My Guide to Business Process Management

Business Process Management (BPM) is a management methodology, used to define how an organisation will achieve efficient, effective and sustainable results.

The main difference between BPM and traditional management approaches is the adoption of Process Thinking and the development of an organisational culture that is Process Centric.

Process Thinking: All organisations have processes that represent the steps undertaken to deliver a service or manufacture a product. Often these processes are not well documented or even well understood; they just happen. Often organisations will have well documented and followed procedures. However these alone do not represent a well-managed, business process.

Process thinking seeks to:

  • Deliver value to Customers and Stakeholders as the key measures of process success
  • Manage processes as end-to-end activity streams that cross organisational functional boundaries
  • Align all processes with the organisation’s strategic directions

For most organisations it is easy to find stories about customers that have poor experiences or employees that can see obvious areas of dysfunction. Unfortunately, these occurrences are not rare, especially in large organisations where complexity often gets in the way of effective process. A culture of achieving process excellence is required to combat these issues.

A process centric culture seeks to:

  • Assign accountability to Process Owners who are responsible for achieving results for their end-to-end process, regardless of the organisational structure that is undertaking the work of the process.
  • Create a transparent view of the organisation’s processes and performance measures, ensuring that all activities undertaken are aligned to the organisation’s processes and all performance reporting is traceable back to the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) of Business Processes.
  • Adopt a Process Management Framework that details the processes that the organisation will follow to manage and improve all of it’s business processes.

That’s all well and good, but the question I’m asked most of all is, ‘what are the real business benefits of process management’? Well, the key benefits, in my opinion, are:

  • Focus. All levels of an organisation are focused on activities that deliver the right results for customers and stakeholders.
  • Clarification. Defining how work is done, when, and by whom, provides opportunities to question ‘why?’ and generate major business improvement initiatives.
  • Efficiency. The visibility of business processes allows concentration on inefficiencies as well as the opportunity to “re-use” common activities across the organisation.
  • Sustainability. Business processes can be continually improved to adapt to changing organisation environments and continue to deliver results.
  • Measurable. All processes can be measured end-to-end and compared to expected results.

For more information, visit my website.

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