We explain what a process is and what is the purpose of this set of actions. In addition, the different meanings that this term has.
What is a process?
The word process comes from the Latin processus , formed by pro (“forward”) and cadere (“walking”), in terms of the action of going forward, of advancing in a certain path and, by similarity, advancing in the weather. It is a term used in a huge variety of contexts, especially technical or industrial, but always retaining that original sense.
In general, processes are referred to when there is an initial and final state of some body, system or environment, among which there is a transformation, displacement or change of some nature.
This is how we talk about geological processes to refer to millenary changes in the earth’s surface; erosive processes for changes caused by wind and water wear ; biological processes for those that imply changes in life forms; industrial processes for those that man can carry out on the matter to obtain products of different nature, and thus a gigantic etcetera.
Another important use of the term process has to do with the stages that make up the cycle of a given system , such as administrative, computer systems or social systems, among others. In these areas, a process is understood as something that is happening, that is, an active element that may well merit control, direction, evaluation, etc.
In administration , processes are understood as the flow of activities that occur between the various components of a company or institution. Thus, administrative processes are the different operations that the organization starts to achieve its objectives and meet its needs.
Broadly speaking, one can speak of a single great administrative process, common to any organization and which can be understood in four phases, coinciding with the objectives of business administration:
- P lanification . It is about the future projection of the needs, objectives and steps to be followed by the company .
- Or organization . Combination of resources available for work with trained personnel to do so, in the best way, in order to meet the objectives set out above.
- D IRECTORATE . Orientation and guidance of the work, as well as encouragement and cooperation, in order to meet the objectives set. It is equivalent to the business “strategy”.
- C ontrol . Here we talk about feedback , evaluation, checking that things are happening properly, or reading how they occurred to correct defects in the general process.
In the field of biology , the evolutionary process is defined as the transformations that species undergo continuously due to the different changes that may arise over the years and different generations. In turn, this process indicates that evolution is a characteristic of living matter and that all come from a universal common ancestor. All the species that exist today are in this evolutionary process.
With regard to computing , the process is called the set of logical and arithmetic operations carried out by computers in order to manage data and obtain the desired results.
An example of this type of process is the so – called multi-threading , which is that there are many different processes working together for a single purpose . This happens in the case of video games where a process for music, another for drawings and another for game intelligence work at the same time.
Process in psychology
According to psychology , cognitive processes refer to those mechanisms by which information is captured, memorized or processed either through the senses or memory . Are those processes by which people know and require the proper functioning of the body.
In addition, it is called the educational process in which the human being learns to live and be , and for this he needs to develop his knowledge as well as his values . It is socialization through education and teaching . This process begins with a person, who can be a teacher or a family member , who transmits his own knowledge and values to others. We could say then that there is a subject that teaches and another that learns. However, this process does not always occur in such a linear way, since many times the people who learn also leave teachings and values to those subjects who teach.
Process in economics
In economics , the production process refers to all the operations necessary to be able to carry out production as well as a good or a service . These actions must occur in a specific, orderly, planned and consecutive way in order to achieve the desired transformation and thus be able to get them to enter the market correctly in order to be marketed in a timely manner.
The production process also includes its design, production and consumption . In order to carry it out satisfactorily, technological, economic and, clearly, human resources are needed. In turn, these products can be classified as intermediate products, such as the raw material that are completed with other subsequent actions, and the final products, those that are marketed so that they can be acquired by consumers in the market and can enjoy these .
Social processes are the different ways in which culture and society change or are preserved during moments of historical crisis. The Revolutions, the great changes of modes of government, the transformations of society , in short, are usually the end of one or a series of social processes, which begin in different ways and can conquer their tasks or fail.
Usually social processes lead to various types of interaction between citizens , be it conflict, harmonization, integration, etc. They can be revolutionary and innovative, or rather conservative and retrograde. They are subject to the study of History, which sees in them the germ of coming historical events or the explanation of the paths taken by different societies throughout their particular history.