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What Is Business Process Management (BPM)?

business process management

The entirety of your business is made of a series of steps known as a business process.

Whatever it is that you offer – whether it is a product or a service – works its way through the cycle of these processes to lead you to growth and profit. 

As you can imagine, to ensure that your business grows well, these processes need to be in tip-top shape and working as a well-oiled machine. 

What Is Business Process Management 

Business Process Management (BPM) is a discipline and system focused on business process optimization and improvement. To achieve this, it uses a variety of methods, analysis, tools, and measurements. 

It is not a software, but a school of thought around which to structure your business and its associated processes to reach your goals. There are various types of software that you can use to help you in managing your processes, including Skore.

The focus is on business processes because it is through these processes your business is run. A business process is the name given to the activities and tasks associated with accomplishing the goal of different parts of your business. Examples of business processes include payroll, order to cash, and customer onboarding.

Without having a series of steps and tasks, none of these necessary business components would happen, and you would very quickly shut down as a company. It is through these processes that businesses are truly run. And it is through their optimisation and improvement that businesses find success.

BPM is thus the constant management of these processes to ensure that you are constantly working on improving them and finding steps that may have a bottleneck.

The five key components of BPM methodology are:

  • Analyse – firstly, you analyse the process as it is currently running. It is important to note that while BPM is used to analyse processes, it is not the creation of the business process. You are analysing what is currently transpiring in your business, looking for bottlenecks or problems that can be improved. Typically, the way to analyse your processes is to visualize them by creating a process map.
  • Model – based on the issues you find in the step above, you want to try modelling different solutions. You draw different process maps that have different possible solutions to the problems you are facing, exploring a variety of scenarios and their possible outcomes.
  • Execute – having modelled the new, ideal process, you implement the changes. You should always document what you have changed, and why you have done so. It provides continuity of knowledge for your company, and it helps you remember the reasoning. A great way to keep this knowledge is in a process library.
  • Monitor – now that you have executed the agreed upon changes in the process, you have to keep an eye on it to see how it has changed. You should focus on costs lowering, efficiency increasing, and speed as KPIs. You should set up reviews with your team and the process owners to ensure that your process stays up to date.
  • Optimise – going forward, you continue to further optimise and improve upon your existing processes. This is the core of BPM – constant improvement. A great way to do this is to add technological solutions such as automation to give you and your team precious time to accomplish more valuable work and get rid of more mechanical tasks.

BPM is therefore the task of constantly updating and improving your existing business processes to achieve further and further success.

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Who Is In Charge of BPM? 

BPM is an important job to take on within a company, so you want to make sure you’ve got the right profile for it in your staff.

The roles directly associated with BPM are usually these seven:

  • Business Process Director – the leader in overseeing the entire process improvement project. They are the ones with the wider vision and familiarity with the specific methodology being used. Whether this is an established role and title, or you as a business owner, or someone else taking it on, it does not matter. The fact is, a leader-type role with a specific goal should always be present.
  • Business Process Consultantan external expert in BPM that you bring on for a set period of time or indefinitely at a specific rate to help your Director. They will have in-depth knowledge about BPM and the different methodologies, and be able to provide support. While they are good to have on board, you should always run a list of pros and cons when it comes to hiring experts and see if you can try it on your own as well. After all, with the right process mapping software by your side, you might find it simpler than you thought.
  • Business Analyst – experts in identifying bottlenecks and suggesting improvements, though not always necessary as internal employees, may be able to offer solutions and ideas.
  • Project Manager – works together with the Director to ensure that deadlines are met, and a plan is developed.
  • Business Process Architect – often found in larger projects, their role is between the Director and the Analyst. They can be given a particular part of the project and take it on themselves, as they have a good understanding of how processes work and the operations of the company. But they also know about different management methodologies. 
  • Business Process Champion – they are tasked with keeping improvement going within an organisation, while keeping everyone involved in communication about these improvements, convincing them.
  • Solution Architect – focus on the analytics and technology of understanding processes to maximize results even further.

Some organisations will also have Process Owners: employees dedicated to understanding one process in its entirety from beginning to end. They are the ones that make the big decisions when it comes to making a change, and they are the ones that need to be constantly focused on improving it as well.

Of course, depending on the size of your business, you may not be able to have all of these roles. And that is alright.

Some of these can be self-taught, or easy enough to keep in mind yourself. Experts are well and good, but if you’re trying to cut costs, doing some initial analysis and mapping on your own may be a good first step. At Skore, our software is designed so that everyone and anyone can map a process and review it easily.

Because above all, processes should be as simple as possible to visualize for your business to improve on them.

Why Manage Business Processes? 

And why do you want your business to improve and manage your processes?

Why do you need BPM?

For success.

Companies that practice BPM find that they:

  • Maximize resources while minimizing costs – you can lower expenditure on tools or waiting periods that your clients are not paying you for, liberating both cash flow and time for your employees that can best be used elsewhere.
  • Gain better visibility and control of their business – because you are constantly improving your processes, you know what is happening when, and why. Especially if you’re using collaborative, easy-to-understand software. There are no unexpected surprises, and you can keep track of your productivity while delegating tasks.
  • Find operational challenges to improve on for production efficiency – as you practice constant improvement, you will always be able to find places where your process can use some tweaking for efficiency. You can model out solutions prior to implementing them as you go.
  • Make better business decisions and remain competitive – as you are so aware of how your company works, you will know what is best for your company to do at different times. Your business decisions will be based on facts and figures, not guesswork or estimations.
  • Constantly fine-tune workflows resulting in operational excellence and agility – operational excellence and constant improvement both lead to a better, more efficient process that costs less. Because you are constantly working on finding problem areas and fixing them, this will be a natural effect of your methodology. Especially if you focus on providing constant value for your client and what they have paid for.

Without BPM, you’re essentially conducting business blindly. You do not know what to spend on, what you are already spending on, what your customers are paying for, and why you are losing or gaining revenue.

Simply put, you need to practice BPM if you want to truly succeed.

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The Importance of Mapping Using Skore for Business Process Management

As mentioned previously, it is through mapping your process in visual form that you are able to begin the BPM steps. You analyse what you see

This is why we go through the trouble of mapping out processes.

But mapping out your processes can be a challenge in itself.

There are so many types of diagrams, notations, and software that it can be quite difficult to pick the right one.

At Skore, we’d like to make the case for our tool above all.

Focused on simplicity, Skore utilises Universal Process Notation (UPN) as its core. 

All diagrams are streamlined and uncluttered. As we are cloud-based software, you can attach further information or documentation as needed to the different steps, or you can make sub-processes within a larger process that you drill down on directly with the software. We avoid confusing diagrams and focus on clarity above all.

Furthermore, the notation and signs are very easy to understand. You do not need to get special certification or learn dozens of signs and their meanings to follow along or create a process with Skore. Simply bring in together your decision-makers and the employees that make up a certain process and build it in a workshop

As we are a software, you can do this asynchronously or all together at once. And you can then save both your current processes and your modelled solutions in a process library you can constantly refer back to and add as you keep improving as a business.

No need for experts or complications here. Indeed, we are happy to report that our clients use Skore with their own clients to great success.

Having learned about BPM, are you curious about how you’re currently managing your business processes? 

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