Business Process Management
   
 

Business Process Management

Introduction

A business process is the set of activities required to accomplish a common goal. The activities may be performed by people or systems and are completed either sequentially or in parallel. BPM is the acronym for the term “Business Processes Management”.

 

We hear about the term Business Process Management or BPM almost in every business. Business Processes Management can be defined as a discipline of design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization business processes to increase profitability.

 

Thaus BPM is a discipline rather than a technology or a tool. This is an important concept. BPM is not merely software you purchase and install to fix a business issue; people play a significant role in business process management .In fact, a key difference between workflow and BPM software is that the BPM software goes beyond merely automating work to helping people with continuous process improvement.

 

What is Business Process Management ?

Business process management (BPM) is a management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients. It is a holistic management approach that promotes business effectiveness and efficiency while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology. Business process management attempts to improve processes continuously. It could therefore be described as a "process optimization process." It is argued that BPM enables organizations to be more efficient, more effective and more capable of change than a functionally focused, traditional hierarchical management approach.

 

Types of Business Processes

When beginning BPM, it is important to realize that processes vary greatly. You can categorize your processes many different ways, including:

  • Complexity
  • Duration
  • Volume
  • Industry
  • Department.

 

The reason why this is important is because some types of processes are not well-suited to being managed within BPM software. For example, while highly repetitive or regulated processes tend to be excellent candidates, highly unpredictable and unstructured processes are not. 

 

The Process Lifecycle

As mentioned above, business process management is a discipline consisting of 5 phases: design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization. Let us explore each phase further.

 

Design

Process Design encompasses both the identification of existing processes and the design of "to-be" processes. Areas of focus include representation of the process flow, the actors within it, alerts & notifications, escalations, Standard Operating Procedures, Service Level Agreements, and task hand-over mechanisms.

Good design reduces the number of problems over the lifetime of the process. Whether or not existing processes are considered, the aim of this step is to ensure that a correct and efficient theoretical design is prepared.

The proposed improvement could be in human-to-human, human-to-system, and system-to-system workflows, and might target regulatory, market, or competitive challenges faced by the businesses.

 

Modeling

Modeling takes the theoretical design and introduces combinations of variables (e.g., changes in rent or materials costs, which determine how the process might operate under different circumstances).

 

Execution

One of the ways to automate processes is to develop or purchase an application that executes the required steps of the process; however, in practice, these applications rarely execute all the steps of the process accurately or completely. Another approach is to use a combination of software and human intervention; however this approach is more complex, making the documentation process difficult.

As a response to these problems, software has been developed that enables the full business process (as developed in the process design activity) to be defined in a computer language which can be directly executed by the computer. The system will either use services in connected applications to perform business operations (e.g. calculating a repayment plan for a loan) or, when a step is too complex to automate, will ask for human input. Compared to either of the previous approaches, directly executing a process definition can be more straightforward and therefore easier to improve.

Business rules have been used by systems to provide definitions for governing behaviour, and a business rule engine can be used to drive process execution and resolution.

 

Monitoring

The Monitor Phase is where process performance is measured. Monitoring encompasses the tracking of individual processes, so that information on their state can be easily seen, and statistics on the performance of one or more processes can be provided. An example of the tracking is being able to determine the state of a customer order (e.g. ordered arrived, awaiting delivery, invoice paid) so that problems in its operation can be identified and corrected.

In addition, this information can be used to work with customers and suppliers to improve their connected processes. Examples of the statistics are the generation of measures on how quickly a customer order is processed or how many orders were processed in the last month. These measures tend to fit into three categories: cycle time, defect rate and productivity.

The degree of monitoring depends on what information the business wants to evaluate and analyze and how business wants it to be monitored, in real-time, near real-time or ad-hoc. Here, business activity monitoring (BAM) extends and expands the monitoring tools in generally provided by BPM System (BPMS).

Process mining is a collection of methods and tools related to process monitoring. The aim of process mining is to analyze event logs extracted through process monitoring and to compare them with an a priori process model. Process mining allows process analysts to detect discrepancies between the actual process execution and the a priori model as well as to analyze bottlenecks.

 

Optimization

Process optimization includes retrieving process performance information from modeling or monitoring phase; identifying the potential or actual bottlenecks and the potential opportunities for cost savings or other improvements; and then, applying those enhancements in the design of the process. Overall, this creates greater business value.

 

The Cycle Continues

Perhaps the most important aspect of BPM is the one most often overlooked – continuous improvement. As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. Your firm changes, your environment changes, and your technology changes. Your processes also need to change.

 

It is best to consider the 5 steps of business process management as part of a continuous cycle. Once potential process changes are identified, the cycle begins again and the best suggestions are eventually implemented. In this way, you are able to make continual and incremental improvements to the process.

 

Business Process Management Life-Cycle

 

Advantages of Business Process Management

The most significant BPM advantages encompass:

  • Efficiency
  • Visibility
  • Control
  • Flexibility
  • Speed
  • Production Management
  • Performance Management
  • Resource Management .






 
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