Why Practise Business Process Management (BPM)
Business Process Management (BPM) is a discipline that employs various methods and mechanics to discover, design, analyze, execute, measure, monitor, and optimize the operational activities underlying an organization. The goal of this discipline, according to the BPM Institute, focuses on achieving three main outcomes:
(1) Clarity in an organization’s strategic direction wherein the idealism held in top management’s vision and mission statement for the organization is transformed into tangible goals and objectives measured by well-defined KPIs and realized through the daily processes of the organization’s operations. In short, this implies aligning the organization’s strategy to the entirety of the execution of this strategy in its operations.
This comes to become extremely useful when the market in which the organization operates is in constant flux and requires constant changes and adaptations to suit the market’s and customer’s needs. However, the inertia of a change in a strategic direction is due directly to the wide implication of such a change and as we all know, change is difficult especially if the reality of such a change in strategy is not being communicated in its impact on the daily operations of the organization.
This is where BPM will bridge the gap by taking the minutia of a strategic change and developing it as an impact statement on the day-to-day activities of the company. This is done through the direct correlation between KPIs and activities and the metrics upon which these KPIs are measured. By understanding the impact of change in the KPIs, we will be able to directly allocate this change to the specific activities that are being impacted and therefore determine the gaps in operations that need to be abridged due to the change in strategy.
(2) Alignment of the organization’s resources wherein resource assignments and utilization are optimized based on the required capabilities and capacities to maximize efficiency, efficacy, and productivity of the operations. BPM thereby ensures that any allocation of resources to a specific task of a specific process can carry out the task to the best of the resources’ abilities. Such resources are not just limited to human resources but also include any systems, equipment, or applications that are brought to their fruition in the carrying out of the assigned task.
BPM does this assignment in a very clear and concise manner by ensuring that during the design of the process that all these contributing resources, human or otherwise, are specified at each task level. However, to truly ensure the resources are utilized to their optimal capacity, it would be important to then determine and define performance attributes for each of the resources assigned to the task. More importantly, the metrics upon which each performance is to be measured are also clearly defined and defined tangibly. When these are all put in place can we then be able to monitor and measure the efficacy and effectiveness of each resource employed in the process to derive not just the performance of each resource but the overall performance of the process that has been designed.
(3) Increased discipline in the organization’s daily operations wherein the roles responsible for each activity are documented and communicated and all the actors of this operating system can understand, appreciate, and collaborate with full clarity of their counterparts’ dependencies on them being able to perform their role and jobs correctly and effectively. This is where having a proper discipline in BPM shines as all processes defined and designed are made available for all employees to access and learn, making transparent the job scope for not just each individual but all actors that are required to work in tandem for the end-to-end process to be completed successfully.
This especially rings true when each resources’ performance at each task is tied intricately to the processes that have been designed, making transparent that each employee should follow a certain prescribed method of working to produce the intended results that their subsequent peers would require to do their work effectively.
In conclusion, we practise BPM because it transcends idealism to reality. With BPM we can better align our business functions with customer needs, and help executives determine how to deploy, monitor, and measure company resources. When properly executed, BPM can enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and minimize errors and risk – thereby optimizing results.