In order to optimize business process execution, technology is needed. It’s easiest to think of most business processes like a bowl of spaghetti. They are tangled up messes. Business process management technology untangles the spaghetti. It takes out each piece, stretches it out end to end, and makes it easy to see and manipulate.
Business process management technology is a platform that provides organizations with comprehensive oversight. It allows them to take a look at the big picture of processes across the organization, while also offering the ability of diving into specific processes to get a closer look.
Through this lens, and with the tools provided by the platform, businesses are then able to refine the individual processes. This optimization often includes the implementation of automation, as well as the use of data and analytics to restructure how certain processes operate.
Process management is much bigger and broader than either task or project management. It is like task management and project management were combined and then steroids were added. Process management is all about digging into each process that a business has. This could be recruitment, employee training, customer experience, payroll—the list goes on and on. It is essentially all of the bigger systems that a business must keep running in a repetitive way in order for the business to function properly.
Process management does have some similarities to task and project management. For example, similar to task management, process management has predetermined tasks. And similar to project management, process management is collaborative. The most dramatic difference, though, is that process management is automated, creating predictable efficiency over and over and over. There is no timeline, process management is cyclical. The point of process management is to streamline every single process within a business, creating increasing efficiency as more and more automation is implemented..
This is where the birth of an optimized business process happens. While it is in this stage, business leadership needs to first identify the current process and then decide what it should eventually look like. Every factor of the process needs to be examined, from the service level agreements and standard operating procedures that are involved to the alerts or notifications and the totality of the tasks that are required. Each of these factors should be improved through workflows, which might be system-to-system, human-to-system, or human-to-human.
This is when leadership finds out how the newly designed process might operate under varying conditions. They will test out what would happen if expenses fluctuate, if there are staff changes, and much more. The goal is to flesh out worst-case scenarios and see how much pressure the business process can take.
Now it's time to get started. The process will be entered onto the business process management platform. The automated and manual aspects of it will simultaneously be enacted.
What gets measured, gets improved. The newly managed process must be monitored and analyzed. For higher education institutions, this could mean tracking alumni donations. For hospitals, it could be monitoring medical supply deliveries.
As weeks, months, and years go by, new improvements can always be made. Leadership should use data from the modeling phase and compare it with data from the monitoring phase to identify whether intended outcomes have been achieved. Additionally, This stage is were bottlenecks, cost savings opportunities, and potential efficiency enhancements are identified.