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The Great Grandfather of business analysis

There’s a host of well-known minds in the realm of business management: Michael Hammer, Thomas Davenport, James Short, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters and Henry Ford.

But, Adam Smith. Have you heard of him?

In 1776, Adam Smith – perhaps the Great Grandfather of business analysis – published the first example of a business process in the production of a pin.

Adam Smith’s description of a Pin Factory is on the first page of The Wealth of Nations.  (Chapter 1 – “Of the Division of Labour”)

Smith showed that by identifying the steps in a process, you could use division of labour to assign specialists for each step and hence improve the quality of the product and the speed of its production.

(P.S. look, no Visio.)