Ever since the inception of the first business, the key to success has been managing business processes. A major part of business process management is concerned with analyzing the change and optimizing processes with minimal contortion. It was a challenging task until technological advancements started taking place. With the change in time, organizations inclined towards automating processes. Now, there is a tool available for every management process, right from scheduling meetings to creating reports.
Besides that, every active tool or part of the business plays a vital role which can be hard to assess and manage at times. Business process management can be used to eliminate all unnecessary bloat and make the most out of the available resources. This guide here unfolds what BPM is and how it assists in eliminating human errors.
What is Business Process Management (BPM)?
Business process management, in a nutshell, is every effort manager makes to standardize the processes in an organization. It is focused to decrease the overall operational cost by eliminating unnecessary activities and rework.
Every department in an organization is responsible for converting raw data or material into something economically valuable. There are many core processes every department carries out to produce a legitimate end result. At times like this, business process management allows managers to take a step back and formulate strategies to smoothly carry out these core processes.
Business process management can also be defined as a long-term strategy for evaluating and improving business activities.
Is BPM a Software?
No, business process management is not software. It is an activity undertaken by managers to ensure smooth business processes. There are plenty of BPM tools all across the internet, specifically designed to lighten the burden of managers. For instance, BPM tools can automate complex and repetitive tasks in a business process. Is BPM the same as task or project management?
Task management or project management is all about arranging and handling a set of activities that arises in a particular project. Most of these activities are not repeatable in nature. For instance, JIRA, and Asana are some aids for delegating and managing the tasks related to a particular project. Whereas, business process management focuses on repetitive and ongoing processes that follow a predictable pattern.
So, business process management is not the same as task management or project management, serving an entirely different purpose in an organization.
Benefits of Business Process Management
BPM can be used on an ongoing basis to improve business processes. Typically, business process management is undertaken to increase the efficiency of core activities in a business. It aims to eliminate any chaos within the business and promote a swift flow of information. Here are some benefits of implementing business processes management:
1. Recognize and respond to new or potent customers
2. Reduce overall operational cost
3. Increase productivity
4. Retaining customers becomes easier
5. Better cross-departmental collaboration
What happens when an organization lacks Business Process Management?
Organizations are often reluctant when it comes to exercising business process management. It is considered an expensive activity, which is partially true. Legacy BPM software is pricey and does not meet the present-day requirements of organizations.
Now, what exactly happens when organizations lack business process management? Below listed are a couple of scenarios that may arise:
1. A well-executed process management plan can help in eliminating all waste. On the contrary, poor business process management can lead to inefficiencies and hamper the quality of services.
2. BPM is an ongoing process, managers continually focus on uncovering ways to adapt to new market trends. Without BPM, one can witness a decline in terms of organizational growth.
3. The dynamics of business are changing at a remarkable pace, BPM aims to analyze the pace and innovate accordingly. Sticking to your old business model might help your competitors outdo you.
Business process management is mostly about making the best of situations while constantly looking for growth opportunities. Once in action, you will start noticing the reaping benefits of BPM.
What are the steps involved in Business Process Management?
As we discussed above, business process management is an ongoing process. Every step involved is an essential part of the entire model. Although the segmentation of these very often depends on the organization's model as well.
To suffice all of this in a safe summary, we have discussed brief details of all the steps involved in business process management below.
Initially, most BPM starts with mapping the workflow and collecting data from all the departments. Managers can conduct an interview or create a form with the necessary inputs to gather information. The goal at this stage is to understand the ground rules of the business and analyze if the goals are adequately aligned with the process.
Modeling is the process of creating a visual representation of your understanding. Keep an eye on the details like the flow of information/data, assess dependencies, and sequence of events. In simple words, this stage is all about stating a clear start to the endpoint and eliminating any redundancy arising in between the process.
It is naive to open up the new process to all groups without properly testing it. Managers start executing the new process in small groups without disclosing too much information. Typically, execution holds core importance in BPM; it can be performed through automation or manually.
Close monitoring is the key to successful business process management. Study the metrics to note effectiveness, efficiency, and progress.
As you continue to monitor and locate areas of trouble, you can optimize the process at this stage. Follow a similar process and when everything goes as planned, open the process to larger groups.
Types of BPM Systems
Long gone is the time when IT professionals were the only person concerned with BPM systems. Now, individuals actively look for software that may contribute to improvement in business.
BPM systems are classified into 3 major categories according to their ability to meet organizational requirements. These are:
As the name implies, human-centric BPM systems are processes that are executed by humans. Friendly interface, clear tracking, and easy notifications are traits that define human-centric systems. Other than that, such systems are not easily replaceable. For instance, automation cannot easily replace on-call customer service or cannot handle complaints as well as humans.
A swift flow of the document is the core feature of the document-centric system. Features range from verifying, to editing and then signing documents in case of contracts as it passes through the workflow.
Integration-centric systems require minimal to zero involvement of humans. Such systems are your ideal companion while creating fast and efficient workflows. It handles processes that circumvent your existing systems like CRM and ERP.
When must you choose business processes management systems (BPMS)?
Witnessing inefficiencies in your existing business process is your first sign, the second can be demoralized employees. There are many such signs you might want to keep an eye on before your business slips out.
1. If a certain process takes longer than the required time, the overall efficiency of the organization is displaced. If you notice such inefficiencies often, BPMS is the way to go.
2. When your business objectives do not align with your process, BPMS can be introduced to brainstorm strategies and accurately link people, and performance with clear metrics.
3. Organizations that require more than one legacy software for their process should consider the switch.
4. Organizations constrained to a particular geographical and failing to expand after several attempts might benefit from BPMS.