¶ … Jeston and Nelis (p.4) Business Process Management abbreviated as BPM is a style of looking at business processes present in an organization and then controlling the processes. BPM is an efficient methodology that an organization can employ especially in times of crisis. The organization can use BPM to ensure that certain processes are effective and efficient. Using BPM will result in more cost effective and better organization. The term BPM refers to how an organization studies, identifies, changes, and monitors its business processes to ensure the processes are running smoothly. BPM should not be conceived as a process, but rather as a business practice, which encompasses structured methods and techniques. One should note that although there are technologies that perform this activity, BPM is not itself a technology. BPM is not a onetime exercise. It is a continuous evaluation of a business's processes and taking actions in order to improve the flow of processes. Carrying out BPM would lead an organization to improve on its existing processes instead of building or creating new processes. Standardizing business processes across all departments is a key aim of BPM, and this ensures that the processes are easily understood and managed, risks mitigated, and errors reduced.
Benefits and challenges of BPM
The benefits of BPM include bringing improved processes and efficiency. Continuous analysis of processes will reveal any inefficiencies or bottlenecks. This can then be closely scrutinized and corrected. BPM does eliminate process hiccups, and organization participants can easily understand the processes (Roglinger, Poppelbuss and Becker p.332). All process related information is readily accessible and understandable by all employees, which increases organization efficiency. The risk of fraud is reduced by BPM. Whenever clients and employees understand that all processes within the organization are being monitored, they will be more cautious and conscious of all their actions. Whether it is a manual or automated system, if people are aware there is a continuous audit that occurs it is less likely they will commit any fraud. BPM ensures that there is consistency in the way that tasks are achieved within an organization. For example, asking four people how to accomplish a task can result in four different ways. Using BPM you can rest assured you would receive the same answer from all employee within the organization. BPM ensures that all processes are clear, and people are not implementing their own workarounds to accomplish their objectives. BPM makes sure that processes are understood, people understand their roles and the impact these roles have on the organization and clients.
One of the main challenges of implementing BPPM is establishing what the system needs to measure. This activity requires investment of significant energy and time because it is crucial to the success of BPM. N preconfigured system is available that covers all the areas needed by an organization. Therefore, there is a need for customization and analysis to determine the needs of the organization. Each business has its own specific needs. A business should research its limitations and capabilities in order to determine the best way to integrate BPM into the business. This means that the organization should be prepared to sacrifice time in order to have the best system. Rushing to do the implementation would result in pitfalls. Implementing any new process within an established workforce is a challenge. In order to successfully implement BPM and redefine the process there is a need for buy-in from the senior management. If this is not available, implementing BPM will be impossible. Resistance is inevitable, but the level of resistance will determine the success of the implementation. Most employees will generally be unwilling to embrace a new way of doing a process and would prefer to maintain the old way. The resources required in order to analyze the process continuously are time and resource consuming.
Components of BPM
Process modeling is the analytical illustration or representation of the organization's business processes. This is a critical component of BPM because it entails the mapping out of the organization's current processes in order to create a baseline for the improvement of the processes (Weske p.346). Process modeling allows for the design of future processes based on the current processes. The processes would be illustrated using flowcharts or other graphical representations to ensure that all the investigation and remodeling. To capture the relevant information and in order for the analyst to understand and document the current processes, they will conduct research using interviews or other data collection methodologies. Interviews are the best because the analyst can clarify anything that they did not understand from the interviewee. Documentation of the established processes will follow. The analyst has to display what they have found and document all the current processes. The documentation will mostly consist of graphical diagrams representing the current processes. Graphical representation makes it easy for the stakeholders to understand how their processes operate. This documentation will allow the analyst to determine where there is a need for improvement. Process management
Process management refers to the group of activities for planning and monitoring a processes performance. This requires the application of skills, tools, knowledge, systems, and techniques in order to visualize, define, measure, control, report, and improve business processes with an aim to meet customer requirements. Process management would offer the business analyst an opportunity to evaluate the current business processes and measure them on the requirements. This measuring would allow the analyst to determine if the current processes meet the organization's intended goals. If not, then they would propose improvements to the processes. Any weaknesses of the current processes are established during process management. The analyst should be aware of the requirements and would conduct an analysis to determine why the current processes cannot meet the laid out requirements. These weaknesses would demonstrate the areas that require improvement. Other constraints that the current processes face like employees not following the processes or processes having too many steps. The analyst should establish why the processes are not been followed or plan to reduce the number of steps needed to complete a given task. The constraints should inform the analyst of the processes that need improvement, and they would concentrate on these processes. Once all the weaknesses, constraints, and organizational goals have been established, the next step is offering recommendations. The recommendations would be aimed at pushing for a buy-in from the senior management of the organization. The business case would inform the management how the proposed improvements would streamline the organization's processes and increase its profitability. Cost reduction and fraud prevention is the main aim of most organizations. The recommendations should demonstrate clearly what the proposed change would include and how all this would be achieved.
Process reengineering is the radical redesign of a business's core processes in order to achieve improvements in cycle times, productivity, and quality (Chiarini p.25). When doing process reengineering, it is vital that the analysts start with a blank sheet and establish how the current processes could be improved to add more value to the customer. The main aim of process reengineering is to analyze and redesign the current workflows to optimize end-to-end processes. A business can gain strategic values like better serving customers once the processes have been re-invented. Customer can also receive additional services once processes have been expanded, and this would add to a business strategy. Entering new markets is now more possible once a business has managed to extend its existing processes (Ozcelik p.104). A business can diversify how it delivers its services and goods to customers.
BPR is faced with these challenges the desire to change is not too strong. This would result in process reengineering in some areas and would not allow the organization to achieve its strategic objectives. Failure to start on a blank page would result in failure because BPR would be modeled on an existing process. BPR should be aligned to business objectives and if not this would result in challenges trying to implement BPR. It would seem like an external process or activity and will not receive enough attention. An organization that successfully implements BPR would manage to reduce its costs and cycle time. Elimination of unproductive activities would be possible once BPR is done. Information flows increases once processes have been reengineered. Quality is also improved with BPR. Reducing work fragmentation ensures that work quality is increased, and clear process ownership is established.
Business Process Management is a crucial activity that all businesses should undertake. This is because it ensures that a business can continuously innovate and adapt to new challenges and changes. Improving on the existing process…
Chiarini, Andrea. "Business Process Reengineering." From Total Quality Control to Lean Six Sigma. Springer, 2012. 25-27. Print.
Jeston, John, and Johan Nelis. Business Process Management. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. Print.
Ozcelik, Yasin. "Effects of Business Process Reengineering on Firm Performance: An Econometric Analysis." Business Process Management. New York, NY: Springer, 2013. 99-110. Print.
Roglinger, Maximilian, Jens Poppelbuss, and Jorg Becker. "Maturity Models in Business Process Management." Business Process Management Journal 18.2 (2012): 328-46. Print.
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