When it comes to understanding business process management (BPM), it can be stated that, at surface level, it presents a dichotomy. Most people tend to see it as a system-wide plan for improvement; a form of top-down transformation for the purpose of improving all functions. It is better understood as a bottom-up, interdepartmental, process-level enterprise. By chunking down and focusing on the small stuff, the bottom line reflects the effect of an enterprise-wide solution. When implemented, BPM capabilities have a mysteriously positive effect on ROI.
In the over-broad, bird's-eye view, BPM is a means of bringing "fresh eyes" to see the possibilities of how to trim the fat. While cutting labor is the first, most obvious method to stop the hemorrhaging of operating expense, it is not always the most efficient. BPM brings the means of working smarter, not harder. It is the process of starting small while thinking "big picture."
Taking a look at common organizational issues, BPM is useful in integrating the functions of such issues as:
- Eliminating waste
- Improving the process function
- Reducing the amount of time spent on process execution
- Reducing expenses related to processes
- Examining the impact of personnel reductions or additions as they relates to process
Automating processes tends to isolate certain functions. As multiple departments become involved, there is a workflow that must be followed. Inevitably, the efficiency of the process is subject to the separation of the various aspects of the flow. Business process management software (BPMS) is what integrates these disparate systems connecting them in this process of automation. It serves as the glue between existing software and applications to fill the gaps and produce tangible, measurable value.
What BPM is Not
A highly effective and comprehensive management approach, BPM is often misconstrued for what it is not. For example:
1. BPM is just a tool to establish workflow.
Wrong. While BPM consists of a workflow methodology, today's business life-cycle encompasses much more. Activities include such diverse elements as monitoring, reporting, execution, process modeling, stimulation and optimization.
2. The expense for BPM is out of reach.
Wrong. BPM software is highly adaptable. Aside from not requiring much more than IT specialists upon installation and integration, it is priced by user. Rather than being a system that requires the user to adapt to its scope and function, it is designed to suit the company or process. The effectiveness of BPM ends up freeing up staff anyway, which means they are available to take on additional work. There is also an option to rent the software removing the expense related to maintenance.
3. BPM makes it necessary for your team to be programmers.
Wrong. Requiring little more than a Windows server and SQL database, user-friendly drag-and-drop features enable users with the ability to create workflows they can update easily to meet actual needs.
4. BPM is only meant for the complexities of big business.
Wrong. At the heart of BPM is simplification. From the most basic of processes, managers at every level are empowered to expedite informed decisions quickly without need of extensive research. Improving efficiency expands through greater visibility across all processes, allowing stakeholders an opportunity to analyze trends and identify potential problems. Collectively, this help companies of all sizes enforce their policies, reduce risks and minimize the complexity of internal processes.
5. BPM is strictly for those long-term programs.
Wrong. This is not your typical project management endeavor with extensive budgets, teams to design and implement the software and a project manager with very little hair remaining on his head from pulling it out in frustration. With wizard functionality, BPM software gets processes up and running in less than three weeks with deployment occurring in only a matter of days.
This brief unveiling of just a few misconceptions about BPM reveal the numerous advantages it offers. With BPM, you have the ability to quickly and efficiently fold in to your business streamlined company-wide processes and workflows.
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