Defining BPM, again
I still see a lot of effort being expended defining BPM. I subscribe to the KISS method – BPM stands for business process management.
Business process management is about managing your business processes. It is not about software. You can manage your business processes using paper. You can describe your process on paper in some kind of flow chart. You can track it on paper by having someone jot down start and stop times. You can even make process improvements in a paper based system.
If you don’t have a reason to address your business processes, you will do nothing.
Some typical reasons include: The process is taking too long; The process tends to produce errors; The process handoffs aren’t working properly; Your customers are frustrated with how your company interacts with them; etc.
Let’s assume that your objective is to be more efficient – shorter cycle times, fewer errors, etc. Even without software, there is no reason that you can’t address bottlenecks, improve handoffs and address customer touch points. You can even measure your results with some discipline on the part of the people in the process.
The Role of Software
BPM software provides control and visibility.
The software provides control. Control means: Processes are followed; Tracking of start and stop times; Preventing unauthorized shortcuts; Creation of a signature trail; in short, it makes sure that your business rules are followed.
The software provides visibility. You can see the progress of anything following a process. You can see who is working on any task at any time. Further, this visibility allows you to see bottlenecks or trouble areas.
BPM software will not work properly without your input.
Even with BPM software, you must define processes and their business rules. It is those processes and business rules that BPM software will control and provide visibility into.
Even if your company doesn’t have budget for BPM software now, you can begin to identify your processes and make them more efficient.
What are you waiting for?