How do companies implement process management? : the case of cantabrian companies.
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The constant, and sometimes radical, changes that are taking place in the business environment demand that companies develop more agile mechanisms and management systems that enable them to adapt and, above all, to be competitive. All this means that companies must be able to continuously and quickly adapt to change. In order to do this, they need to develop agile and flexible structures. Process management is a mechanism that arises to meet these new needs, giving the company the flexibility to develop their business in today's competitive environment. Despite the importance of process management techniques, several authors affirm that a high percentage of process management initiatives fail. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse how companies implement process management. Specifically, we would like to know who the people responsible for the implementation were and which phases or steps they followed. In order to achieve this aim, a survey was conducted among companies over 20 employees from Cantabria (a region in the North of Spain) which practised process management. Results show that a high percentage of companies sought external consultancy when implementing process management, especially during the initial stages. Concerning the implementation stages, an implementation methodology is proposed. Results show that it may be considered as appropriate due to the fact that all the stages are frequently used. Overall, we consider that from a theoretical point of view this study adds value to the field as it offers, first, a review gathering together the main implementation methodologies identified along the literature; and secondly it describes the results of an empirical study based on Spain, covering an existing gap. On the other side, from the practitioners’ point of view, this study could be used as guide for them. Not only because of the literature review, but especially because of the empirical case. From the obtained result managers could learn what other companies did when implementing process management. And, specially, they can identify what other companies did wrong in order not to repeat it.
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