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How to Benefit from Business Process Management (BPM)

March 10, 2014
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In the era where nearly everything is changing very fast, including technology, most organizations need to keep abreast of these changes, lest they become obsolete. And, it is with this same tone, that organizations are looking for ways to run their daily business operations efficiently. Business process management (BPM) techniques address this need.

Ideally, BPM is applied throughout the organization identifying, as well as documenting, core business operations within the business enterprise. This effort includes the establishment of responsibilities, roles, inputs and outputs, along with the duration spent on working activities.

Managing and controlling business processes

Organizations should devote much effort to the management and control of business processes.  Their primary processes will be owned by the enterprise, while the less important ones to be delegated to vendors through outsourcing. The quickly changing directions and needs of businesses are leading organizations to increase their concentration on business process management (BPM) for addressing these objectives.

Contrary to many peoples’ belief, BPM is a discipline. It is not an initiative put in place to improve business processes. BPM is not a business process re-engineering mechanism. BPM is however, a disciplined approach that can provide effectiveness, efficiency, and agility to a company. Ideally, this efficiency leads to lower operational costs and a reduction in lay-offs that were undertaken as a means to purely address a cost-reduction mandate. Moreover, with this effectiveness achieved in an organization, BPM can result in improved customer service and satisfaction. This agility makes companies more sensitive and responsive to any changes in the market, among other things.

So, while the company tries to control and manage their ever-changing business process, it must also try to manage changes affecting the organization itself. Note that, this changes not only affect people, technology, and processes, but the capacity of the company can also be impacted.

Business Process Management (BPM) Focus

The key goal of BPM should be to align processes and their improvement efforts with business objectives. As part of a BPM implementation, functional processes should also include the presentation of performance measurements in a fashion that leads to the most appropriate action or non-action.

A BPM deployment should enhance:

·         Process understanding: Within a given BPM framework, an organization will document its processes. With this effort, more concentration will be given to those processes that are very essential to the value offered their customers.

·         Process improvement: BPM deployments benefit when there is a structured integration with process improvement methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma.

·         Process optimization/automation:  After establishing a method for improvement, as well as applying improvements, a process can be optimized or automated from an array of various technologies.  With automation, human mistakes that frequently occur in organization can be eliminated.

BPM Implementation

There are differences in how organizations undertake a BPM deployment.  Some organizations focus only on automation while others give focus to simply the documentation of processes.  Organizations benefit when they have a system that ″puts it all together.″ An Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) BPM approach provides such a methodology. The roadmap for this deployment is:

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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