4 Steps for Continuous Business Process Management

Business Process Management (BPM) is a methodology that helps businesses analyze and improve their business processes. Since its inception in the late 1990s, the definition of process management has changed from rethinking how organizations do their work to introducing new technologies necessary to succeed in the internet age. Although 96% of organizations have some type of BPM system, many report falling short of regularly updating their business process to reduce revenue losses, eliminate risk, or break up data silos. Even in 2022, companies report losing 20-30% of their yearly revenue to inefficient operations.

BPM can provide numerous benefits to businesses, including increased productivity, reduced costs, improved quality, and enhanced customer satisfaction, but only if it’s regularly monitored and updated. Process management is not new, but it has become increasingly important as businesses have sought ways to gain a competitive edge.

The processes and technologies integrated into businesses are constantly evolving. Many organizational leaders incorrectly believe that instilling a single BPM system or fixing initial inefficiencies is enough for a company to maintain optimal operational efficiency. However, organization leaders that plan to stay ahead of the competition must continuously adapt and improve their processes or risk being left behind.

1. Business Process Analysis

Analyzing business operations is the first and most essential step in assuring your Business Process Management is still on course. To improve performance, organization leaders need to understand how it currently functions. Learning how it works requires taking a close look at all aspects of the business, from individual processes to overall business strategy. Once decision-makers have a clear understanding of the current state of affairs, they can begin to identify areas where changes or improvements need to be made. Only by analyzing business operations thoroughly can you hope to effectively implement needed BPM updates.

Several different approaches can be used to conduct a business process analysis. One popular method is the Business Process Reengineering (BPR) approach. 

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is a business management strategy focused on analyzing and redesigning organizational workflows. BPR aims to help organizations improve performance by identifying and addressing inefficiencies in their current processes — radically redesigning core business processes to improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction significantly. To be successful, BPR must be approached with a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s current processes, its goals, and the needs of its customers. BPR can be a powerful tool for conducting business analysis of organizational change and improving performance.

2. Map Out Existing Business Processes

The second step in continuous BPM is mapping out operational processes, which is essential for any organization that regularly audits its business functions and wants to streamline operations. Business process mapping is creating a visual representation of all the steps involved in running a business process. Process mapping can include anything from manufacturing a product to providing a service. By mapping out all the steps involved in your business operations, organization leaders can identify the areas that need improvements as improvements become necessary. Mapping out business processes can lead to reduced costs, improved quality, and faster turnaround times. Moreover, business process mapping can also help identify potential bottlenecks and problems in your current business process management system. As stated previously, continual improvement is essential for any organization that wants to optimize its business operations. 

3. Continuously Streamline Your Processes

Businesses rely on a variety of processes to get work done. From manufacturing to marketing, every company has a specific method of handling tasks.  However, these processes can often become bogged down by inefficient use of resources or outdated methods even with a business process management methodology in place. As a result, it can be beneficial to streamline business processes. 

By streamlining, businesses can remove unnecessary steps and simplify complex tasks, leading to faster turnaround times, lower costs, and improved quality control. In addition, streamlined processes are often more flexible and adaptable, making it easier to respond to changes in the marketplace. As businesses increasingly operate in a global economy, the ability to adapt quickly is essential for success. Therefore, streamlining business processes is an important step for any company that wants to stay competitive.

There are several different ways to streamline business processes. One standard method is process improvement, which involves identifying areas where the current process can be improved and making changes to increase efficiency. Process improvement can be conducted using various tools, such as business process mapping or the Lean Six Sigma methodology. 

Lean Six Sigma is a business improvement strategy that combines the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. Lean Six Sigma is often used in manufacturing and healthcare settings, where it effectively reduces waste, improves quality, and increases efficiency. The Lean methodology eliminates waste, while Six Sigma focuses on reducing variability and defects. Lean Six Sigma seeks to combine these two approaches to achieve maximum efficiency.

To effectively implement Lean Six Sigma, businesses must first identify the value stream and the sequence of activities that add value to the product or service. Once the value stream has been identified, companies can begin mapping out the processes and identifying waste areas. From there, they can develop improvement strategies and implement them to achieve their desired results. 

In addition, businesses can also look to technology to streamline processes. For example, many companies now use software to automate tasks that were previously completed manually. The software can lead to faster turnaround times and reduced costs. However, automation can only be made possible if new integrations have the telemetry to communicate within existing legacy systems. Many businesses need a business process partner to help integrate automated processes into existing systems.

Test Your Business Process Changes

Operational changes are a necessary part of any business. Still, it can be challenging to know whether or not these changes will be effective — especially if you’re altering a technique that impacts your existing BPM. Testing comes in during changes, not after. To test the efficiency of operational changes, there are a number of ways to assess changes functionally before implementing them company-wide. 

One way is to create a mock-up of the new process and have employees test it out, which can help to identify any potential problems with the new process. Another way to test operational changes is to implement changes on a small scale before rolling them out across the entire organization — allowing businesses to see how the changes impact operations and make necessary adjustments before making the changes permanent. Testing is an essential part of continuous business process management, and it can help ensure that operational changes are effective.

4. Find a Partner

BPM implementation is a journey. Therefore, those managing the changes and executing new processes and technologies need to be keenly aware of industry changes and evolution. While having an in-house team to manage your BPM is important, a BPM partner should take care of continuous monitoring and discovery of integrations that could help your business in the long term. With a BPM partner, you don’t have to worry about people leaving an organization, assigning management tasks to an employee, or regularly researching to see if your new processes will integrate seamlessly into your legacy systems. 

POPULUS Technology has helped many organizations discover new ways to improve their day-to-day operations, increase the efficiency of their processes, and increase profitability. By regularly discovering updates to BPM systems and creating unique solutions for their clients, Populus can give your organization consistent, repeatable results.

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