Streamline your Company with Business Process Management

Business Process Management Overview

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 vs. Task Management and Project Management

Task Management

When you think of task management, think smart to-do list. Task management is all about organizing the smaller steps that will help to accomplish a bigger goal. It is directed at individuals and their jobs, rather than organizations and how they function, allowing employees to aggregate their daily responsibilities and then create a prioritized list of which tasks need to be completed first. This software aims to increase employee productivity on a person-by-person basis. Additionally, it enables unforeseen tasks to be painlessly and intelligently integrated into the task list.

Project Management

And then there’s project management. Project management is all about a single event. It has a set timeline and scope. Think of this technology like a robotic event planner. For the most part, projects or events do not involve repetition. There is no cyclical nature to them.

Project management is different then task management in that it is usually a collaborative effort with multiple people involved. Additionally, project management tends to be more open because many of the steps required to complete the project can be unknown at the outset. The objective of project management technology is to provide a clear view of the entire project, its timeline, and the tasks individual team members are responsible for. This technology also typically allows for tasks to be introduced to the project after kick off and it provides the team with a communication platform.

Process Management

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..

Business Process Management Lifecycle

When thinking about business process management, it is best to frame it in a lifecycle – just like every process in life, there is a beginning, middle, and end. In order to effectively manage business processes, they must individually flow through five categories.

1. Design
Design

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.

2. Modeling
Modeling

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.

3. Execution
Execution

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.

4. Monitoring
Monitoring

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.

5. Optimization
Optimization

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.

Business Process Management Platforms

Now it’s time to talk platform types—and this is where much of the differentiation comes into play. Some platforms have a narrower focus, while others take a broader approach. Here are how they are categorized:

Document-Based

These BPM platforms are targeted at businesses that require significant documentation, such as law firms. These platforms specialize in automating the formatting of documents, sending them where they need to go, and providing verification, as well as offering features such as signature tools.

Human-Based

These platforms are dedicated to moving a process from one person to the next so that each individual can make their necessary contribution, whether that is providing approval or completing a manual task.

Integration-Based

These BPM platforms’ primary focus is to seamlessly integrate with other existing systems and platforms. They offer certain automations, but the main goal is to enable all data to be aggregated and provide a more powerful dashboard to executives.

Combined

These platforms are a combination of the above three offerings. They allow for the best of all worlds, and oftentimes more.

The Benefits of Business Process Management

When you think about business process management don’t just think new, think better. There are a number of advantages to implementing the software in any business.

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1. Integrative Technology

If you can count the number of platforms and systems that your company uses, you have a rare talent. Most businesses quickly accumulate countless technologies and, much of the time, these softwares are not cohesive and can’t be integrated. This is not the case with BPM software. It works well with ERPs, CRMs, and much more. In the end, it enables business leadership to have additional data points and analytics that provide powerful insight for business strategy.

An example of its potential can be seen through the lens of a higher education institution. These organizations have thousands of alumni who all have a unique relationship with the institution. BPM can provide automation for many of the manually intensive aspects of alumni relations. Whether it is tracking alumni donations or provide better automation for alumni marketing, the platform can be closely integrated with the software that is already used, such as newsletter software and donation systems.

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2. Measurable

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, what gets measured gets improved. BPM platforms are built to measure ROI and process optimization success. When it comes to the lifecycle, all five stages prioritize collecting data and analyzing results, finding out whether the executed process meets expectations and exceeds the original process. When it comes to the actual BPM platform, the data that it collects and provides allows simple and accurate measurement.

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3. Flexible

Business conditions change. The market changes. Costs change. Customers change. A BPM is flexible enough to handle these alterations. Additionally, because of the modeling stage of the BPM life cycle, businesses can plan for many of the most extreme changes.

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4. Consistent

Human error is a part of life and often it can play too big a role in businesses. BPM platforms reduce a significant portion of the potential for this error through the automation of formerly manual tasks. Every time the process happens, it happens how it was designed. When a problem, such as a bottleneck, does occur, it can be addressed in isolation, without having to upend the entire process. This type of reliability is extremely valuable for every business.

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5. Customer-Centric

here will always be too much to do and too few hands to get it done. And these conditions can easily contribute to poor customer or client service. BPM platforms reduce the workload by automating tasks that are repetitive and low-value, while also streamlining other aspects of every business process. This means that

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6. Employee Friendly

There will always be too much to do and too few hands to get it done. And these conditions can easily contribute to poor customer or client service. BPM platforms reduce the workload by automating tasks that are repetitive and low-value, while also streamlining other aspects of every business process. This means that employees can place more focus on clients and customers. Response time will decrease. Solutions can be more personalized. In short, BPM allows employees to add more value to each customer’s experience. and potential efficiency enhancements are identified.

An example of this can be seen in engineering. When engineering firms send out experts to a remote location for work, they rotate them. One will travel to the location, work for a month, and then be replaced by another. This rotation is disruptive but firms have had little choice in the matter as it is difficult to find engineers who are willing to be away from their home and family for extended periods of time. BPM makes this rotational aspect of the job much more efficient. Instead of taking several days to become acquainted with the new site’s processes, an engineer can spend a few minutes on the BPM platform and have complete oversight and understanding. This could enable firms to rotate engineers more regularly, as acclimation is streamlined.

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7. Compliance Compatible

Every business has regulations and standards that it must stay compliant with. Traditionally, compliance has been a major hurdle for businesses in many industries to overcome. If a slight mistake is made, it can create delays, which then results in fines and other penalties. BPM platforms automate the compliance process, reducing human error and ensuring that the business stays in good standing.

For example, one of the industries with the highest level of regulation is healthcare, especially when it comes to claims processing. This business process is intricate and complex. Information needs to be accurate and flow efficiently. BPM platforms can revitalize this process so that claims and patient appeals are closely monitored and handled expediently.

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8. Efficient

Inefficiency is the bane of every business. And the real reason it exists in any company is the lack of visibility that exists in every process. BPM platforms change this. They provide complete clarity on how each process operates. This means that leadership can easily identify where and why a problem in the process is occurring. Then, they can find a solution and continue to monitor and improve, eventually developing a business process that is perfectly efficient.

For example, this is essential in financial services. The environment that these businesses exist in is a rapidly changing one. They must have optimum agility in an ebbing and flowing economy. They need to be able to adjust to market fluctuations and reduce the time-to-market of new financial products and services. BPM platforms can help companies prepare for changes. They can utilize the modeling stage of the BPM lifecycle to understand what changes could implicate for certain processes. More importantly, with greater clarity of processes and increased automation, financial services firms will simply be able to move more quickly.

The importance of efficiency can also be seen in specific business processes, such as the human resources hiring process. When this process is sluggish, businesses can lose out to the competition on preferred candidates. By integrating BPM automation, the hiring process not only speeds up, but improves the experience for the potential employee.

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9. Productive

Bottlenecks, redundancy, and repetition come part and parcel with business as usual tasks, right? Well they can, but the truth is that they don’t have to. BPM platforms remove them, as well as introducing parallel processing. When this happens, employees are able to pursue strategic tasks, ones that will enhance business growth and increase productivity.

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10.Cost Effective

Justifying any new business expense is difficult. A return on investment needs to be shown. With BPM platforms, as long as they are fully utilized, the expense of the software will be easily warranted. Waste reduction and profit increases are not long-term hopes, but short-term realities. Business process management is a technology that enables business leadership to improve the present condition and plan strategically for the future. Its many advantages will quickly be fully realized and will provide the necessary factors to create employee retention, develop customer satisfaction, and provide a step up on the competition.

In Conclusion

 

The facts around business process management are plain and simple. This technology brings unparalleled efficiency, employee satisfaction, and flexibility to processes that every company has. It allows businesses to have more control and oversight than ever thought possible. When an organization understands how it compares to task and project management, as well as the life cycle that it pushes every process through, its many benefits become exceedingly clear.