How to level-up your business process management

The pro's handbook to creating a process that works
René DalsgaardRené Dalsgaard

René Dalsgaard

CEO at Orbit Online A/S

Everyone talks about it - but it is far from everyone who succeeds in streamlining their business processes. However, there are many benefits in using Business Process Management (BPM) for both employees and the company’s clients.

In this article, you will find a complete step-by-step guide on how to implement a new business process that lasts in the long run, so you don't find yourself falling back into old habits and using loopholes.

Why you should work with business process management

BPM enables organisations to tailor business functions to customer needs. It also helps managers assess how best to implement, monitor, and measure company resources. With successful BPM, you have the opportunity to increase efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and minimise errors whilst optimising your results.

It sounds simple. Nevertheless, there are demands on both the staff involved and in particular the management, which can make BPM a complex matter. When working with BPM, you will often need to change your colleagues' behavioural patterns in relation to how they perform their work.

All new initiatives begin at management level.

The four stages of business process management

The four stages of BPM

All BPM implementations - even those that do not go well - go through four phases:

  1. Definition of the process to be optimised
  2. Assessment of the extent of inefficiency to define the potential for optimisation
  3. Analysis and definition of the improvement points
  4. Implementation

And the eternal task: staying focused to make sure that old habits do not return.

If you know when you are due to execute the individual phases, then you are already far when it comes to working with process optimisation.

Let’s dive into tasks that support the four phases.

1. Definition

  1. Perform the task yourself, or monitor your colleague doing it.
  2. Write down all the steps of the task, and describe them in detail. Document any errors or complicated steps with images. If the workflow takes place on a computer, you can record the workflow.
  3. Break down the workflows into their smallest details.
  4. Stress-test your study with a few colleagues who perform the same workflow. That way, you minimise bias in tasks.

2. Assessment

Visualise the workflow on a whiteboard or be creative with an infographic.

3. Analysis

Look for pointless rules, bottlenecks, and errors. These types of tasks have many facets.

  • How many people must approve reports, budgets, etc.?
  • Avoid detours - everything becomes ingrained over time and if you have performed a task sufficiently, you will have found some shortcuts.
  • How many times must a presentation be approved?

Take the recipient's point of view. Sometimes you will find that small corrections to your work can have a huge impact on the value of the finished result. That’s why it is important to gain an understanding of how this task provides value to the recipient.

Prioritise and delegate. It is the eternal art of balance. Maybe you are performing parts of this task that are not really your subject area? Assess whether it adds value to the finished product, otherwise, delegate it to your colleague.

Present your idea to management. You will get nowhere without a mandate from management to change the current situation. Spend the most energy on presenting the result of the implemented upgrade. If you are in management yourself, then just roll up your sleeves!

4. Implementation

  1. Follow up! Old habits tend to return, and if you are not aware of your implementation plan, then you can be 100% sure that it will not be implemented.
  2. Evaluate! Be honest, did the optimisation work as intended? Include those involved, especially those who did not like your implementation.

Keynotes from this article

Business Process Management sounds easy - and then again not. It can take a long time to implement a new process in any company.

If you are facing a larger and more extensive process, then divide it into smaller phases. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the feeling of having started a marathon you had forgotten to train for. Set a sub-goal for yourself and your team, so you have milestones to celebrate along the way.

More questions about business process management

    • What is business process management?

      Business process management (BPM) is a discipline that focuses on improving organisational performance by managing and optimising a company's business processes. It involves identifying, analysing, and improving processes to ensure that they are efficient, effective, and aligned with the organisation's goals.

    • Is change management a business process?

      Yes, change management is a business process. It is a systematic approach to dealing with the change that occurs within an organisation, whether it is a change in the business environment, the organisation's strategy, or its technology.

    • Why business process management?

      Business process management (BPM) is important because it helps organisations to improve their performance by managing and optimising their business processes. By identifying, analysing, and improving processes, BPM enables organisations to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction.

      BPM is also important because it provides organisations with a structured approach to managing and controlling their processes, which can help them to align their processes with their strategic goals and to adapt to changes in their environment.

      In today's competitive business environment, BPM is increasingly seen as a critical capability that can help organisations to gain a competitive advantage and to achieve their business objectives.

    • What is design and redesign of a business process management?

      Business process management (BPM) involves designing and redesigning business processes to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. This can involve creating new processes from scratch (design), or modifying existing processes (redesign) to make them more efficient.

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