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Beginners’ Guide to Business Process Management

Introduction

Albert Low, the Author of Zen and Creative Management provide the following definition of a company:
“A company is a multidimensional system capable of growth, expansion, and self-regulation. It is, therefore, not a thing but a set of interacting forces. Any theory of organization must be capable of reflecting a company’s many facets, its dynamism, and its basic orderliness.”

Though many of the interacting forces discussed above are often beyond human control, the introduction of a comprehensive Business Process Management (BPM) solution would enable an organization’s management to align key business processes in a manner suitable for responding to and benefiting from rapidly changing market conditions. BPM is certainly not a separate process, but actually a convergence of various aspects of leading industry practices such as Six Sigma, business engineering, total quality Management (TQM) as well as various technologies including Web-enabled Services, XML coding, transaction management, workflow design, service-oriented architecture, system integration and application development, which can provide greater flexibility to a company’s operations and aid in its overall growth.

As BPM is not a separate process/application entire in itself, it is combines several operational facets including Business Process Automation (BPA), which is often an initial step towards implementing an enterprise-wide BPM process. Depending upon key organizational requirements, custom software development companies configure BPA processes to align with end-user requirements by introduction of customized interfaces or new coding. The requirements served by such solutions as well as the development procedure of BPM processes implemented in an organization are often documented by enterprises in their business process management journal.

The BPM solutions provided by most software development companies in India are designed to be comprehensive, flexible and user-friendly to facilitate easy adoption by business users. The main benefit of such solutions is the relatively short learning curve, which is suitable for even the most novice users and the support for various user generated/configured customized interfaces as well as processes. The comprehensiveness of these BPM solutions ensure collaborative, consistent process management along with integrated analytics as well as reporting capabilities, which are aligned with other enterprise-wide solutions.

Key BPM Deployment Benefits to Organizations

Superior Compliance

The custom software development procedures of many companies ensure the availability of relevant logging and audit information pertaining to the actions performed by all members of the staff. Availability of such information ensures that the company’s operations comply with all relevant regulations including various Services Level Agreements.

Real-Time Information Management

BPM systems can be configured to record every transaction carried out using the system and such information may be retrieved by authorized personnel as and when required. This real-time recording/retrieval system is an integral part of the business process management methodology, which allows the accurate analysis of various activities. Such information is usually presented through user-customized dashboards and features various capabilities to ensure detailed analysis of all available information.

Collaborative Workspace Support

BPM solutions may be customized to support a collaborative workspace structure, which allows IT and business users to co-operate in designing, creating as well as implementing executable business processes. The collaborative workspace design enables multiple users to contribute significantly in designing, creating and implementing executable business processes, to facilitate a significant reduction in the overall time to market. This type of workplace design allows reassignment options as well as the use of various tags and memos, which enable business users to collaborate with members of other teams. Key benefits include a decrease in overall costs and lead times required for developing/improving new or currently operational business processes.

Improved Flexibility and Agility

In the current market situations businesses need to be flexible and agile in order to keep pace with rapidly changing market conditions. BPM solutions provide organizations with a flexible environment, which allows business users to rapidly adjust processes and fulfill emerging market requirements. This functionality is achieved by providing enterprise users with support for re-assignment of tasks between employees, supporting the alternative routing of work as well as the creation and compliance with existing or new rules/regulations for conducting business.

Superior Process Visibility

Leading Business Process Management systems developed by companies globally are customized according to the requirements of a single specific environment to provide complete visibility as well as transparency of all processes in the organization. Subsequent to implementation of BPM solutions, authorized personnel are provided access to a customized dashboard, which displays critical business data to facilitate refinement as well as improvement of key business processes. The use of BPM solutions helps significantly in the identification of process exceptions and bottlenecks, while simultaneously improving efficiency as well as control of the business processes.

Conclusion

In the current business environment, no company can be complacent about the way they operate and special attention to implementing suitable business process management methodology is necessary for an organization. The implementation of BPM tools and systems help companies overcome potential as well as existing problem areas while simultaneously improving process visibility throughout the enterprise. In the short as well as long term, BPM processes provide companies with increased flexibility and agility to help them gain a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing business landscape. Considering the global crisis we are currently facing, implementing a proper BPM solution may actually be the deciding factor in a company’s continued growth and existence.