What is Business Process Management (BPM), and why should you care?

What is Business Process Management (BPM), and why should you care?

What is BPM?

Put simply, Business Process Management is the discipline of understanding your regular business processes, and making changes to improve them.

 

Why do it?

For a number of reasons - well built, structured business processes will:

  • Make organising your workforce, and workload, easier
  • Reduce time taken to complete tasks
  • Increase accuracy of tasks
  • Save time on reporting and auditing
  • Guarantee that your regular tasks are managed properly
  • Combine tasks which complement each other
  • Gather statistics to help shape future processes
  • Ensure regulatory compliance
  • Keep everyone on the same page about your objectives and how you work

 

How to start

Break. Things. Down.

Step back and look at what your people are doing day-to-day. Make a list of your main business processes, and then ask yourself some questions:

  • WHY are the processes in place? Are they strictly necessary? Do they overlap?
  • HOW are the processes undertaken? How many people are involved? What are the pinch points? How do the people involved communicate and pass tasks around?
  • WHAT are the bottlenecks? What do you need to get out of the processes? What is the end result?
  • WHEN do the processes need to happen? Are they organised in a scheduled way? Automatically triggered by something? Do you have deadlines to meet?
  • WHERE are they undertaken? In a single place? Out in the field? Is your information secure in all of the environments where processes happen?
  • ARE things standardised? What is the likelihood of errors when processes are undertaken? Do your processes respond to changing circumstances?
  • IS paper a big part of what you do? Are things consolidated into as few systems as possible? Is there a central place you can go to manage your workload?

These are just a few questions which can help you to better understand your processes. You may be thinking “I already know what we do”, but it is always good to re-evaluate. In doing so you can quickly spot cross-over or areas where problems can creep in. You can also identify differences in the way that individuals carry out processes, and encourage standardisation.

How ClearWAY can help

The above steps are a great start to improving how you undertake your regular business processes. In doing so you might find that you could benefit from consolidating and standardising, and that is where a Business Process Management System (BPMS) can come in handy.

Once you know the steps which form the processes, and how the process might change dependant on those steps, you can translate them into “Pathways” within ClearWAY. A well configured Pathway can then be allocated to individuals or teams to carry out - as and when required, on a scheduled basis, or triggered by other processes automatically. A Pathway is essentially a template for a process - define it once, and use it multiple times.

When allocated the instance of your newly standardised process is ready to be completed, and will gather information and stats along the way, as well as routing the completer to different steps depending on their responses. The flexibility provided by this way of working means that you can closely monitor how your processes (and people) perform, and make changes to further optimize how you work.

Over time, you’ll find that you get more work done in less time, better data on which to base business process decisions, and a simpler way of working. That’s in addition to the immediate benefits of faster task allocation, clarity of process, elimination of paper, closer monitoring of your processes, and an altogether simpler way of working.

That said, maybe you don’t need a system to do that - sometimes a few process tweaks can give you sufficient benefit in one area or another, but it is always worth investigating what is out there to bring everything together.
If you’d like to know more, or get a free trial, head over to the ClearWAY product page, or get in touch.

 

Thanks for reading.


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