Process organization

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The process organization referred to in the organizational theory describing dynamic work processes in consideration of structures for space, time, material resources and people, while the organizational structure mainly with the static structuring a company in organizational units - bodies and departments - busy. In particular, the definition and modeling of process flows is understood as a scientifically supported procedure. Working in a chained process follows a control method for a sequence.

Structural organization and process organization usually consider the same objects under different aspects; the descriptions and the underlying structures are mutually dependent on one another ( interdependence ). The organizational structure considers organizational resources, the process organization deals with the (temporal or final) chain of individual work steps using these resources.

The technological or, more generally, causal linking of processes, on the other hand, is dealt with in process organization (see also business process modeling ).


The process organization deals with the equipment and distribution of efficient stocks of material and immaterial goods in a company. This results in the subjects to be dealt with - personnel, material resources and databases, tasks and competencies .

The focus of the considerations in the process organization

  • the work as a goal-oriented human action and
  • Providing the sub-units of work processes with the material resources and information necessary for the fulfillment of tasks.
  • the logistics of the inflow and outflow of material and products
  • running work support services
  • the decision in case of disturbances

In particular, the treatment of disorders is usually neglected or simply forgotten in the first approach.


Process organization is a concept for reducing the complexity of actions and processes by means of modeling and standardization . It pursues period-related monetary and qualitative goals:

  • Optimize capacity utilization
  • Reduction of distribution, throughput, waiting and idle times
  • Reduction of the costs of process processing
  • Increase the quality of the processing of cases and the working conditions
  • Reduce the error rate in product manufacture and decision-making
  • Reduction of the distribution and transport expenses by optimizing the workplace arrangement
  • Increasing adherence to delivery dates by shortening waiting times and distribution times

Between the objectives of maximizing the capacity utilization and minimizing the lead time there is a conflict . In this context one speaks of the dilemma of process organization. This is illustrated by an example from production: In order to achieve the best possible capacity utilization, a high order backlog must be available in front of each workstation so that there is no risk of idling. However, this increases the waiting times and therefore the throughput times for the individual order. It is interesting in this context that

  • a relatively small decrease in stocks,
  • a disproportionate shortening of the lead time
  • with only small losses in capacity utilization


Distribution of tasks

A special focus of the process organization is the distribution of tasks . The prerequisite for this is the examination of the question of whether and to what extent the activities for the fulfillment of tasks should be regulated. Both the task structure and the task objectives are decisive for the regulation intensity.

According to Nordsieck (1955) there are the following stages in the fulfillment of the need for regulation by the process organization:

  • Free course
  • Content-related course
  • Sequence-bound course
  • Time-bound course
  • Time-bound course
  • implicit as well as explicit reorganization of already existing processes
  • flexible course

Influencing variables

Internal influencing factors:

  • Production type (e.g .: flow production / workshop production )
  • Structure of the employees (qualifications of the employees)
  • Structure of the planning system (central / decentral)
  • Structure of the information system (transmission by supervisor / IT system)
  • Corporate culture (which corporate culture is desired or how is dealing with employees lived)

External influencing factors:

  • Political norms (changes in the framework conditions for operational activity)
  • Legal standards (safety regulations, labor law and collective bargaining regulations or environmental requirements)
  • Social norms (effects of labor protection law and social legislation)
  • Technological knowledge (e.g .: securing or increasing competitiveness)
  • Behavior of market participants ( monopoly position / strong competition)

Process organizational concepts

Process organization as work organization

Differentiation of structure and process

The starting point is always the task of the entire company and thus a structural organizational fact. The breakdown of this task is the prerequisite for the distribution of tasks and work and thus also for the creation of positions and departments .

The workflow is defined as a sequence of work stages. These are the smallest coherent work units that are necessary to complete a task. The individual work stages are grouped into work series according to the organizational requirements . These are in turn combined to form work cycles. Now that there is clarity about the work flow and work cycles have been created by combining work stages, work is now distributed, in which work processes are assigned to work carriers. When it comes to the distribution of work, however, it is also about the performance coordination, since not only the workload of one employer, but also the performance of different employers must be coordinated. Finally, the staffing has to be carried out in order to be able to carry out an optimal work process, since the performance requirements of a work process often do not match the personal performance of the worker.

For clarification, the following table shows the delimitation of the process organization compared to the structural organization:

Organizational structure Process organization
  • Positions (line, staff, management, execution positions)
  • Organizational units of a higher order
  • Tasks or activities
  • Subordination in the sense of instruction and decision-making powers as well as reporting
  • Predecessor-successor relationships in the sense of the activity, often supplemented by information and material flows

The analysis-synthesis concept

On the basis of the basic principles of task analysis and synthesis , Erich Kosiol developed work analysis and synthesis analogously . The work analysis gives an overview of all the work that arises and has to be distributed across positions or departments , depending on the level of detail selected. In addition to the subdivision according to Kosiol, there are other structuring suggestions for the analysis of work processes. According to Nordsieck, a distinction is made between seven structural levels and according to the REFA method, macro and micro levels are introduced, which in turn can be further subdivided. Furthermore, a distinction can be made between the pure work analysis and the work process analysis. The former breaks down an elementary part of a task down to the smallest subtasks. The work process analysis, on the other hand, always coincides with the defined task of a position and then breaks down this task further into gear steps and gear elements. The work process analysis is therefore one level above the pure work analysis.

In the course of the work synthesis , the analytically obtained elementary work parts are summarized according to the performance, object, rank or phase characteristics.

Process organization as a process plan

This approach is a further development of the process organization as work organization and picks out individual sub-problems.

  • Distribution of work: In many cases, the staffing is already specified and cannot be completely changed. Often the qualifications of the employees do not match the requirements of the work process. The aim is now to minimize this difference.
  • Grouping: Here the assignment and grouping of work equipment is taken into account, such as the arrangement of machines. However, there can also be conflicts in the grouping of work subjects (e.g. size of work groups or teams) and work objects (e.g. lot sizes, available resources).
  • Sequence: This problem affects both the temporal and spatial arrangement of processes and is not limited to the sequence within a process, but also includes the coordination of several processes, for example in terms of time and space and according to priorities.
  • Performance coordination: The performance of individual employees must be synchronized in terms of time and quantity.
  • Start and process conditions: The modal boundary conditions determine the beginning and the process of the work
  • Transport: Since the workers are working at different locations, the work objects must be transported between them. The minimization of transport costs and the optimization of the transport routes are particularly relevant to this problem .

Process organization as process organization

This concept is used in particular to integrate cross-departmental process flows. Especially in intangible machining operations, the organizational structure has a process organization gained significantly in importance. Process organization takes place in 3 phases:

  • Pre-organizational process analysis
  • Distribution of process elements to positions
  • Coordination of the processes

However, the most recent approaches to process organization ignore the separation of process and structural organization, as they see process and structure as a whole from the outset.


Individual evidence

  1. Gutenberg, Die Produktion, 11th edition 1965, p. 229
  2. Erich Gutenberg : The production . 23rd edition, Berlin a. a., 1979, p. 229
  3. ^ Nordsieck, F .: Rationalization of the company organization, 2nd edition, Stuttgart 1955.
  4. a b Sauter, Roman (2009a): Technologiemanagement: 1.5.2 Influencing factors of process organization , accessed on November 6, 2011.
  5. ^ Schlick, Christopher (2010): Ergonomics, 3rd ed., Berlin
  6. Erich Kosiol: Organization of the company, Wiesbaden 1962, pp. 42–79.
  7. Hoffmann in Frese (ed.): Handwortbuch der Organization 1992, p. 5.
  8. ^ Walter Weidner: Organization in the enterprise, Munich 1998, pp. 238–241.
  9. Schreyögg, 1998, p. 121f

Web links

Wiktionary: Process organization  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations