Brief Background

Business Process Management has plenty of benefits that revamp your business operations in a long-term scale. It touches on different stages of your entity that makes it worth the investment.

Companies often think about the importance of business process management. Its financial weight on the entity strikes the decision-makers most because consultants tend to charge overarching rates. Decision-makers must calculate the return on the investment first and its underlying risks prior to drawing any conclusions.

Business Process Management (BPM) has many benefits. One is organizational agility. Organizational agility equips the business with the foundation to be robust in any given changes–market demands, new regulations, or technological advancements–which mounts up the life of the business. Another benefit is sustainability where risks are immediately anticipated and mitigated. BPM re-engineers complex business processes to increase productivity and growth.

As you read this paper, you will learn the basic principles of BPM and ways that it can contribute to businesses. The paper tackles the life cycle of BPM and the role of each stage. It also consists of factors that will boost employee productivity and business performance. At the end of the document, you will learn the techniques of successful BPM application and why you should invest in BPM.

Business Process Management essentially means improving processes, leveraging manpower, and automating manual work.

Business Process Management (BPM) can mean many things to different people. BPM is the means of improving processes, leveraging manpower, and automating manual work. It focuses on a value-driven optimization from a customer’s perspective. It highlights the importance of people as much as processes. BPM helps organizations align their goals to their current state and prepare them for future changes.

Business Process Management is broad. It covers almost the full scope of your operations.

BPM is a broad framework that comprises every approach, technique, method, and technology the organization possesses. It is an ongoing process improvement that encompasses evolving business strategy. BPM deals with each element of the entity and sharpens its competitive edge. It not only revolves around the present point, but it ranges until the end of business life.

Life Cycle of Business Process Management

Business Process Management is a continuous process improvement.

Business Process Management is a continuous process improvement. It involves discovery, analysis, design and model, implementation, and monitoring. BPM is designed to be technology-enabled to accelerate the completion of each stage containing complex activities. Improving the processes and workflows of the organization amplifies its ability to adapt to an ever-changing business environment as well as immunize against systematic failures.

Involvement is one of the keys to success. Key stakeholders must find time to participate in the meetings and understand the whole project plan.

Before initiating BPM, promoting involvement is a key to success. Key stakeholders should allot enough time to be present during meetings and raise concerns as soon as possible. Their role as the communicator and leader earn employees’ support. Once everyone understands what’s going on, the rest of the employees are encouraged to succeed in their work and adhere to changes.

Clearly communicating the purpose of change helps everyone to be on the same line of thought. This improves the chances of achieving your goals and objectives. Getting them onboard motivates them to accept and abide with the change in processes or policies. From there, it influences entry to mid-level employees to accept reorganization.

1. Discovery

In Discovery phase, all the divisions of the business should be handled.

Discovery phase focuses on identifying business elements that follow: (1) locations, (2) departments, (3) functional groups, (4) teams, (5) business rules, (6) process workflows, (7) procedures, and (8) forms and reports.

Discovery is one of the most important parts of the life cycle. It helps you find shortfalls.

Discovery phase is a critical aspect of BPM. It delves into every document and involves dialogue with key stakeholders. Discovery focuses on understanding the business process and where the gaps fall. Knowing the gaps between processes helps the project team identify potential areas of improvement.

Processes and documents of each department are assessed.

There are four basic departments within an organization: marketing, finance, operations, and human resources. Functional groups exist within these departments that are designated to work accordingly with their job functions. Identifying their scope of work helps you structure the right approach during the discovery phase. Start by scoping out all the business rules or process documents.

Connecting every procedure, form, and report to business rules is a requisite.

Mapping is part of the discovery phase where all procedures, forms, and reports are linked to each business rule. Its sole purpose is to identify their relationship and determine the areas of inefficiencies. Mapping is a crucial part to uncover bottlenecks, errors, process times, and everything else that contributes to lags.

Being meticulous is crucial.

Discovery phase ingests effort and time. Being meticulous helps spot the gaps and information needed for documentation. It entails manual work that consumes one’s time. Documents require organization, proper formatting, and automation that lengthens the duration of the project. However, many other reasons may come up that prolong the cycle. Equally delegating tasks boosts the deliverables to finish on time.

Use an automation tool to speed up manual work.

Using an automation tool is one way to track your progress and streamline work. Make sure that this tool is user-friendly so everyone can collaborate and help the organization as you build the process inventory. It becomes more vital along the process especially when the BPM steps extends to a broader organizational perspective.

2. Analysis

Analysis phase is where you probe the findings you’ve gathered during the discovery stage.

Analysis phase examines business elements gathered from the discovery phase. The following criteria is used for assessment: (a) relevance, (b) validity, (c) accuracy, (d) clarity, and (e) consistency.

Different types of analyses are used for assessment and give the consultant an idea of the core issues the business should address.

Gap analysis is one facet that should be probed in-depth. Identifying the gaps between processes, business rules, or communication can provide context on the points to address.

Second is the value-added analysis where futile activities are tracked down. Futile activities can be either improved or eradicated.

Third is the root cause analysis–this is the most important factor in the analysis stage. Finding and eliminating the basis of the problem prevents it from arising. It drastically enhances the performance of the organization when the root cause has been solved.

Observing staff and employees work in action may be necessary to see where the errors and delays occur. Lastly, talking to representatives from each level of the organization provides different viewpoints that shape your solution.

3. Design and Model 

Create a solid plan for your solutions. It is helpful for presentations.

Design and Model phase is where your solutions are formed. Solutions should be valuable, sustainable, and perpetual for the entity. Creating some visuals to illustrate your idea gives clarity to the audience. Your audience will notice that you have it all planned out by showing a step-by-step implementation plan until the end of the cycle.

Visualize your plan and develop illustrations to communicate it.

Modeling the proposed solution is the best way to have a clear picture of what’s next. The collection of data and performance metrics should provide an indication of the project’s progress. It enables you to analyze the processes for improvement and the loopholes to concentrate on immediately.

4. Implementation

Practice People Management and Change Management for an effective implementation process.

Implementation is the process of applying solutions or changes to business activities. These changes are regarded as profitable to the business. It serves as an alignment between stakeholder satisfaction and standardized processes in an integrated manner from a systematic model.

Project managers propose their solutions to the key stakeholders before its full implementation. As soon as the recommendation is approved by the management, project managers start to change the current practices of the business. Performance metrics are well-outlined to help monitor the implementation process over its course.

It is important that all departments collaborate together and communicate from time to time. This collective approach avoids errors, conflicting goals, reworks, and chronic arguments across departments. Communication and commitment of stakeholders are core factors for successful organizational transformation.

5. Monitor

Monitoring each stage is as important as overseeing change application.

There are 3 monitoring concentrations: process monitoring, functional monitoring, and technical monitoring.

These concentrations help you see the performance of each segment. Defining the monitoring process for each one gives you the authority to unmask real issues and progress. This type of monitoring system also prevents metrics from colliding where it could be possible for one to have a wrong set of performance indicators.   

Process Monitoring

Process monitoring is observing the average process cycle time, number of process errors, cost of process cycle, process terminated, and other spheres that your business values.

Functional Monitoring

Functional monitoring focuses on the core performance of the process, which reports the number of tasks below the target, tasks above the target, and at par.

Technical Monitoring

Technical monitoring includes down times, response times, and process errors. Various monitoring tools and indicators can be used to track every phase.

Critical Success Factors

Planning

BPM Planning defines the actions that should be taken to improve the entity. It translates the vision of the business into action plans and positions the approach to optimizing processes. Devising a plan beforehand is essential to drive the project. It has a tremendous effect on the people involved. Key stakeholders unconsciously construct self-motivation for themselves.

Management Commitment

A decent amount of time and commitment dedicated to the project is critical to get the project going. Knowing that the management has the perseverance to steer this project encourages the employees to take the deliverables seriously.

Strategic Alignment

Strategic alignment is a method to correlate business processes and strategies. It allows the organization to visualize its lifespan and measure the probability of attaining goals. Aligning strategies to your business goals leads to effective business process management.

Program Vision

Program vision serves as a compelling force to the organization and project team. A vision gives the employees the purpose of their work that engages them to perform well.

Task Ownership

Each member of the BPM team is delegated to a specific task. Members should be on the same page regarding the working tasks they are assigned to. Project managers must be able to relay this message across the team. Properly outlining and delegating tasks allows the manager to acknowledge which tasks have not been assigned yet. It also helps to determine independent and dependent task relationships.

Process Standardization

Unifying procedures from all departments presents a full view on how to create a standard process within the organization. Establishing a standard fosters adherence and modus vivendi. Incorporating standards follows increased transparency, collaboration, and positive company culture.

Documentation and Automation

The project team should document their work and findings. Documentation helps synthesize learnings and locate records seamlessly. Documentation also provides a rigid report when informing the key stakeholders about the project’s progress.

Automation is another aspect to integrate. Documentation and automation fasten business activities. It reduces down the use of manual processes and paperwork the business holds. Tasks can be finished on time through the help of automation. Automation also provides opportunity for stakeholders to continue the optimization process when the outsourced BPM team has concluded their term.

The Information Technology (IT) department can kick in the automation part by designing systems or simply converting manual files to digital records. Their support is critical to successfully deliver any changes being implemented across departments and teams.

Progress Measurement

Gauging your project’s progress impacts the deliverables. Overseeing and tracking the duration of each task per phase helps project managers prevent any kind of delays. Project managers can easily pinpoint tasks that are in-progress, completed, or delayed.

Tasks that are late for delivery or a task owner who is struggling to finish can be assisted right away. Progress measurement lets the project team know if they are moving towards the goal. Comparing your progress from where you started also stimulates motivation towards success. Setting the proper measurements enable the BPM team to visualize the magnitude of their work-in-progress.

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators let you determine whether the changes you’re implementing are profitable for the entire organization.

Key Performance Indicators should be established to track your project’s implementation phase. Identifying the indicators for each department helps the BPM team to compare results–desired time frame depends on the organization and BPM team–which tells you if the strategies and methodologies applied were successful.

Comparing last year’s performance report to current year’s performance tells you which parts should be earmarked.

For example, comparing last year’s performance to the present year-end performance conveys whether the proposed solution has helped the organization to have a more effective and efficient business activity. Indicators also inform you of the work tasks that need to be reimagined.

Below are some indicators that can help you detect anomalies and successful change implementation.

Operations

– Duration of each step

– Amount of required output

– Number of participants

– Amount of key controls

– Error Rate

– Throughput

– Turnaround time

Finance

– Reduced Costs

– Increase in Sales

– Revenue Rate

– Return on Investment

Marketing

– Customer Feedback and Satisfaction

– Customer Retention

– Customer Acquisition

– Lifetime Value

– Sales Qualified Leads

Human Resources

– Employee Turnover

– Rate of Productivity

– Policy Compliance

– Tardiness and Absences

Risks and Challenges

There are always risks and challenges that come up for every project, but these can be alleviated ahead of time through planning.

Risks can be anticipated, mitigated, or accepted. Listing all the risks that can affect your project delivery helps ease these obstacles. Risk doesn’t necessarily point at the project team, it can be caused by natural disasters or lack of budget. It can also be regulatory compliance, changing technological environments, or competitive pressures.

One risk that has been a big hurdle to BPM is resistance to change. Changing how employees work is as difficult as attending gym classes consistently. Employees and staff don’t easily accept changes. If the advantages were not clear to the employees, they delay the adoption until sufficient information was given.

Employee participation is just one challenge to BPM. Something as simple as disarrayed files where document codes and revision numbers are missing can bog down the project. Some information may be absent in the course of manual discovery. Process performance, process scalability, and failure statistics may not be available. Many organizations forget to standardize and maintain their file formats as their focus shift to other tasks.

Conflicts between stakeholders may also occur during the BPM cycle. Practicing correct conflict resolution procedures bolsters project completion and participation. It is crucial to lure everyone in and practice dialogue in the meetings. This helps close the gaps, and have a lucid transfer of message especially when information gets misinterpreted easily.

Conclusion

Business Process Management will be your best friend and partner throughout the existence of your business. It supports and optimizes the whole range of operations of each department.

Every story has an ending, but the end of BPM is just the start of something new. The guidelines and concepts we’ve shared serve as a supporting actor to your journey. As an internal or external stakeholder, understanding the “as is” situation and the “to be” state gives you an idea on how to model, engineer, and architect business processes.

Hats off to you as you begin your BPM journey. We believe that BPM has a tremendous contribution, not only because it revolves around business performance but because it creates value to all the workflows and activities your organization carries. In conclusion, BPM is a broad improvement of company’s core workflow in many dimensions. It polishes every segment of the company in various aspects, which endows them with a strategic advantage to reach full potential and maximize profit.

Our Approach

We see it from angle to angle and tailor our approach based on our client’s demands and needs.

Business rules are a compass for operations. It does not only provide guidance in day-to-day operations, it is a direction towards future ventures by establishing a baseline in which risks, costs, and revenues are evaluated.

Some forensic work is necessary to evaluate business rules in existing codes and regulations. It has been our experience that rules and codes evolve organically to solve issues or process problems that may no longer exist. At the same time, these business rules and codes might have become obsolete as a result of shifts in the way customers and constituents expect to interact with governments and other entities (such as toll service centers). An expectation of greater urgency is quickly permeating through society. Given this “new norm”, a review of current processes, codes, and business rules could result in improved services and customer satisfaction at reduced operating costs.

We start at the top when evaluating policy and business rules. It’s important to understand the landscape of what code, policy, and rules govern an agency––what is out there and who owns it. From there, we work down into details to avoid getting hampered in the weeds. We also focus on processes. It’s critical to understand and link processes to policy. Our fundamental approach covers a concise set of guidelines for business rule evaluations of any size.

We ensure our approach is based on our client’s best interest. Our approach is tailored to address immediate needs, overcome root problems, fit the budget, encourage department participation, and meet management approval. We look at the trends and future changes that may come to the industry. Forecasting includes political, societal, technological, and economic outlook. Seeing it from angle to angle provides us a full view of the problem, a personalized approach, and a valuable solution.