What is Business Process Management? a Beginner’s Guide

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Let’ start with a peek at what Wikipedia says about business process management (BPM)

Business process management (BPM) is a discipline in operations management in which people use various methods to discovermodelanalyze, measure, improve, optimize, and automate business processes

Within each business, every team works with strategic resources such as information or materials, sometimes both. These data or materials are ingested and transformed. For example, data may be used by your team member to create your report.

These data or materials interact with either people, industrial machinery, or completely automated to produce result. This makes up a process.

In a nutshell, business process management is the way your company manages and improves business processes. It starts from process discovery using process mining and mapping your processes into diagrams. Once mapped, the processes are measured, analyzed for gaps and put through series of ways to improve and optimize them.

With business-buzzwords thrown around, it can sometimes be hard to keep up. BPM can be a bit confusing, so we’re here to shed some light on process management.

How BPM works

There’s no one way of “doing” BPM. Rather, it is best thought of as a business practice. It covers systematic methods to handle and improve your processes. Today, there are technologies in the market that helps company achieve this as they enable identifying and modifying processes.

Traditionally, BPM companies like IBM or Appian work with a company’s strategic resources – the data that’s core to their business.

Let’s look at a large restaurant chain for example. Their strategic resources would be their order delivery forms and food contracts. The cannot successfully operate their business without these resources. That is where BPM comes in – it goes after primary, high-visible, company-wide processes.

First, BPM teams keep track of how strategic resources from start to finish. They analyze the recorded data to identify the bottlenecks and gaps in the chain. Finally BPM team research, test and develop improvements in the process.

BPM views the process strategic-level data takes as an asset – something to be managed and improved.

The way this data goes through the company is valuable to BPM, not just what’s in it. BPM practitioners define the process and then determine the data it will need,instead of defining data and then determining how it will be used,

BPM’s complexity is due to the research and development to create better solutions where the process comes first and the data exists to serve it. Enterprise organizations spend hundreds of hours with BPM to refine and improve strategic resource management.

BPM is complex for a reason. It manages and measures critical resources in their entire life cycle through the levels of a company

Here are just a few ways BPM can help you and your team.

  • Maintain consistency and standard — Everyone can mess up once in a while, needing guesswork due to lack of clear instructions. Creating standardized, optimized workflows ensures quality work because work is done in a pre-defined way.
  • Monitor productivity, efficiency and accountability — Business process management software (BPMS) creates digital trail of activities and team members. Leaders can use these data to analyze and gain insights on how to improve operation.
  • Map your processes – With BPM, you can create digital models of your processes. This makes it significantly easier to both analyze and improve them.
  • Enforce changes – Without software, you’d have to keep track of your team members to ensure they’re following through with new process. With BPMS, all changes made are automatic and enforces change.
Problems with legacy BPM systems

It sounds amazing – the software basically does half of the work for you. Though it may be true the software is useful, but there’s a problem with major BPM software providers.

They’re a bit outdated.

As with most of the legacy and older enterprise software, they’re extremely expensive and difficult to set-up. Deploying itself takes months, and sometimes years and cost you a fortunate.

Plus, they are extremely difficult to use and require special training for your teams to actually use the software.

At DefineWork, we make BPMS easy peasy.

No setup, no training – just jump right in.

The Business Process – Reengineered

In fact, “BPM” sometimes are associated with an image of armies of consultants, long-running projects, 250-page design manual with its own language, and culture of enforcement. BPM doesn’t have to be like that, but many people think it’s like that.

We help businesses create, manage, and improve business processes. But we go about it in a different way:

  • No process should be left behind — BPM often focuses on high-profile challenges that involve large numbers of stakeholders and cut across the entire company. These are important processes to digitally transform and automate. But so are, the vast number of smaller problems your team members face. The add up to a lot of lost time and mistakes. We think those need to be automated, too.
  • Problem owners should be solution owners — The closer the solution is to its actual owner, the better. It’s more likely to be right the first time, easier to modify, etc. Tools that are made accessibly to your team members that own the problems are crucial — and helps liberate the overburdened IT team.
  • “Easy” is hard – but it’s worth it — Ease of use is an enterprise-worthy criterion. If some problems can be solved by the groups that own them, you won’t need a team of consultants to bounce in and out of meetings and scramble through lengthy manuals. Fixes can be made immediately as problem owners know best.
  • The process should come to you – not the other way around — It’s not reasonable to deploy something that gives your team members yet one more app to install or one more website to bookmark. Process solutions should be made available in the places you already work: email, cloud storage, social media, and so on.

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