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Regardless of industry, every company incorporates regulated internal processes. They ensure that standard tasks are performed consistently. When these processes are not clearly detailed, they create confusion from which procedures run inefficiently. The consequences are a reduction of operational productivity and efficiency. It is, therefore, important for organizations to define processes and explore ways to modernize and improve internal systems. To give you a clear understanding of how it’s supposed to be done, let’s explain what business process management is.
What is business process management?
A business process is a set of steps taken by a group of employees or stakeholders to achieve a defined goal. Each step requires the completion of a specific task in order to proceed to the next step.
A business process management (BPM) is, therefore, the practice involving all the steps to complete the said task. It involves modeling, executing, monitoring, and optimizing the business activity flows.
Why is business process management important?
Business process management is a practical exercise that helps everyone in an organization better understand how a process works. Through modeling, BPM creates visual representations of processes. It gives employees a clear idea of what they are supposed to do, how to do it, and their role in helping the organization achieve its business goals. These well-documented processes also help train and onboard new employees fast.
Improving a business process requires the organization to identify its weaknesses. Many businesses make the mistake of addressing weaknesses on the fly without fully appreciating the root cause of a bottleneck or performance problem. Being able to identify where the problem comes from is crucial to optimize the process to ensure that it doesn’t reappear. In other words, to fix a problem, you need to know that it exists.
The business environment is really competitive and challenging. It is crucial for organizations to improve margins through cost reductions. Business process management gives stakeholders a complete appreciation of the costs involved in a particular process. It allows them to identify waste and areas where they can make savings. To do so, automation technologies enable employees to focus on things that are more valuable to the business, such as closing more deals or better customer service.
To summarize, business process management enables executives to improve and manage the operational performance of their organizations by:
- Reducing risk.
- Eliminating duplicate tasks.
- Streamlining internal communication.
- Optimizing resource utilization.
- Improving productivity.
- Standardizing procedures.
- Promoting accountability.
Pillars of a business process management system
A business process is most understandable as a set of activities or transactions that are performed regularly. Some examples of processes are onboarding an employee, signing up a new customer, or analyzing and responding to a loan application.
In most cases, processes require input from multiple stakeholders within an organization’s teams, potentially involving both internal and external users. Processes also require a variety of data types that could incorporate repeatable workflows.
A business process management system relies on identifying an organization’s processes, mapping their interaction, and identifying automation opportunities. The system then implements the scripts and data engines necessary to execute those automation systems. BPM systems also enable companies to establish and enforce internal policies and rules based on the process frameworks they implement.
Employees are the foundation of almost every facet of a company’s success. It’s even more valid for companies that adopt service-based business models that focus on creating positive customer experiences rather than simply delivering a product. The ability to keep customers happy and engaged through great customer relationships is becoming the key competitive differentiator among companies nowadays.
With a business process management system, companies access a variety of tools that help people have positive interaction within a company. It integrates task management capabilities into operations so employees can focus on what they need to do.
A BPM system also provides visibility into real-time data and analytics. In practice, this means that your employees gain customer insights during these interactions, resulting in more productive and efficient interactions. You also access analytics that provide vital performance information and insight that enables employees to make better decisions daily.
BPM also helps you match processes to employee skills so that employees are assigned the tasks best suited to their skills and are fully empowered to perform well at all times. In the same order of idea, it integrates process functionality into applications so that workers can perform a wide range of operations without having to switch between systems.
These capabilities add up to a people-centric work environment, where companies can eliminate many of the tedious operations and bureaucratic procedures that can distract workers from customer interactions and value-based tasks.
Digital technologies are now essential in enterprises, but the value of IT innovation is directly associated with aligning technology with business needs. Devoting resources to big data will have limited value if your users can’t access analytic information in a usable way. Enabling your employees to create content and data to improve operations is invaluable, but only if that data isn’t siloed in isolated parts of the business.BPM has always been focused on people and processes and has since evolved into an enabler of digital transformation by adding technology to the equation as well.
Business process management incorporates data into user dashboards. BPM systems gather data from across the organization and leverage their process knowledge to organize this information consistently. The data is then visualized on dashboards that update in real-time and allow employees to get the information they need quickly.
BPM systems also align process and application functionality. Process intelligence is integrated with application development through cloud-based platforms that host low-code application building capabilities in a consistent environment. Data and process frameworks can reside in the application development platform, allowing IT teams and citizen developers to ensure that application functionality aligns directly with process needs.
Another reason why technology is a pillar of business process management is that it accelerates application delivery. Application platforms used to support rapid development also enable rapid deployment, as they provide a robust underlying infrastructure for API integration and native compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems.
The information collected allows an in-depth analysis of the software’s patterns and trends across the enterprise. Built-in reporting tools allow users to create customized, dynamic reports from within the platform. At the same time, robust analytics enable predictive modeling and help organizations anticipate changing requirements and adjust process models accordingly.
The anatomy of a business process management system
This first step is to clarify the reasons and motivations for designing a business process. Depending on your situation or the size of your organization, this task can be relatively simple or more complex. In fact, your needs could go from accommodating growth to onboarding a whole new system. The first question you should ask yourself is how the process is going to benefit the organization.
Business process modeling
The modeling phase analyzes the details of a process from start to finish. From here, process or workflow modeling software can be used to create a diagram or flowchart to visualize the entire process.
During the modeling phase, pain points and areas for improvement should be identified. The identification of potential problems gives companies the opportunity to undertake risk management initiatives in a preventive manner.
Business process execution
The execution stage enacts the business processes modeled. It is essential that end-users are at the center of this stage, as they will interact most strongly with the process. The identification of pain points, bottlenecks, and potential problem areas should be particularly focused on at this stage.
Business process monitoring
The execution phase provides some key performance indicators, commonly abbreviated to KPIs. They are measured during this step. KPIs monitor various components of a business process in order to give you a real overview of what’s wrong with your processes.
Improvements and corrective actions can be implemented with the data collected during the monitoring phase.
The optimization stage is where you fix any inconsistency between process modeling and actual performance levels. Once this step is completed, the BPM life cycle can start anew.
BPM systems are undoubtedly an essential tool for business growth. Companies can drastically improve their productivity and make more savings by putting focus on the essential pillars and by mastering the anatomy of a business process management system. In order to optimize all your processes, a CRM like Wingmateapp is to work together, sell more, and save more.
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