The third in the BPMN Distilled Series explains what kind of organizational assets Business Processes are.
We understand the term “asset” as any item of economic value owned by an individual or organization, especially that which could be converted into money.
Business processes are organizational assets too. Business processes are of great importance for customers, since they create value for them, by interrelating a set of actions which transform organizational inputs into organizational outputs.
Organizational assets can be divided into two main types: tangible and intangible
Tangible assets, also known as organizational resources, have a physical form such as raw materials for products, machines, infrastructure, or money.
Intangible assets, also known as organizational capabilities are goods of a non-physical nature, such as:
- the science of knowing what to do,
- our relations with the clients,
- the technology of information and databases,
- patents, trademarks, and copyrights, or
- the abilities and innovations of the employees
- and Business Processes
The productivity of an organization depends on how capabilities use and manage resources. Another difference between resources and capabilities is that resources are relatively easy to acquire whereas capabilities take time to build up. So, capabilities are generally harder to copy by competition and thus help organizations gain competitive advantage.
Processes belong to intangible assets. This makes them abstract which means we have to somehow represent them. A standardized way to represent business processes is with the Business Process Model and Notation.