Business process optimization

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The Business Process Optimization (GPO) is the sum of all activities and decisions to improve business processes in a company .

The basis of the GPO is formed by the key business figures that are decisive for the success of the business area. This can be, for example, throughput times , process costs , productivity or error rates .


In the area of ​​GPO there are basically two different approaches:

Continuous improvement

With the continuous improvement process (CIP), existing processes are continuously improved. The expression Kaizen , Japanese for change for the better , is often used as a synonym in literature . The focus here is usually local and only on individual processes. The bottom-up approach is used.

Business process reengineering

The Business Process Reengineering (BPR) comes from the United States and provides in its original form for a complete realignment of business processes. Compared to the Kaizen, the company is changed here overall and across departments. The approach is top-down . However, critics complain that the recording and investigation of the business processes to be renewed is a waste of time and resources and hampers creativity.

Process smoothing

Process smoothing pursues the goal of standardizing exceptions in the process flow and thus smoothing the process flow in order to increase process reliability. The simpler and more standardized processes are, the fewer exceptions are to be expected, which in turn has a positive effect on process costs and the options for intervention or control.

Process smoothing can be achieved through various measures. For example, by physical proximity is manufactured or time potentials are used to cycle times to be reduced. Other possible measures are to eliminate buffers (such as waiting times) between the individual process steps and interfaces that hinder a smooth run.


The GPO is not tied to any specific procedure. In practice there are several approaches to implementation. In principle, the GPO is also based on the universal procedural model of an organizational project, which is divided into the following phases:

  1. preparation
  2. Preliminary examination
  3. General inspection (as-is assessment, as-is analysis, target conception)
  4. implementation
  5. Evaluation

Models that differ from this are, for example, the PAS 1021 of the German Institute for Standardization or the procedure model of the Competence Center for Operations, Processes and Organization.

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Hammer, James Champy: Reengineering the Corporation. Harper Business, New York 1993, ISBN 0-88730-640-3 .


  • Hans-Jörg Bullinger (Ed.): Ways out of the crisis: business process optimization and information logistics. Springer, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-540-57586-3 .
  • Federal Ministry of the Interior (Hrsg.): Manual for organizational investigations and personnel requirements determination. Federal Office of Administration, Cologne 2007 (chapter business process optimization. ).