Business Process Analysis: Expert Tips, Steps & Tools

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If the opportunity to improve upon your business processes strikes, would you take it? In most cases, the opportunities won’t just appear – it takes some planning and work to uncover them, which is what business process analysis allows for.

In this article, we will share business process analysis examples and explore the benefits of business process analysis.

Coming Up

1. What is Business Process Analysis?

2. What are the Benefits of Business Process Analysis?

3. What is the Relevance of Business Process Analysis for Trade?

4. What is the Difference Between Business Process Analysis and Business Analysis?

5. What are the Methods of Business Process Analysis?

6. When to Use Business Process Analysis?

7. What are Examples of Business Process Analysis?

8. What are the Tools of Business Process Analysis?

9. Who is Responsible for Business Process Analysis?

10. What is Automation and Business Process Analysis?

11. Wrapping Up

What is Business Process Analysis?

Business process analysis (BPA) is a subset of business process management (BPM). The goal of business process analysis is to evaluate current processes that can be made more effective or efficient. Once you analyse business processes, you can make improvements upon them based on data.

Many organisations rely on a business analyst or process architect to conduct business process analysis. However, automated software solutions are making it possible for teams without extensive analytical knowledge or coding skills to do so themselves with access to process mapping tools and automated analysis functions.

What are the Benefits of Business Process Analysis?

Upon conducting business process analysis, you’ll be able to make your processes better than before. This leads to many inherent advantages, including:

1. Increased Efficiency

BPA streamlines processes and saves time during operational workflows. This leads to a faster time-to-value for products and services.

2. Improved Governance

Every type of business faces forms of risk, from compliance to strategic risks. Business process analysis supports transparency and visibility into business processes that may reveal if compliance measures have faltered.

This way, your organisation can put an improvement plan into action to correct for this case, if it happens.

3. Cost Savings

You can locate redundancies in tasks and labour by conducting business process analysis that can end up saving money once you remove them.

4. Key Person Dependencies and Bottlenecks

Many processes hit snags when an approval is delayed or the process depends on a single person to move it forward, but that person is out of office or sick for a day. Business process analysis can uncover these downfalls, which can be resolved with automation software.

5. Enhanced Company Culture

Efficient business processes help to clear headspace and alleviate stress. This resolves in an overall better employee experience, which can even end up reducing turnover or employee disengagement.

What is the Relevance of Business Process Analysis for Trade?

With increased globalisation and connection around the world, cross-border trade is a common business practice. Business process analysis can be practiced to identify bottlenecks and make improvements across the multiple steps and processes involved in trade.

Since business process analysis includes documenting processes step-by-step with visualisations, this stage alone can help to clear up any inefficiencies.

What is the Difference Between Business Process Analysis and Business Analysis?

When learning about business process analysis, it’s easy to confuse the practice with business analysis (BA). While both are related to business process management, BPA is focused on specific process analysis and involves business process modelling.

Business analysis takes into consideration the overall business operation landscape, including budgets, hiring, cost analysis, and financial forecasting, to name a few.

What are the Methods of Business Process Analysis?

To execute business process analysis within your organisation, you have options as to which methods you use. There are two main philosophies that dominate the realm of business process analysis, including:

1. Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a 5-7 step methodology that many businesses use to analyse restraints and efficiencies. Six Sigma uses data analysis and statistics to reduce errors or defects and conduct analysis. It was initially created by an American engineer named Bill Smith, while he was working at Motorola in 1986.

2. Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a team-focused approach that aims to improve performance through the reduction of waste and defects. It combines the Six Sigma approach with the lean enterprise philosophy. Ultimately, Lean Six Sigma looks to eliminate any resource use that doesn’t add value for the end customer.

Overall, business process analysis checks off the following steps:

  • Define: The identification of processes to analyse. Businesses usually begin with processes in which problems arise.
  • Measure: Analysts or business professionals will measure how the business process functions against set metrics or benchmarks.
  • Analyse: With a variety of analysis techniques to choose from, analysis is conducted to decipher what’s considered waste in the process and can be used to determine the root cause of any issues.
  • Improve: Then, it’s time to make improvements! Improvements may come from remapping a process, reallocating resources, or communicating differently.
  • Control: After the new process has been implemented, it’s important to continue monitoring and controlling the new standards to ensure that the process is operating as intended.

As you can deduce, business process analysis requires agility. With automation solutions, you can map and execute processes with the click of a button and make changes on the fly.

This way, you have all processes contained and adequately managed with internal control so you can continuously perform business process analysis and make improvements.

When to Use Business Process Analysis?

There’s never a bad time to give business process analysis a go. Some organisations choose to formally audit their processes on a quarterly or annual basis. Others may only take stock of their processes when something is going wrong or a new technology has been introduced.

Regardless of when or how you choose to do it, business process analysis should be a fundamental and recurring practice in an organisation. It allows you to consider your as-is processes and map them to how you want them to-be.

There are some clear cut cases as to when business process analysis could help:

  • Your business is experiencing increased complaints or delays
  • Stakeholders are unsure how to execute a process
  • A team wishes to replace or update a process

What are Examples of Business Process Analysis?

Business process analysis can be performed in many different cases.

Some process analysis examples include:

  • Analysing marketing processes to understand customer engagement through the sales funnel
  • Reviewing how the organisation is faring in adopting a new technology
  • Checking the employee onboarding process to see how well it aligns with company culture and if it promotes employee engagement

What are the Tools of Business Process Analysis?

Rather than having to conduct business process analysis manually (which would be ironic since it’s often the manual processes that require improvement), you can make use of business process analysis tools and software to help.

For example, you can start by using simple tools for process mapping. These tools allow you to visualise processes and document the steps. You can also rely on extensive BPA and BPM tools that increase analytical capabilities and promote collaboration.

Additionally, you can implement no-code or low-code automation solutions that make it easy to adjust processes, map them, and execute them automatically. Then, you can gain real-time insights from analytics to gauge how your processes are running.

Who is Responsible for Business Process Analysis?

By now, you may be itching to get started on your own business process analysis. But, who should be in charge?

Some companies hire third-party consultants to manage BPA. Larger enterprises may look to bring a business process analyst or process architect in-house to get the job done.

Alternatively, you can rely on your internal team to perform BPA, too. To go this route, be sure to include all the employees and stakeholders that take part in a process to share their feedback and provide insights about their experience.

With more diverse perspectives and on-the-ground hands involved, you can design efficient process improvements together.

What is Automation and Business Process Analysis?

With technological advancements and hyper automation occurring across industries, business process analysis goes hand-in-hand with automation solutions.

Automation supports streamlined processes and is able to quickly remove inefficiencies. When moving towards automation solutions, you may want to consider:

  • The key areas you wish to automate and the reasons why
  • Where you currently rely on manual processes and experience manual errors
  • Any high-volume and costly processes (as these benefit most from automation immediately)

As you implement automation solutions, you’ll be able to standardise processes across the board. Since you begin with process mapping, everyone gains clarity as to what the process entails and who is involved.

Then, you’ll be able to execute processes automatically and with increased efficiency. As a result, it’ll become easier to scale operations and improve processes continuously and with agility.

Wrapping Up

Business process analysis is incredibly valuable for businesses of any size. Whether you operate with a handful of processes or countless processes, the potential for improvement always exists.

With the help of automation solutions, you can carry out business process analysis and implement updated processes seamlessly. The solutions allow you to map processes, gain insights from analytics, and automate the workflows to improve experiences for customers and employees alike.

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