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Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:26 PM

Breaking Down the Walls
By Craig Cochran

Although it saves money and promotes flexibility, process orientation means losing those cherished, autonomous departments.

For most organizations, process orientation offers one of the biggest improvement opportunities available. It also represents a huge change in the way most organizations view and manage themselves. With process orientation, organizations think in terms of integrated processes rather than a confederation of functional departments. Although there's nothing inherently wrong with managing by departments, problems arise when they're managed semi-autonomously. In such cases, each department manager attempts to maximize his or her results without considering how the results affect the remaining portions of the process. In addition, departmental divisions cause countless problems related to communication, coordination and resources. As a result, the organization's performance suffers because its operations aren't structured optimally.

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