The most efficient businesses know how to pair people and technology to fulfil processes that achieve optimal results. Business process management is a robust discipline that can be applied to analyse and optimise business processes such that systems, people and information are aligned with business strategy to produce desired results.
Let’s take a look at how business processes can be enacted, as well as the benefit of automation solutions within the practice of process management.
Business process management refers to how organisations analyse, measure, design and improve business processes. It’s a framework that helps to see how various processes across departments are functioning or could be functioning to boost productivity and maximise efficiency.
With the ability to view all processes (that are seemingly disparate, but tend to actually be interdependent) within an organisation, there’s a clear picture as to how to implement automation solutions to streamline functions.
Business processes are repetitive by nature and tend to follow a predictable pattern, which makes it possible to manage them by applying the right methods and technological solutions.
Business process management is meant to be performed on a continuous basis. This is because processes are malleable and should be adaptive to their environment.
Since processes are enacted to achieve business goals, their steps may be updated based on business strategy.
Consider this business process approach for best results:
Before implementing business process management, it’s necessary to understand the differentiation between a task and a project. Regardless of your organisation’s size, your team will be responsible for handling tasks, projects and processes.
Task management refers to organising specific duties that come from a project. Projects tend to be one-time only, with a start and finish. Task management can be optimised with the aid of project management software, like Trello or Asana, for example.
Business process management necessitates automation software solutions, by which entire processes can be adequately and seamlessly managed. Processes are repetitive, and in turn, predictable. Therefore, robotic process automation can be applied to handle the steps and streamline a process from end-to-end.
There’s an old saying that goes, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
In a business setting, the way one process runs will dictate outcomes much larger than the process itself. Businesses also have a lot of moving parts and people. With BPM, every individual can clearly see how processes work together for outcomes greater than themselves. This boosts employee morale and can help each team member understand their respective roles and responsibilities as part of the big picture.
In order to run efficiently, minimise costs and maximise outputs, there must be clearly defined procedures. Chaotic processes that are mismanaged or ignored can create negative effects like:
Business process management is an organised approach that leads to efficiency. Furthermore, with the massive amounts of growing data that companies rely on, BPM can simplify and standardise data collection, transformation, storage and visualisation so that stakeholders can benefit from useful insights.
BPM can be considered a life cycle that is used to identify, outline, develop and maintain business process steps.
Here’s how it works in practice:
An effective BPM strategy is only possible if there’s buy-in from key decision-makers. This is not only true because it requires investment in technological solutions, but also because transitioning staff will rely on a top-down approach to change management.
In this step, you’ll want to clearly define and identify business processes. Then, you can decide which processes are ripe for automation. Some criteria that help to define business processes that should be automated include: repetitive in nature, dependent on data, have a clear start and finish, and are measurable.
This grants your team a way to see what tasks are part of the process, who is responsible at each step along the way, and what kind of resources (including, time, money, and technology) are relevant.
You can also maintain peace of mind by first testing the process with a small group before expanding it across the organisation in real-time.
Given the vast amount of business processes in existence, we can classify business process management based on its intentions.
Let’s take a look at three types of business processes and their categories of management:
While intentions matter in business, the most important factors are outcomes and results. Business process management exists so that organisations can achieve their goals in the most efficient way possible.
Take a look at some benefits that BPM provides:
To best understand how much business process management matters within an organisation of any size, let’s review some examples from different departments.
As finance professionals focus on high-level tasks, they must still take care of expense report approvals, for example. With emails and paper trails from various departments, finance teams can leverage BPM and automation solutions to manage such requests digitally through an automated approval process.
While BPM isn’t meant to be a synonym for automation, it does encompass the use of technology solutions to aid humans in fulfilling processes. BPM is an overall framework to align software, people, and systems to create, design, execute and monitor business processes.
The good news is that the upfront investment of an automation tool will end up paying dividends because it leads to reduced costs, increased efficiency and scalable results. Furthermore, solutions no longer require coders or highly-skilled personnel to implement. This makes it easy for businesses to deploy automation technology and reap benefits almost immediately.
Since automation solutions are a piece of the puzzle, it’s best to know what features BPM software should include for best results:
Business process management helps organisations streamline their workflows and helps to automate processes so that teams can meet and exceed business objectives. Organisations of all sizes can reap the benefits of automation and strategic BPM in order to reduce costs, optimise productivity and streamline processes.
Looking for ideas for process improvement? Read these process improvement examples and best-in-class tips to make your business run better.
There are many continuous improvement methods to choose from. Check out this summary of your options, and how automation solutions can help.