For organisations just delving into BPM and new BPM teams, one of the first steps is usually to design a strategy of how business processes will be managed. This strategy provides a road map for launching and implementing business process improvement projects.
- “If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." - W. Edwards Deming. BPM provides process visibility so that everyone is on the same page regarding how processes work.
- It integrates people, process and technology to improve the performance of the organization and value delivery to customers.
- It provides accountability for the supervision and improvement of business processes.
- It provides a way of monitoring and improving business processes by designing key performance indicators so that the impact of improvements can be seen easily.
Why have a BPM Strategy?
Developing a Business Process Strategy can help to identify how different business areas will be improved. Usually, the smaller the organisation, the higher the probability of achieving significant benefits with the company’s strategy.
You should consider including the following elements in your Business Process Strategy:
- Process Architecture Design. This illustrates the processes within an organisation and their dependencies.
- BPM Approach. Identify the BPM approach to be adopted. Are you reviewing processes with the main objective of continuous improvement, achieving competitive advantage in a certain area of the business or going for drastic organisation-wide reengineering?
- Process Selection Criteria. The BPM strategy should take into consideration how processes will be selected for improvement.
- Business Process Documentation & Analysis. Processes need to be documented to understand how they can be improved.
- Key Performance Indicators. KPIs should be identified for processes to facilitate process review, monitoring and optimisation.
- Technology. In designing a BPM strategy, it is necessary to consult IT to find out what is technically feasible, if technology is to be introduced. BPM Technology typically involves integration with applications at the back end to ensure that data feedback is received based on process activity. This integration can be achieved using SOA and web services.
- Design of a Process “Center of Excellence” to define the tools, techniques, templates and overall methodology for managing business processes across the organisation.
- Standardisation of business processes.
- Change management should be built into the BPM strategy to ensure that end users are carried along on any changes made. Process owners should also be carried along before and during implementation.
- Process Review & Monitoring. This verifies that target objectives were met and that data can be collected to facilitate further improvements.