Business Process Management | 12 mins read

A Look into Business Process Management

a look into business process management
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What is Business Process Management?

So many intelligent industry experts still confuse the acronym BPM with other business terms, such as BPA. So, what exactly is BPM? Business process management combines modeling, process design, process automation, control, and quantification of various business activities.

Its purpose is to optimize all of these functions so an organization can streamline workflows, improve internal relationships, and achieve financial objectives. It requires a team of executives to implement a set of standardized best practices. BPM is a discipline that requires action on behalf of employees, team leaders, and workflow designers. Here is a breakdown of BPM -

  • BPM is a Practice - BPM is a discipline that requires action from the various participants involved in the organization.
  • BPM Optimizes Business Processes - BPM ensures process improvement. An organization uses several different workflows, processes, and systems to achieve goals. BPM drills down into existing processes to see which areas need to improve.
  • BPM Involves People - BPM methodology can't work without people. Each individual has a specific role to play and needs to follow best practices to meet BPM objectives.
  • Participation is Not BPM - Not every worker is part of BPM. Just because someone performs his/her job doesn't mean it is an aspect of business process management.
  • BPM Requires a Big Picture View - One small action does not constitute BPM. Nor does a suggestion. Entire business processes need to improve to be part of BPM.
It's impossible to optimize business activities overnight. Company owners need to create a specific business strategy and employ a set of BPM tools to achieve key business outcomes. BPM itself is a process with a series of steps. This BPM lifecycle includes

  • BPA is about automating processes
  • BPM is about optimizing processes
  • BPM can involve automation but it doesn't have to
  • BPA always involves automation

1. BPM Lifecycle Process Modeling

Stakeholders should first collect any information about each specific process the organization wants to improve. Questions to ask include

  • What are the set activities and process workflow of each that we want to optimize?
  • Where does the workflow start and where does it finish? What is its primary objective?
  • Who is in charge of the activity?
After a BPM manager addresses these questions, a team should model the entire process from beginning to end. Process modeling can help to visualize the entire activity to see any weak areas. Modeling may require individuals to simulate use cases to see which parts of the process work and which don't.

2. BPM Lifecycle Implementation

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It's now time to consider how using BPM can improve the activity and eliminate inefficiencies. Individuals may gather data to learn about the activity in the modeling phase. The implementation stage of the lifecycle is where the business sees how to use that data to make improvements.

It helps to define all of the steps in the workflow and determine which portions to automate. Individuals should also think about how they want to track the progress of BPM solutions.

3. BPM Lifecycle Execution

The organization is ready to execute the strategy in conjunction with end-users. End-users are the people who work with the process each day. This includes employees, customers, or vendors. Businesses need to receive feedback from these individuals because they are more aware of problem areas than anyone else.
It's important to look for any bottlenecks and whether the model works in real-time. Most organizations take time to ensure the execution stage flows properly. They adjust models, rework strategies, and recheck results to ensure success.

4. BPM Lifecycle Monitoring

During and after the company implements a new process, they should continue to monitor it. It's important to use BPM software to collect any applicable insights about the strategy's performance.

This will help to see if initial hypotheses and solutions were accurate and how the new process impacts end users. Organizations typically invest in a dashboard or other type of BPM system to monitor results.

5. BPM Lifecycle - Optimization

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After some time, the organization will know exactly what works and doesn't work in the new process. Stakeholders need to continue to make changes when needed. This is particularly true if business needs evolve or if a new competitor is on the horizon.

Processes must adjust as conditions adjust, even if they seem to work just fine as is. Stakeholders should remember to continue to monitor outcomes after they further optimize a process.

The Main Importance of Business Process Management

Business process management is valuable and essential to an organization's well-being. For a company to grow and innovate, it needs to review how it operates. While many owners try to improve the customer experience, they fail to review internal processes.

Everything that occurs inside an organization can impact what happens externally. It's critical to assess the performance of employee onboarding, human resources, workflow automation, and project management. This will improve the quality of outcome and strengthen customer relationships. A good BPM strategy is key for an organization to -

  • Maximize resources and decrease expenses
  • Obtain greater visibility and control over workflows
  • Identify weak areas and improve productivity
  • Improve decision-making and maintain a competitive edge
  • Adjust workflows and adapt to new circumstances
No process is perfect. There will always be inefficiencies and bottlenecks that take away from the bottom line. While business owners can't fix everything, they can take greater control over their internal activities.
Owners must adjust the strategies and systems they can so they can meet the needs of customers and employees. Employees also prefer it when their employers try to make a workflow as efficient as possible. Regular BPM will improve workforce morale, increase operational efficiency, and improve profit margins.

The 5 Biggest Challenges with Business Process Management

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It's not always easy to implement and maintain a BPM practice. An organization will always face red tape, obstacles, concerns, and skepticism. This is particularly true if an owner replaces manual processes with artificial intelligence solutions or other management tools.

Employees don't always like change, especially when they got their work done just fine before. To implement and maintain a BPM discipline, team leaders must communicate the reasons for the change. Owners may face other challenges when they incorporate business process automation. These include

1. Not Fully Understanding Business Process Management

Many companies think of BPM as a new software solution, but it's so much more than that. BPM is a holistic approach that addresses entire processes from start to finish. While BPM may involve some robotic processes, those are just part of an overall strategy.

The goal of a management system is to improve each workflow, not just to invest in some management software. Consultants should recognize that BPM will support business goals and communicate that to organizations.

2. Business Process Management Consultants Overpromises

BPM consultants have a reputation that organizations often distrust. In the past, many BPM specialists promised too much and delivered too little. The digital transformation is now changing the way BPM works for the better.

Because there is pressure to achieve more with fewer assets and greater technology to do it, organizations now need BPM. The business process management software is readily available and capable to perform its job.

3. End-Users Not Aligned with Business Process Management

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It's critical to ensure end-users understand the new strategies and their purposes before an organization employs BPM. Managers should-

  • Meet and work with end-users to gain feedback during the modeling stage
  • Discuss bottlenecks and explain why they need to improve
  • Ensure workers that the organization is not going to replace them with technology
  • Explain that employees can be more efficient and productive
  • Describe all aspects of the new workflow automation system so they understand it
  • Provide clear expectations so everyone knows what to do

  • 37% of employees worry about losing their jobs due to automation
  • Transportation, storage, and manufacturing are the industries at greatest threat of job loss due to automation
  • Generation Z is at the greatest risk of replacement by automated processes
  • The use of operational industry robots increases by 14% every year

4. Business Process Management and Evolving Business Needs

Organizations face new challenges each day, and external conditions quickly evolve. BPM can solve one problem just as another more serious concern arises.

It's critical that each BPM strategy shifts to align with new goals and doesn't stay stuck in a set of parameters. If this doesn't happen, executives will be less likely to invest in BPM technology or they will cut their contract short.

5. Business Process Management Requires KPIs

Why should an organization invest in BPM software when there is no way to track progress? Project managers fail to assign clear key performance indicators because they don't want to know if it fails. This is a huge waste of time and money for everyone.

An organization should work with BPM consultants and align business objectives to a BPM strategy. Every owner should be able to say exactly how BPM improves specific metrics with data and reports. This will also improve the morale of end-users who may not be happy with a new BPM project.

The Top Benefits of Business Process Management

To maintain a competitive edge, businesses need to optimize each end process every day. Process management software increases workflow efficiency and makes it easier for workers to perform their jobs.

It helps teams work together to complete projects and provides clear metrics to track progress towards goals. Organizations that want to increase their brand recognition and market share need to streamline operations. BPM can help to do that. Other benefits of business process management include

1. Business Process Management Strategy Increases Efficiency

Too many workflows waste time and resources because they are inefficient. Manual processes, duplicate efforts, and poor communication make it hard for employees to complete requirements.

BPM managers can model inefficient workflows to find the specific areas that need work. They can implement an optimized software solution to increase efficiency and productivity across the organization.

Employees will find it easier to complete tasks on time and collaborate across departments because they have the correct tools. As a result, morale and retention rates will improve.

2. Management Software Achieves Operational Effectiveness

Once an organization streamlines a business activity, BPM can further optimize that process. The top benefit of BPM is its ability to manage evolving expectations quickly and enable others to make better decisions.

BPM also increases the quality and quantity of outcomes, which helps to optimize customer service. When every business activity operates at full capacity and aligns with business rules and goals, organizations increase profit. They also improve their competitive advantage and have more resources to handle any disruptions.

3. BPM Helps Businesses Be Flexible

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Companies need to quickly adapt to evolving market needs and economic conditions in today's climate. Outdated and cumbersome business activities will cause an organization to fall behind the competition.
Businesses face new financial opportunities each day and they have to capitalize on them to stay relevant. Good management tools and process management help companies be flexible and take advantage of new opportunities. Traditional manual processes hold business owners back from growth and innovation.

Why Every Business Should Use Business Process Management Software

Business process management software or robotic process automation software continues to evolve as technology systems progress. It offers complete visibility into different business activities so employees can quickly perform their jobs.

BPM software automates workflows to pinpoint inefficiencies, lower costs, and increase operational effectiveness. Here are the top advantages of BPM software and why every business should use it

1. BPM Software Reduces Duplicate Efforts and Risks

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BPM tools allow departments to drill down into activities to see any problem areas. Organizations can then resolve these problems through trial and error to increase worker efficiency.

Automation allows workers to achieve the desired output and minimizes the potential for human error. This can decrease the need for manual processes and allow an organization to capitalize on its talent. No longer will anyone need to waste time on meticulous and repetitive tasks.

2. BPM Software Helps to Gain Control Over Operations

Owners and supervisors need to control processes and know exactly which personnel do what. BPM software provides a full view of an entire workflow from start to finish.

Furthermore, supervisors can see the progress towards a goal and know who works hard (and who doesn't). This increases workplace accountability and ensures everyone stays on track to achieve key company objectives.

3. BPM Software Improves Collaboration

Most businesses manage several different processes each day. It's critical to ensure each activity functions at optimal capacity so the organization can meet its objectives. Furthermore, employees need to work together to complete tasks promptly.

BPM software makes it easy to share files, upload documents, speak with different team members, and more. Many software solutions integrate with mobile derives so off-site workers can receive quick updates on projects.

3. BPM Software Increases Productivity

BPM software stores all of the various transactions and other data involved in each process. Stakeholders can use this information to see whether a model is effective or if a workflow needs changes.

Users can quickly print out reports and display them to decision-makers. This helps organizations make quick decisions to increase the bottom line. Because of BPM software's functionality, businesses can increase productivity across all sectors of operations.

  • 75 of organizations plan to invest in more productivity software tools
  • 46% of employers saw an increase in productivity when they replaced manual processes
  • 40% of workers say they lose productivity from multitasking

Key Takeaways for Business Process Management

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In conclusion, here is what to know about business process management

  • BPM is a discipline that optimizes business processes and involves several participants. It requires a holistic view of an organization's processes. It is not just about a technology system or fixing one workflow.
  • The BPM lifecycle includes modeling, implementation, execution, monitoring, and improvements
  • Challenges of BPM include businesses not fully understanding how it works, consultants overpromising, end users don't align with a strategy, doesn't meet new business needs, and poor use of KPIs.
  • Benefits include an increase in efficiency, operational effectiveness, and greater productivity. BPM software can reduce duplicate efforts, help owners gain control over processes, improve collaboration, and increase productivity.