System Engineering) - significantly increases the quality and speed of modeling business processes. These systems provide the process designer with an advanced graphical modeling environment. This allows you to quickly create various elements of models and relationships between them, and also provides all the functions of editing objects (copying, deleting, changing attributes, moving in the diagram, etc.).
An important advantage of using CASE systems is the fact that the notations are strictly defined and "hardcoded" in them. This eliminates the possibility of variations in the notation system when modeling processes. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of CASE tools contain reference classifications of processes that can be used as a basis for quickly creating a framework for a model of a company's business processes.
            The use of database mechanisms for storing model objects makes it possible to organize simultaneous collective work with it, ensure the integrity and coherence of its elements, and provide access for a wide range of employees to the information contained in it through the corporate web portal. With this approach, the model becomes a means of accumulating and disseminating knowledge about the business processes of the firm's key knowledge. Of particular importance is the function of automatic generation of reports and regulations according to specified templates, which frees management from routine work, allowing them to fully focus directly on improving processes. Changes in one process may entail changes in the regulations of related processes and processes at other levels, in the job descriptions of the performers of the changed operations. Taking this into account, the function allows to achieve significant savings in the working time of employees responsible for updating process documentation. It also allows you to significantly reduce the possibility of errors associated with manual input of process changes in the above documents.
            At the same time, it is important to understand that CASE tools do not automatically generate a business process structure based on specified requirements and optimality criteria, as some users believe. This is due to the fact that the process of creating a business process cannot be formalized; it is an act of creativity, an intuitive search based on the subjective experience of the creator and his vision of the situation. Accordingly, it has limitations and automatic analysis of the process: it is possible to check only its formal logic, that is, the correctness of the description. At the same time, CASE tools cannot assess the meaningful logic of the process to assess its applicability to solving business problems. Another misconception concerns embedded process libraries. Although they are for guidance only, some firms prefer to use them unchanged. As a result of this, on the one hand, the specificity of the firm's activities is not reflected in the process model, and on the other hand, due to the redundancy of libraries, processes appear that do not exist in the organization (and are not needed by it).
            As a result, regulations created on the basis of such a model do not work. Building a system of strategic goals, cascading them into sub-goals, key performance indicators and then into indicators of specific processes in a single software product ensures the logical coherence of goals at various levels, correlating them with the real processes of the company.
The monitoring tool offered by modern software products are dashboards, which are sets of graphic scales in various variations (in the form of a speedometer, vertical scale, etc.), reflecting the state of a particular indicator of a process based on data obtained from operational systems (eg ERP).
In conclusion, it should be noted that the visualization of the state of the indicator plays an important role in increasing the efficiency of process management. Each indicator reflects not only the actual value of the indicator, but also the planned one, the corridor of permissible values, the zones of undesirable and critical deviations. This provides a visual perception of the data that does not require assimilation, which is especially important if you need to constantly monitor several indicators. In case of observing a tendency for the indicator values ​​to go out of the admissible corridor, the user has the opportunity to conduct a historical evaluation of the data. If necessary, you can move on to reviewing the process model and improving its structure in order to implement proactive corrective actions.
            It should be noted that the considered software tools do not provide the company's management with qualitatively new tools, that is, all the functionality that these systems offer can be implemented manually. However, the implementation of this activity, no doubt, will be associated with a certain mass of errors and will require the involvement of an order of magnitude more human resources, which with a high degree of probability cannot be provided in conditions of the need to maximize the efficiency of their use. At the same time, a quantitative improvement in the performance of these operations, which ensures the use of information technology, allows you to bring the management of the company's business processes to a qualitatively new level.
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