Types of Process Design

by Skip Shelton; Updated September 26, 2017
Production line

Simply put, a business process is how work gets done. Processes that are stable, repeatable, and produce consistent results allow managers to accurately gauge how change to a business system will affect an outcome. When processes and systems (a set of interacting processes) are defined and have predictable outcomes, business managers are able to accurately predict costs, outputs, and schedules. Process designs play a large role in how well the processes meet business needs.Three categories of process design can be used to differentiate the types of process design: Analytical, Experimental, and Procedural.

Analytical or Attribute Centered Design

Attributes of the objects required for the design are the primary point of consideration. When all attributes desired are met, the objectives of this design type are considered completed. For example, if a new process has a set of criteria, and the available resources have a set of constraints, when the completed design meets both the criteria and constraint, the design is considered adequate.

Procedural or Operation Centered Design

This design type focuses on changing a specific object or process to have a desired set of traits or attributes. Review of what the process is currently capable of and what changes need to be made to accommodate the new criteria is the primary focus. Specific procedures or methods are applied to the addressing current deficiencies in the process and how changes can be made. Process changes typically fall within this design type as they focus on existing and implemented processes which can be altered to accommodate new requirements, though design of new processes and systems may be an outcome of the design process as the old processes may be determined to be inadequate.

Experimental Object or Search Centered Design

Experimental object design focuses on testing specific objects to determine suitability. This type of design heavily focuses on experiments and outcomes. The list of possibilities are captured up front, and each possibility (or object) is reviewed, tested, or prototyped to determine which has the best set of attributes which meet the design needs.

About the Author

Skip Shelton has been writing since 2001, having authored and co-authored numerous articles for "Disclose Journal." He holds a Bachelor in Science in education and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Northwest Nazarene University. Shelton also operates a small automotive maintenance and part-replacement shop.

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