Virtually all businesses always deal with at least one business process. Some companies may only have just one relatively simple process running the whole business. However, some others might involve complex interconnected processes that are very difficult to manage.
The business processes are not merely concepts and formalities, but whether the business process is optimized or not can make or break the organization. The more efficient an organization executes its business processes, the more productive it will be and grow faster.
In this very competitive business landscape, properly managing and optimizing your business process is becoming increasingly important, and this is where Business Process Management, or BPM, comes in.
What Is Business Process Management
Business Process Management, or BPM, is developing, managing, and optimizing your business process so you can achieve your business goals more efficiently.
A business process, or process workflow, is a set of sequential tasks that either transforms raw material into processed goods or raw data into a processed form to achieve a specific business objective.
For example, in a manufacturing business, raw materials may be transformed into a smartphone. This is a business process.
On the other hand, data in an excel sheet may be processed into a comprehensive annual report. This is another example of a business process.
BPM, essentially, is about visualizing/mapping, analyzing, and optimizing these processes, so they are as efficient as possible.
Why Business Process Management Is Important
The ultimate goal of BPM is to improve the organization’s overall efficiency and productivity, which in turn, can produce the following benefits:
- Cost Reduction
Business Process Management would allow businesses to manage their resources and reduce costs more efficiently.
Inefficient business processes waste the organization’s valuable time, resources, and money, and without BPM, there might be inefficiencies and bottlenecks that are difficult to identify.
- Improved Agility
In today’s competitive business environment, organizations demand to be agile and adaptive to react to rapid changes quickly.
BPM provides organizations with more insights into their business processes, and with better understanding comes speed and agility. With BPM in place, companies can make real-time adjustments to their business processes as soon as they identify a problem so any issue can get resolved in minimal time.
- Transparency and Accountability
With a BPM software solution in place, businesses can track and monitor business processes from start to finish. This will provide a centralized location to monitor everything related to the business process: who’s in charge of which task, which task is nearing deadline, who’s neglecting work, and so on.
This will improve the transparency of the business process and accountability for everyone involved, enhancing the organization’s overall productivity.
- Standardized Process
A key step of BPM is to visualize and map the business process. We now have a reliable way to transfer standardized business knowledge to new employees with a standardized workflow map.
This way, when experienced employees leave the business for one reason or another, we don’t need to rely on this employee’s knowledge of any business process. With a BPM management system like Aproove, organizations can have a centralized hub to store well-documented business process maps to facilitate standardization.
- Ensured Compliance and Security
For businesses in heavily regulated industries (i.e., healthcare, manufacturing), BPM can help the organization stay compliant with applicable regulations. BPM can help organizations identify potential hazards and monitor the execution of business processes while avoiding these risks.
Because each step of the business process is mapped in detail, businesses can ensure all the necessary reporting and documentation are in place to assist the organization with compliance while at the same time improving workplace safety and security for everyone’s benefit.
How To Implement BPM
We can divide the actual implementation of Business Process Management into three distinct phases:
- Business process mapping
- Business process analysis
- Business process optimization
1. Business process mapping
The first step of BPM is to visualize the business process in a workflow diagram.
We can use various methods here, but the most common technique is to use a basic ANSI flowchart.
As we know, there are various symbols in an ANSI flowchart, but there are four most important ones:
Terminator: oval shape, represents the start and end points of a process
Operation: rectangle shape, represents a specific task that is performed
Decision: diamond shape, represents a point in the process where a decision must be made (i.e. Yes/No) before we can move on to the next step.
Arrows: the arrows are used to connect different shapes in the workflow, representing the flow of information.
2. Business process analysis
Once the business process is properly visualized, we can analyze the process diagram while considering four key things:
- What’s the objective of the business process?
- Whether the sequence of steps the process is executed is already optimized
- The reason behind each step, and whether any step can be substituted or eliminated
- Roles of different teams/departments and individuals in the process
The objective of the analysis process, while considering the above, is to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks, so we can create a comprehensive plan on how to improve the process.
3. Business process optimization
Based on the analysis, we now implement the planned changes to the business process.
It’s crucial to evaluate the business process after changes have been implemented. Involve team members and stakeholders directly involved in the process to identify whether there’s indeed a positive effect after the optimization.
Business Process Management (BPM) is about mapping, analyzing, and optimizing a business process (or processes) to ensure it is as efficient as possible.
BPM can help you identify which business processes are already optimized and which can be further improved when appropriately implemented. As a result, we can improve the organization’s efficiency in achieving its objectives while also maintaining our team’s morale in executing their tasks.