Business Process Management – Complete guide
Business Process Management relies on examining, analyzing, and consistently re-evaluating business processes put in place in order to implement more efficient solutions allowing to optimize time and other resources, and reduce the number of unnecessary errors allowing for the business to run smoothly.
Business processes are activities run within the business allowing to achieve business objectives. Business processes can be internal or external facing, ie. processes allowing to maintain the everyday operations of the company and processes that are customer facing respectively.
The goal of setting business processes in place is to have an overview and control over the company which lowers business operation costs and can increase customer satisfaction thanks to faster solving of issues or answering inquiries.
Remember – BPM is a continuous process that leads to better business outcomes over a period of time.
Understanding the Basics of Business Process Management (BPM)
Business Process Management has an iterative character. This means that the actions are repeatedly carried out. It’s important to never try to introduce multiple processes at once in the same area of business as this will make it impossible to judge how each of them impacted the business. A process should be permanently set in place once it has been tested for a substantial amount of time allowing us to have an objective idea of its implications and tweaks that need to be put in place, then we can move to testing further solutions that could potentially improve the business.
Business Process Management is dynamic and has a broad discipline in regards to the organizational roles, business goals, strategies, rules, etc encompassed by it are changing as time goes by. Various optimization methodologies such as Six Sigma, lean management, and Agile all fall under BPM.
As companies and enterprises grew in size and as our tech capabilities evolved, IT systems allowing to automate processes were created, making it possible to run even the largest corporations in a smooth and controlled manner.
The importance of optimizing your company’s BPM lies in the fact that they are critical for running a sustainably successful organization. Some examples of processes that drive business goals are:
- creating new products
- managing customer service
- onboarding new employees and clients.
Poorly managed business processes can be a headache for your staff while simultaneously impeding productivity and efficiency, causing damage to the organization. If not automated, such ineffective processes result in poor performance and undermine business goals.
There are five phases in BPM:
- Designing: This stage involves analyzing the existing processes and detecting the improvements needed to be made. Then it’s time to design a business process that uses automation and standardization allowing to solve detected issues.
- Modeling: Find out how the newly redesigned process works in different scenarios.
- Implementing: The improvements along with automation and standardization are put in place.
- Monitoring: This is a stage that helps to test new solutions and track improvements based on performance.
- Optimizing: This stage is about continuously improving the process.
Some companies apply the sixth step, ie. Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). This step can be implemented when changes in the existing process fail to produce the desired outcome. So reinvention comes into the picture to further work on solving the initial issue
Each of the above stages may take weeks or months to complete, but careful planning and implementation can make a big difference in the structure and everyday functioning of any business entity.
The Benefits of BPM
A well-implemented BPM will allow your organization to deliver better products and services for your customers by reducing errors, saving time, bringing about digital transformation, etc. while allowing you to reach the company’s business goals.
The benefits of introducing BPM are:
- Improvement of operational efficiency,
- Reduction of human errors thanks to standardization,
- Increase in employee efficiency thanks to automation tools, providing staff to focus on matters requiring human intervention,
- Facilitation of continuous improvements in business processes with extra time to identify automation and other process enhancements,
- Identification of bottlenecks via embedded analytics, allowing increased visibility in process performance.
- Streamlining workflows by automation of tedious tasks.
The Challenges of BPM
Implementing BPM can be a challenging process, you must be well-prepared to face it and plan a well-run and well-executed BPM strategy. This way, you will be able to maximize the benefits of BPM.
The common challenges faced by organizations attempting to implement BPM:
- Lack of clarity on business goals and objectives,
- Difficulties in gaining unanimity of buy-in from leadership,
- Lack of testing infrastructure,
- Lack of set and clear KPIs,
- Presence processes are invisible at first glance making them susceptible to breakdowns,
- Lack of flexibility in third-party contracts,
- Shallow BPM understanding – BPM is an end-to-end business process, not just a technology.