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Selecting Critical Business Processes: A Case Study

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Organizations often struggle with assessing the impact their critical business processes makes on their overall competitiveness. Often, critical processes that perform at acceptable levels can be enhanced to improve the competitive advantage. We present a methodology to assist managers in determining not only a critical business process through comprehensive selection criteria, but also its impact on the vision of the firm. The methodology has been tested in several organizations. One firm's results are presented to explain the methodology.


Managers and decision-makers face the complex task of identifying a critical business process as well as determining how enhancing it will impact the firm's competitive advantage. Firms are only vaguely aware of the value of their competencies. If organizations understand and agree on core competencies, history indicates that they maintain their competitive edge and use their core competencies as foundation for creating future value. Companies usually have several core competencies. Determining which one needs improvement first can be complicated. If managers agree on the most valuable competencies, they tend to be more consistent in developing and nurturing those competencies. The purpose of this article is twofold: identify which business processes are critical, based on the enterprise's vision, and determine how to prioritize which processes to improve and monitor.

Core Competency Determination and Enhancement Models

The concept of core competencies serves as a useful framework for strategic thinking about how today's choices can make a positive impact on programs and services that can and should be provided in the future. Current literature discusses core competencies and core capabilities; however, limited information exists about determining a critical business process. One of the most comprehensive methodologies is based on the concept that product families and their platforms result from underlying core capabilities. Studies also link competencies and company performance. Determining and prioritizing critical business processes requires comprehensive selection criteria. This approach gives insight



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