Business Process Management (BPM) is, in a nutshell, the way your company manages and improves business processes. This can mean making all sorts of changes to how the process works. You could, for example, restructure it (remove a step, add a step, etc.) or completely re-engineer it using new technology (automating just about anything).
Business Process Management – A Simple Introduction
In a world filled with business-buzzwords, it can sometimes be hard to keep up. “Business Process Management” is one of those terms that get thrown around a lot. And unless you’re an experienced Chief Operations Officer, the whole BPM thing can be a bit confusing.
So, we’re here to shed some light on process management.
Business Process Management (BPM) is the long-term strategy of analyzing and improving your processes.
But before we dive into the specifics of process management, let’s talk a bit about processes.
So What’s a Process?
A business process is a series of repeatable steps that you need to carry out to achieve some sort of business goal.
The key here is repeatable – it should be something your business does on a regular basis. This can mean onboarding a new employee, for example, or shipping a product to a customer.
“Processes” shouldn’t be confused with either projects or tasks, though.
A project is usually a one-time thing. You could be, for example, creating a marketing strategy for a client. What you create for that specific client is probably going to be original work.
Tasks, on the other hand, are specific steps in a process or a project. A process could consist of 5-6 tasks that need to be completed in a sequence, for example. Or in a similar way, a project might involve carrying out a number of tasks for it to be completed.
How BPM Works
There’s no one way of “doing” BPM. Rather, it’s more of a loose term. If you’re constantly analyzing and trying to improve single processes, though, that’s when your organization does Business Process Management.
Process improvement is a bit more standard than BPM, though. There are several steps you have to carry out…
|Step 1||Map the current process. What are the exact steps you need to carry out for the process to be successful?|
|Step 2||Analyse the process. Are there any obvious inefficiencies? Frequently missed deadlines?|
|Step 3||Come up with improvements. How can you fix the flaws you found in step #2?|
|Step 4||Test the improvements at a small scale. Are the new results what you were hoping for?|
|Step 5||If the improvement is successful, apply the new solution company-wide.|
If you’re thinking that this might be a lot of work, well, yeah. We definitely can’t argue with that. BPM can be hard and time-consuming.
The payoff, however, is definitely worth it.
BPM Helps Get the Most out of Your Business
Over half of all businesses now view business process management as extremely important due to the increasing return on investment many companies are seeing. Other than pure profit, there are several other essential benefits provided by BPM…
- Business Agility – Any company that focuses on constant improvement develops a culture of innovation. Your employees will be used to change, so whenever you’ll want to make some drastic changes to company strategy, you’ll be able to do it without much hassle or panic.
- Customer Satisfaction – If all your processes are efficient as they can be, you’re going to end up having a better product or service overall. You could, for example, make it cheaper because your processes cost less. This, of course, makes your customers happier.
- Employee Morale – Employees like to feel engaged. If you use their feedback to improve your processes (and reward them for it), they’ll be much happier with their job.
Business Process Management – Methodology & Software
One of the reasons why BPM can be confusing is because everyone keeps using the term in a different context.
While the word itself refers to the methodology, there’s also the software part of it.
The main difference between the two is that BPM is a methodology of mapping, optimizing and improving processes. Business Process Management Software (BPMS), on the other hand, is a means of execution.
The software helps with each tiny part of BPM. It allows you to…
- Map Your Processes – With BPM, you can create digital models of your processes. This makes it significantly easier to both analyze and improve them.
- Enforce Changes – Without the software, you’d have to keep track of your employees and ensure that they’re following through with the new process, and not just reverting back to the old one. With BPMS, all you have to do is make a change within the system and it’s going to automatically enforce the change.
- Process Analytics – BPMS keeps track of your processes, letting you know whenever there are any bottlenecks, inefficiencies, etc.
Here’s a sneak peek of how the software looks like…
You might be thinking that all this sounds amazing – the software basically does half of the work for you.
True, the software is extremely useful, but there’s a big problem with major BPM software providers.
They’re a bit outdated.
And as with most of the older enterprise software, it’s both extremely expensive and hard to set-up. The installation itself is going to take months AND cost you somewhere around 6 figures. And that’s just one problem with legacy BPM software.
They’re also extremely hard to use, so you’d need to conduct special training for your teams to actually get the hang of the software.
Those exact problems are the reason we created Tallyfy. We make BPMS easy.
You can start running your processes within 30 minutes after registration, and it only costs $15 / user / month.
Wait, so Why is BPM so Expensive?
You’re probably wondering, what’s the trade-off?
There has to be a reason why old BPM is expensive, right? How can we manage to bring the price down by more than 100x?
Well, the main issue with most Business Process Management Software is that they’re old.
The price issue wasn’t just about BPM – most old software solutions used to be extremely expensive. In fact, it was so expensive, that only the bigger organizations could afford it.
Today, most software companies innovated. All you have to do to start using software is go online, find the right provider, and pay a very low fee.
No setup, no training, no nothing.
And that’s exactly what we’re doing with Tallyfy – making business process management accessible to everyone.
3 Practical Examples of Business Process Management
Now that we’ve got all the theory out of the way, you’re probably wondering, “Where do I start?”
Well, to give you a better idea of some of the most common uses for BPM, we’ll cover 3 practical examples, which you can directly apply to your own business!
If there’s one business function that could REALLY benefit from BPM, it’s HR.
About half of the work is forms or documents management. Get the applicant to fill in this document, have the company management sign it, approve & sign vacation forms, etc.
This can all be extremely chaotic and time-consuming. You don’t want your HR department to be spending half their time making sure the right document is signed.
If you use BPM software, though, you can automate all the documents management.
Let’s say, for example, you’re trying to automate vacation approval. Your employees fill in a form through the software, which is then forwarded to HR.
Once HR approves, the system sends it over to the management to sign. Without the software, this would involve a lot of email exchanges.
If you’ve ever worked with a blog or media company, you’ll probably agree with us – publishing can be hectic.
If your company publishes a lot, you’ll be hearing a lot of…
“Wasn’t this post due a week ago?”
“Did the designer finish up the graphs for the new article?”
“Where did that post go? The one we were supposed to publish 2 weeks ago?”
Unless you have a well-structured publishing process, all this chaos can turn into a real problem.
At Tallyfy, we have a defined publishing flow (using our own process management software)…
|Step 1||The writer finishes up the article. They start the publishing process for “Article X.”|
|Step 2||The task is then assigned to the editor. Once they’ve made comments, they mark the task done and it’s back to the writer to make all the edits.|
|Step 3||Once the article is finalized, the software notifies our designer to create custom images for the post.|
|Step 4||The designer uploads the posts and completes the task.|
|Step 5||The editor gets a notification that the post is complete. Then, they upload the article to WordPress, optimize it for SEO, publish it and mark the process complete.|
The process helps us stay on track with the deadlines, making the entire publishing process faster.
Here’s what the publishing process would look like for this exact article…
Whether you’re working with a new client, hiring an employee, or starting work with a supplier, you first need to onboard them.
This means bringing them up to speed on how your organization functions.
Some of the ways you could use BPM here are…
Employee Onboarding – Whenever you’re hiring a new employee, you need to bring them up to speed ASAP. There are a lot of documents you need to approve, get them the right equipment, making introductions with the rest of the team, etc. BPMS gives you a structure for this process, ensuring that you never miss a critical step.
Client Onboarding – If you’re starting to work with a new client, whatever the project may be about, there are several key steps you need to carry out. You’ll need to figure out what the client needs you to achieve, how they want to communicate, and so on. As with employee onboarding, you can use BPMS to streamline your client onboarding process.
Getting Started with BPM
Now that you know the ins and outs of process management, all you have to do is put it into practice.
And what’s a better way to start than with a software specially designed for BPM?
Give Tallyfy a try for free, and see how it can make a difference.