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Business process management and business process improvement

Most businesses that are looking to make a change in the way they do business look into business process management (BPM) or business process improvement (BPI).

BPI looks at three main things to help determine how it can help improve your business:
1. Defining the organization's strategic goals and purposes (Who are we, what do we do, and why do we do it?)
2. Determining the organization's customers (or stakeholders) (Who do we serve?)
3. Aligning the business processes to realize the organization's goals (How do we do it better?)
BPI uses the following goals to help your business achieve success:

Business Goals:
The Company's goal is the driving factor behind any business process. Every process within the organization should be aligned to the business goals.

Process: What does your company need to be successful? Do you need to upgrade equipment, reduce staff budgets or IT budgets? BPI focuses on evaluating your costs and becoming goal oriented.

Customers: Having good customer satisfaction is what most companies strive for. Looking for the best possible way to do this is where it gets tricky. Looking at new technology is always a good option.

Cost vs. Benefit: Any company using BPI must look at their costs to see if they outweigh the benefits. A set of standards or benchmarks, are put in place to measure the process. However, keep in mind that they must be realistic!

The Process Owners:
Who is in charge of the performance and changes in the process? You must determine who will be responsible for success or failure. Having a flow chart is always a plus. This way people can look and see what their role is and how they can help the process move on faster.

Control: During meetings the process owners should evaluate f the process is meeting the current benchmarks. If it is not, you should restructure them to meet realistic goals.

Other Processes: Have a standardized system in place; don't make it up as you go along. This will save you time, effort, hours and money.

Changes: The best time to start is NOW! Most of the time companies wait for an ideal time, there never is. Once you have made up your mind, begin.

Don't Waste Time: If you aren't going to use certain measures, throw them out. When you re-hash something too much, it won't improve the process at all.

Business process management (BPM) on the other hand looks at your current business effectiveness and finds ways to improve the wants and needs of your consumers. BPM is a holistic management approach to promote efficiency and effectiveness while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology. BPM looks at 3 things:

  • The processes to define

  • - The process to measure

  • - The ways to improve your processes

BPM collects data and processes that produce a product and tailor them to fit the needs of your clients. The processes are important to businesses since they generate revenue and also represent a significant portion of operating costs. THE BPM cycle includes: design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization. Each of the 5 BPM processes plays a critical role in establishing the new approach.

Design encompasses the existing processes and designing of new processes. Typically BPM will take into consideration what improvements can be made to improve production and customer satisfaction.

Modeling takes the original design and combines into several variables to determine how the process will operate under different circumstances.

Execution details how the process works when it is in action. It also discusses what changes need to be made if the process is executed poorly.

Monitoring tracks the individual processes for statistical data and research. This allows the company to change things based on the customer's response to the product.

Optimization includes retrieving process performance information from each phase and identifying potential problems and areas when other improvements can be made.

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