Business process management, or BPM, is a systematic approach to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes within an organization to achieve specific or improved business goals. To be effective, BPM must be tailored to the needs of an organization and the industry in which it operates.
However, there are clear stages all businesses should go through when implementing business process management that help guide the organization through its operations.
In this article, we’ll look at those stages and explain what you need to do to move through them successfully.
What is the Business Process Management Lifecycle?
The BPM lifecycle comprises five phases: process design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization. Each phase of the lifecycle builds on the previous one, and the result is an efficient and effective business process that meets the needs of the business. By following the BPM lifecycle, organizations can ensure that their business processes are continuously improved and aligned with their strategic goals.
The Five Stages of Business Process Management
Let’s take a look at each stage of the BPM lifecycle in more detail:
The process design stage is the foundation of a successful BPM initiative and is all about understanding the current state of your business processes and developing an improvement plan. This begins with identifying the goals you want to achieve and determining which processes need to be redesigned to meet those goals.
Questions to ask include:
- What are our business goals?
- What processes need to be improved to meet those goals?
- What are the current pain points in the business process?
- What is the current state of our process?
- Who should be involved in the process design stage?
The design stage should involve a cross-functional team of stakeholders responsible for the redesigned processes. This includes business analysts, process owners, and subject matter experts. The design stage can also include creating a business case for the BPM initiative that outlines the expected benefits and costs.
The design stage is vital because it allows businesses to think about their processes holistically and identify ways to optimize them.
After you have analyzed your business processes in step one, it is time to start modeling them in step two.
The first thing you need to do when modeling your business processes is to identify the inputs and outputs of each process. Inputs are anything that goes into the process, such as raw materials or information. Outputs are anything that comes out of the process, such as finished products or services.
To map out the process steps in detail, you will need to create a flowchart. A flowchart is a diagram that shows the steps in a process in sequential order.
It is often helpful to map out how the process performs in different scenarios. For example, what happens if an order is canceled? Or if a customer requests a refund? By mapping out these different paths, businesses can get a clear picture of how their process currently works and where there is room for improvement.
Once you have created a flowchart for each business process, it is time to consider how each process can be automated. Automation can improve efficiency by reducing errors and freeing employees to focus on value-added activities. When evaluating the tasks involved, consider whether they are repetitive, rules-based, or well-defined.
Finally, once you have modeled your business processes and considered automation, it is time to evaluate whether the processes are essential or can be eliminated altogether. This can be done by comparing the costs and benefits of each process.
Once the new model has been created, it’s time to move on to the next stage.
Implementing the business process is the third stage in the business process management methodology. This is where you take all of the planning and theoretical work that’s been done and put it into action.
Before fully implementing the new process, testing it out on a small scale is essential to ensure that it works as intended. This will help identify potential problems and allow for adjustments before rolling it out company-wide.
To effectively monitor your business processes, you need to establish a set of metrics and KPIs to track. These will vary depending on the type of business and the specific processes you are trying to improve. However, some common examples include cycle time, customer satisfaction, error rates, and throughput.
You can identify potential bottlenecks or areas needing improvement by monitoring these metrics. Once identified, these areas can be optimized, which takes us to our final stage in the business process management lifecycle.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final stage of the business process management lifecycle.
The optimization stage is about continuously improving the business processes that have already been identified, documented, and analyzed. The goal at this stage is to continue making the business processes more effective and streamlined.
Process optimization is important because it can help businesses achieve their desired outcomes while also reducing costs. In today’s competitive business landscape, companies must continually strive to find ways to do more with less.
Business process management is an iterative process, meaning businesses can and should continually revisit each stage to improve their processes continuously. By doing so, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and ensure they’re always providing the best possible service to their customers.