The universe is full of wonderful processes. The processes flow, carrying stuff, connecting seemingly unrelated entities and keeping the universe running. The study and the subsequent understanding, however incomplete, of these processes are largely responsible for the amazing progress achieved by man.

The universe has designed its processes and has powered them. All entities play their roles in the process, many times not being aware of the bigger picture. Every being has an intended role and they all play that. Nature has endowed the strength, or rather built all entities specifically, so that they have the ability and need to play their roles. Its processes sustain an exquisite balance in nature by handling the ordinary and the extra-ordinary, the highs and the lows, the regular and the faults that occur from time to time. The processes are played out again and again in a cycle of srishti (creation), stithi (sustenance) and laya (sublation).

For instance, a human body is made up of such material as cells, tissues, muscles, blood, fat, organs, etc. While these are essential, they hardly make up the person. The various systems of a human body such as the circulatory system, the nervous system, the digestive system, the excretory system, and so on actually drive the life of a human body. The system, so beautifully designed, combines inert material made of the elements and converts them into a wonderful living organism. While problems with the matter could affect quality of life, any breakage in the working of the systems would prove fatal.

Like the various systems of a human body, in a business organization, processes combine organizational resources to produce a living entity. A business organization has several aspects to its operations. The material requirements for the business are such things as its people, products and services, offices, other property, etc. All these put together still do not make a business. The operations of the business would be made up of processes such as for building or sourcing the products, selling a product or service, delivering the service, collection of the payment, sourcing material, hiring people, tracking the cash flow, and so on. All these fall into the realm of Business Processes.

All entities within the universe are miniature universes – a microcosm of the macrocosm. Each entity lives with its own processes and process partners (roles). Businesses, being similar entities also run on the power of the processes and roles. Where the processes are affected, where the process partner roles break, the entity dies, leaving behind little trace of the splendor of its life.

Process is the life of a business. While quality and quantity of people, real-estate, equipment, finances and other resources may define a business to some extent, success would be determined by how well the business processes are defined / designed and how well they are implemented. Processes breathe life into businesses and drive growth and success. Processes are the Praana(life) of businesses. Sustenance of a business is critically dependent upon the efficacy of its processes.

An undefined or ill-defined process can cause financial risks to a business. Processes that are not automated; that are not self sufficient in their execution; that need external triggers (such as specific knowledge existing in specific people); will make a business vulnerable to parameters beyond its control, inhibit its capacity to analyze and evolve and also suppress growth and scalability.

How well the business processes are defined and executed, how well they are supported by partner roles, in fact how well the process is powered determine the longevity, the sustainability and even the very life of the business. While creating business entities, we must learn from the ever-existing universe and its systems and processes. We give the best chance for our businesses to succeed if we empower its processes.

By: K.B.S. Ramachandra