What is Business Process Management?
To stay competitive in the marketplace a business needs to be cost effective. This is largely accomplished by streamlining the operations of the business and making sure the processes are running at peak efficiency. All businesses run via processes and Business Process Management (BMP) is a technology developed to give businesses the framework in which to manage more effectively the processes that make them tick. BMP technology is able to automate the managing of processes in your business, but allows for human intervention wherever necessary.
Most business processes involve more than one department and even different organizations. These processes rely heavily on the information from and participation of multiple systems. BPM technology is designed to facilitate these processes by integrating the various components into one streamlined system that runs smoothly and efficiently on a partially or completely automated flow of steps.
BPM automates the flow of a process and it automates the extraction of information needed to ensure that the process is completed properly. When human intervention is needed, each person is notified at the appropriate time to implement the step or steps that must be provided.BPM is also able to provide tracking of results and allows a business to measure the success of operations. The flexibility is in place to allow for changes to be made within the process so that the improvements in the operations will create a better outcome.
What to Look for in a BPM Technology
BPM technology for your business should include at least the following components:
o Design tools and user interfaces
o API/framework layer
o Data transformation
o Process automation, workflow, and rules engine
o Connectivity services
o Activity management for your business
One of the main problems that businesses run into when they begin to consider BPM technology is they find out that they do not fully understand the current processes they have in place. There is a large amount of preparation involved when integrating a BPM solution into your existing business process framework and many businesses do not understand their processes well enough to model them in the new BPM solution. If the business processes are not well understood, then incorporating BPM technology into the framework of the business’ processes may only create more confusion. However, if the processes of the business are defined properly during preparation for the BPM technology, then not only will the processes be fully understood, but weaknesses in the systems may be uncovered that can be rectified trough the use of BPM.
A business must determine its needs first and then look at the available options for BPM technologies that exist. It is also important that, from the business end, there is executive-level sponsorship of the BPM implementation plan and that there is user buy-in. A business will also need a project team to follow through on the integration of BPM into the existing framework of their company and they will need a full understanding of all deployment considerations. Lastly, the business must have a realistic view of the milestones along the way. It will take time to implement the entire BPM solution.
In your business case for implementing the BPM, you of course need to consider your Return on Investment (ROI) and in evaluating the success of the BPM technology for your business, it will be important to compare the actual results against the ROI predicted in the planning stage.
In addition to this, there are other ways to gauge the success of your BPM implementation. By calculating your total cost of ownership, you will be able to make a baseline comparison between your before and after results based on the total cost of running your business. Determining the operational efficiency will reveal the cycle time, the total amount of time needed to run a process, and the required resources, the total number of people and systems needed to support the process. The greater the cycle time and required resources, the less cost efficient the process. Unit cost reduction is another way to gauge the success of the BPM implementation. This allows you to determine the actual cost savings for the business, which affects the bottom line.
The implementation of BPM technology can be an effective way for a business to streamline the processes that make them tick, which can greatly affect their bottom line. By integrating BPM technology into the process infrastructure of your business, you will be able to automate many of the steps needed to see a process through to completion. During the preparation stage of BPM deployment, a full understanding of the processes may lead to knowledge of how to make things work better.
BPM technology makes sense for any business that runs on complicated processes. These businesses include, but are not limited to, financial services, insurance, government, healthcare, and manufacturing. BPM makes sense in a business world where the bottom line means everything.
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