Dealing with business processes on a daily basis, you probably know how difficult it is to arrange and enforce them. Business process management (BPM) allows you to map out the execution of activities in order to achieve the desired result. Well-prepared scenarios for daily operations can help streamline workflows, reduce costs, speed up efficiency of operations, increase productivity and facilitate communication. In this article, I’ll walk you through 7 cases when using BPM makes sense.
Business process management – examples of use
BPM is an approach that can facilitate company operations at many different levels. You can use it specifically for managing a business process or as a half-measure to achieve a larger goal like cost reduction or better performance. Here are some situations in which business process management can be beneficial.
Repetitive and complex large-scale processes
Every business has processes that are either repetitive – making them easy to describe and automate, or are so complex that they require well management. Many factors influence how a business process may ultimately turn out, so it is worth being prepared for any scenario.
Companies care about profit. To increase it, they need to minimize risk and make internal processes as reliable and free of human error as possible. Even today, many companies rely on paper documents and forms or tools such as spreadsheets and emails. With this approach, it’s very easy to make mistakes or inaccuracies. From a management perspective, it’s hard to monitor employee tasks and responsibilities. It is for such applications that business process management software tools are ideally suited. Their main goal is to automate and execute processes in exactly the same way, every time.
Good business process management practices significantly reduce the occurrence of errors. Stakeholders at every stage are informed of their responsibilities and made sure they meet certain criteria. If errors do occur, they can be easily traced back to the source. Ultimately, this greatly minimizes risks in business processes and results in huge savings.
Business Processes that change frequently
Some companies work in regulated industries. Legislator requirements can change very frequently, leaving organizations with little time to adapt. Processes that are constantly changing are difficult to automate. They are also likely to be among the highest value processes. This is because they typically require human involvement and knowledge. Business processes change significantly more often than we think.
A comprehensive business process management software can ensure that organizations comply with all standards and stay up to date with legislation by implementing regulatory requirements. By implementing a business process management solution, you also easily integrate compliance into the process lifecycle. A process engine provides assurance that processes are well understood and follow strict guidelines.
Even if your company industry is not regulated, it’s likely that at some stage of your business, you will want to modify your business processes in some way. If you are dealing with “long-lived” workflows and your application is already in production, it can be problematic to adapt ongoing processes, running on an older version of the system, to this newer one.
BPM software often provides tools that make this migration much easier. An easily modifiable system ensures that the organization is very flexible. It can focus on business operations without worrying about external or internal disruptive factors. This is probably the most important reason to consider using business process management.
Reduce costs and focus on customer satisfaction
In today’s market, companies need to constantly maximize profits and reduce costs to achieve a competitive advantage. A well-designed BPM software can optimize costs by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining operational efficiency. Business process management can also help organizations find tasks that simply aren’t worth the time and investment. These parts of the processes can sometimes be eliminated or outsourced.
Business process management also allows people and technology to come together for customer acquisition and retention. BPM software, makes processes redesignable with a new or additional goal of improving the customer experience (e.g., built-in quality control). In turn, with simpler, more efficient task management, company productivity is increased and employees can focus more on the end customer. Customer satisfaction then boosts. A satisfied customer is a customer who comes back, which ultimately also affects the company’s profits.
A healthy system is a measurable system
Every decision-maker in any company should care about the continuous improvement of the enterprise. To improve – you need data. To get data – you need to measure. Therefore, process performance measurement tools are essential for continuous enterprise improvement.
As BPM systems have matured, they have begun to offer business managers extensive process monitoring capabilities. It is now possible to monitor work in real time or view archived processes. One such tool is Camunda Optimize. Based on archived and current instances of processes, it allows collecting statistics and creating reports. These allow you to monitor KPIs and SLAs. Visualizations in the form of intuitive heatmaps can also be helpful, allowing you to quickly discover process steps that are frequently executed or take much longer than expected. This can be a red flag indicating the need for automation or an unskilled employee – this happens frequently in support and finance teams, where employees are not fully aware and trained in their responsibilities. If a step in a business process is always performed quickly and fixed after an error occurs, this is often a sign of a well-modeled process or a highly skilled and efficient employee.
Integration of multiple systems
Today, microservice architecture is gaining popularity. Along with its great advantages, in some cases, with increased complexity, problems with the proper decomposition of services or their management also become apparent. The right BPM tool can act as a central platform for downloading and uploading data to core software systems such as ERP and CRM.
Typically, department-specific software is developed for unique use cases. Accessing the data and using it for other activities can be difficult. Integrating a company’s software with an enterprise-wide BPM technologies can bring many benefits. Some processes require human intervention, while others do not. By process automation, you can reduce manual data entry and increase process management efficiency.
Business process management is ideal for long-running processes and orchestrating multiple applications with synchronous and asynchronous communication. It handles well the challenges of state storage, timeouts and error management. It also makes it possible to solve the problem of complex transactions in distributed systems.
Documentation and process awareness in the organization
Many companies are facing high employee turnover. This is why more than ever they should care about documenting their business processes and gathering all kinds of tacit knowledge. Business process modeling certainly helps an organization gain more insights about its workflows, but there is a big caveat that comes with this approach.
Many organizations fall prey to the approach that they can document their complex business processes in their favorite tool and over time it will provide great value. In reality, if the process model is not tied to a process engine, it will become obsolete very quickly. That’s because business processes change far more often than we realize.
By properly implementing business process management in an organization, teams are more responsive to change. Without business process management, different areas of the business may be completely unaware of how their processes relate to or conflict with each other. With process knowledge, teams know why they operate the way they do, and explaining to them the reasons and goals of a new change is easier.
An organization that is flexible to change is very strong. It can navigate through any problems caused by internal or external factors and increase results exponentially. Teams become scalable, competitive and collaborative.
Working with legacy or digital transformation
We live in a constantly changing reality. In the wake of the pandemic, the ability of organizations to quickly adapt to supply chain disruptions, time-to-market pressures and rapidly changing customer expectations has become critical. Like reality, the demands on information systems are changing. Software, no matter what type it is or how powerful it was when purchased, ages with time. Therefore, IT transformation is necessary at some stage. This is just one element of digital transformation and refers to the ways in which IT can deliver next-generation solutions to increase stability and better support an organization’s daily technology needs.
Using business process management platforms in digital transformation activities can sometimes be very helpful. If you have a group of applications in your organization that need to be refreshed, a BPM system can become a layer that integrates all the applications or provides additional value to employees using those applications. By having some abstraction over the system, it can be easily broken down and gradually rewritten without disrupting the day-to-day operations of the company. Business process management also enables a two-pronged action, allowing a non-intrusive operation on the old system and a soft transition to the new one on the day the changes take effect.
Business process management helps companies to learn about the capabilities, bottlenecks and trends of their current business processes. It enables process automation of routine tasks, optimize processes, increase company efficiency and workflow management.
I hope that the above BPM examples have clarified in which situations it is worth implementing such a solution in your company. All examples were based on the experience of our clients where we implemented such solutions.
If you see a potential for introducing BPM in your company, feel free to write to us. At Devapo we are not only an executor but also consultant and business partner. We will guide you through the entire process from A to Z and recomend best solutions.