Business Process Management (BPM) is a systematic approach to make an organization’s processes more efficient and dynamic in order to meet the changing needs of a business. It builds on the concepts of business processes and business process automation to help your business deliver to its internal and external stakeholders. Essentially, business processes are the wheels and cogs of a business while BPM is the maintenance and support to keep the parts operating in an optimal fashion. BPM takes a look at the way a business tries to achieve its goals and then finds ways to do it better and help enable growth. The benefits of it being done well will result in reduced costs, more flexibility and agility, higher productivity, better employee satisfaction, and measurable results – all critical elements to any business.
A business process (or a similar workflow) forms the lifeline for any business, helps streamline individual activities, and ensures resources are put to their optimum use. Here are some of the key reasons to have a well-defined business process in place:
- Identify what tasks are important to your larger business goals. This analysis will help determine where to focus energy. You may quickly encounter the Pareto Principle where 20% of the processes or effort will result in 80% of the results.
- Simplify them to improve efficiency. Once the most critical tasks are identified, these are then the ones to focus on and optimize to better serve your business. You can work to make these processes more efficient or more adaptable for your business needs.
- Streamline communication to accomplish specific tasks. When all of your team members are in sync they are going to be more productive, more efficient, and more satisfied. Knowing how others are going to contribute to a process (and trusting the process) leads to greater corporate resilience when an employee is out sick or does move on to a new job.
- Keep chaos from creeping into your day-to-day operations. This point is a corollary to the communication point above. Consistency in operations and delivery will make customers and employees happier which should translate to a better bottom line for the company as well.
Related to business process management is business process automation – a method where you use technology to automate a accelerate and/or reduce the cost of the process. This approach could be a part of BPM but is not BPM in itself. A simple proof of this is the fact that there is an infinite number of processes that could be managed, optimized and monitored without ever being automated – the structure of a meeting for example. Additionally, it is possible to automate an inefficient process which isn’t optimizing the process for the good of the company. Automation is ideal for achieving greater efficiency and reducing human – just make sure you the automation improves the effectiveness of your company.
BPM is an ongoing approach to continuously make execution of business processes better. There are a plethora of tools available to help businesses implement BPM for their specific situations. The business process management concepts encourage businesses to design, model, execute, monitor, and optimize your processes in a more structured way to help you improve the effectiveness of your business. Even if you do not use the some of the BPM tools, the implementation of BPM concepts will help your company identify undocumented processes as well as areas for improvement. At the end of the day, a company operating smoothly will generally produce happier employees and customers leading to lower turnover costs, increased productivity, and greater revenue – all great things for a business.
As part of our Virtual CIO offering, we help organizations with their business process management so that they can take focus on growing their businesses knowing that their critical knowledge is available for all internally. If you have any questions or feedback about BPM or our VCIO services reach out to us!