A coordination theory approach to process description and redesign

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Organizing Business Knowledge: The MIT Process Handbook, MIT Press (2003)






Managers must understand, influence, and redesign organizational processes to improve business performance. In this paper we present a technique for documenting a business process. The technique has six steps: defining process boundaries, collecting data, determining actors and resources, determining activities, determining dependencies and model verification. While similar to other processmapping techniques, our approach is novel in incorporating ideas from coordination theory, thus the attention to dependencies. As a result, the technique is useful both for documenting a process and suggesting ways in which the process could be redesigned. We present an extended illustration with the hope that the technique can be used by readers of this article.


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