Business Process Management (BPM) consists of powerful tools to generate dramatic work process improvement. It helps organizations cope with the detrimental after-effects of staff cuts during the recession.

Organizational leaders are continuously seeking ways in which to save money, especially in difficult economic times. They must ensure that all operational processes are as effective and efficient as possible with the resources left in place. It is disappointing that so few recognize how easily they can reach operational efficiencies through Business Process Management (BPM).

In essence, BPM will help to identify new opportunities to improve key business processes. BPM examines all key business processes and streamlines them for effectiveness and efficiency. Its goal is to increase productivity levels, improve staff motivation levels and help customers feel the positive impact of these decisions. Furthermore, once business processes are documented, it is easier to identify which processes may require additional support, as we return to growth.

If your organization is facing any of these challenges below BPM will help:

  • You are faced with increased global competition.
  • There are constant price reduction demands from your customers.
  • Increased requirements for quality.
  • You must remain competitive, innovative and profitable.
  • You need to implement enhanced cost and cycle-time reduction.
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty levels need to be increased.
  • There is a requirement to minimize all forms of waste and maximize value for the customer.
  • Resources are stretched and not sure where to spend their time.
  • Many key business processes are in crisis and there is lots of fire-fighting rather than looking into the root causes of the problems.
  • There is blame and excuses for poor individual and group work practices.

Although it may seem to be an unlikely combination of ideas: Organizational survival today requires a combination of performance improvement while positively impacting our bottom-line and increasing employee morale.

About Business Process Management

Today we must get some quick improvements in order to quickly move out of our recession mode of operating. We don’t have the time to engage in expensive and lengthy training. We must see improvements within a few weeks and months at most. Business Process Management combines the best of effective quality tools with the principles of Lean Management to create a quick analysis of key business processes in order to immediately increase their effectiveness and efficiency. This helps organizations to remain competitive, innovative, and profitable by identifying a reduction in their cost and cycle-time while increasing customer satisfaction levels and delivering standardized high quality. The core elements of Business Process Management include:

  • Identifying Key Business Processes
    Select only key business processes. That is, those process that have a direct impact on the organization and its customers. Develop the benchmark against which success will be measured.
  • Identifying the Voice of the Customer
    Collect this data through your internal and external feedback mechanisms. This will include surveys and interviews. Recognize that customers of each key business process will likely include both internal and external customers.
  • Develop the Current Value Stream Map
    Use all of the subject matter experts to ensure that you are able to identify everything that is included in completing each portion of the key business process. Create a detailed flowchart of this information. This will identify what is being done and why.
  • Measure the Process
    Identify the direct costs, people costs, overhead costs and opportunity costs associated with this business process.
  • Completing a Root Cause Analysis of the key business process
    Identify all of the blockages and barriers preventing the business process from immediately reaching its defined “improvement” requirements.
  • Developing the Ideal Value Stream
    Put aside what you know to be true of the current process and identify the blockages and barriers to reaching your defined success measures. Create the “ideal” process map that will address the root causes of all identified issues, concerns, problems and challenges in the current process.
  • Developing Solutions
    Generate a list of possible options and solutions that can be implemented. Select the best possible options and solutions, ensuring that these will overcome the root causes.
  • Developing the Implementation Plan
    Develop a detailed implementation strategy to ensure that the solutions are successfully realized. Include who needs to do what, when and with what resources.

Conclusion

It is imperative that organizations start to analyze their key business processes, using Business Process Management, to ensure that performance and employee morale is increased. It is likely that staff is still feeling stressed from the recession of this past year and ready to embrace the positive change that engagement in BPM will ensure.

Michael Stanleigh

Michael Stanleigh, CMC, CSP, CSM is the CEO of Business Improvement Architects. He works with leaders and their teams around the world to improve organizational performance by helping them to define their strategic direction, increase leadership performance, create cultures that drive innovation and improve project and quality management. Michael’s experience spans public and private sector organizations in over 20 different countries. He also delivers presentations to businesses and conferences throughout the world. In addition to his consulting practice and global speaking he has been featured and published in over 500 different magazines and industry publications. For more information about this article you may contact Michael Stanleigh at mstanleigh@bia.ca