Unlock the benefits of BPM
Before you begin building a BPM strategy, it’s important to understand why efficient business processes are important, the different types of business processes, who’s responsible for them within your company, and which problems BPM can help you address.
Get to know your business processes
A business process is a series of repeatable tasks that’s done in sequence to achieve a routine objective. Business processes can take minutes or weeks and include activities as simple as employee vacation requests or as complicated as supply-chain logistics. Efficient, effective processes will help improve employee productivity, customer engagement, and every other facet of your business. Inefficient, dysfunctional processes create frustrated employees, unnecessary costs, dissatisfied customers, and ultimately, lost revenue.
Business processes can be divided into three main categories:
- Operational processes cover the core business and specific value streams like customer orders, account creation, and manufacturing optimization.
- Management processes include things like corporate governance, budgets, and HR workflows.
- Supporting processes underpin larger processes in areas like accounting, recruitment, and technical support.
By automating all types of business processes, you can improve efficiency, reduce risk, and keep your business more strategically focused.
Build your BPM team
Employees who are responsible for any business process are called business process owners. Because they manage a process from end to end, they understand how it affects and is affected by the processes that come before and after it. Giving ownership of discrete business processes to key employees who work with other departments can foster more understanding and lead to better BPM across your organization.
For example, a successful BPM team in a large company could include all these roles:
- Business process champion. A champion understands far-reaching benefits and communicates the value of BPM to the organization.
- Process owner. A person or team with business challenges to meet, workflows to streamline, or opportunities to seize can provide key perspective and input—critical to user buy-in and BPM success.
- Business process director. A director leads organization-wide BPM efforts.
- Business process consultant. A consultant uses technical skills and understanding of BPM to advise a business process director.
- Project manager. A project manager helps build and implement the project plan and manages team communications, milestones, deliverables, and deadlines.
- Business analyst. An analyst pinpoints necessary process improvements.
- Solution architect. A solution architect provides technical support, particularly when it comes to interoperability with existing line-of-business applications.
- Influencers. Often leaders among their peers, influencers adopt early and champion new ideas, practices, and tools, and they help refine business process improvements and advocate for change.
- BPM support group. This group comprises key IT professionals, corporate planning officers, and other leadership who help institutionalize BPM standards, methods, governance, and technology.
Don’t live with lost opportunities
Traditionally, business leadership has owned BPM; they are business processes, after all. But with the advent of highly sophisticated business process management software, IT is now playing a greater role. You might find a productive balance between your technology and business requirements if you let IT deploy a self-serve, low-code workflow automation platform that business employees can use to streamline processes and solve the issues they best understand.
Automate, automate, automate
Automation is the heart of BPM. With the technology now available, successful businesses must find every opportunity to automate repetitive, time-consuming, manual processes. With workflow automation, you can streamline business processes such as data entry, social media updates, inventory, reports, and more. You can free your employees from repetitive and routine processes, increase productivity, lower costs, and reduce human error.
Create a citizen development culture
You can also optimize some business processes by building mobile apps that help your employees stay more connected and efficient, transform how they get work done, and generate real-time business insights. With the right app development platform, engineers, IT specialists, and ordinary business users can build a citizen development culture and create their own low-code business solutions—without having to rely on or wait for business leadership and professional developers.
Make the most of every opportunity
You don’t have to live with inefficient manual processes, extra costs, and lost opportunities. With the right people in the right roles, a solid understanding of your processes, and good automation tools, your business can use BPM to:
- Mitigate cumbersome online checkout processes that discourage customers and cost sales.
- Automate manual processes that take too long, cost too much, and frustrate employees.
- Eliminate obstacles in financial processes that delay payments.
- Reduce duplication that wastes resources.
- Shorten or standardize lengthy or erratic processes that affect deadlines.
- Streamline inefficient client onboarding that undermines relationships.