Simplifying Business Improvement

BPM – Business Process Management

  • Bring a fresh focus to the management and optimisation of business assets through systematically recording processes, identifying opportunities for improvement, implementing change and monitoring performance.
  • Promote business effectiveness and efficiency while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology.
  • Continuously improve customer satisfaction, product quality, delivery speed and time-to-market speed. – Can be described as a "process optimisation process."
  • Enable people-focussed systems that lead everyone towards consistency and compliance.

Key benefits

1. Greater operational efficiency and consistency

Eliminate wasteful and unnecessary activity.  Automation and integration can reduce cycle times, lower costs, and handle additional work with no increase in staff.  Escalation procedures can provide for when exceptions occur or deadlines cannot be met.  In a sluggish economy, now is a good time to take action that will lead to improved efficiency.

2. Improved compliance and control

Improve control over business processes, providing improved compliance with procedures, regulations, policies, and best practices.  Automation ensures that there is always "one version of the truth" and the activity log provides a means to accurately audit processes, reducing risk.

3. Innovation through analysis

Allows a business to innovate existing processes "on paper" before committing to implementing change.  A process-modelling tool is used to document the current (as-is) process and then to devise the new (to-be) processes in a highly structured way.  This model can then be used to project the value of improvements made.

Many companies have no idea what their end-to-end processes look like, or why things are done the way they are. In many cases the processes in place today were put in place a long time ago, before many of the present significant business factors even existed.  In addition, it is not at all unusual to find that different staff members have different ways of doing the same jobs.

4. Agility

Withstand changing business conditions and loss of key staff.  Through the use of BPM automation tools, the risks that come with change can be reduced by providing the means to make changes quickly and without the need for alterations in code.  Businesses can bring new products and services to market more quickly and respond more easily to changing market requirements.

Because process logic is like a flowchart, changes can be made quickly and easily without programming.  Built-in integration methods make connecting to diverse business systems simple and allow a great deal of flexibility in how otherwise inflexible systems can be made to react to changing requirements.

5. End-to-end performance visibility and optimisation - accountability

Through the automated tracking of every operation, end-to-end performance metrics are made available in real-time, providing an immediate means for problem resolution.  An operational dashboard and automated alerts allow business owners to respond instantly to events that affect the bottom line.

Action Plan

1.    UNDERSTAND  Create a common understanding of what happens within a business, the processes it employs, the roles people play and the activities they perform in achieving desired outcomes.  A visually engaging method is used in “Discovery Workshops” for people to describe what they do and to explain why.  This unlocks valuable knowledge from the heads of employees and produces the “as-is” model.

2.    IMPROVE  In the process of building the “as-is” model, it is common to recognise opportunities to eliminate wasteful activity.  Through further study, even more improvements may be made.  The objective is to “do things right the first time and to do the right things”.  By using a visual method to describe business activity, it is much easier to identify activities that need to be addressed.

3.    AUTOMATE  When a new process model has been defined, the steps required to change from the current state to the new way of doing things is documented, including any training instructions required.  The before and after statistics can be recorded, and once the new processes are accepted full automation can be implemented, using a computer aided workflow that makes it easier for people to do their jobs and to enable more timely and consistent outcomes.

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