Today the volume of data in business is increased due to the evolution of technology. It is getting more difficult to analyse and even more difficult to manage all process of a business. The main goal of a business is to increase the capital and to prevent failures before they affect the business. In the era of information timely made decisions are crucial.
-How can you achieve pro-active decision taking?
-How can you guarantee that all steps in a business process are followed and your business processes evolve based on previous conclusions?
Today when information is flowing from all directions. Computer systems interact with humans and humans with each other more than ever – orchestrating everything is the key.
BPM is the response.
But, what is BPM? Let’s take a trip over BPM to understand more precisely how this can be done. Business process management (BPM) is a concept that focuses on aligning all organizational elements to identify, evaluate, and improve business processes. It refers to the planning, organizing and control activities performed by our business to ensure that the meeting of process objectives is successful and not left to chance.
The Three Dimensions of BPM
BPM comes with three dimensions, that will briefly be explained in the next section. This will serve us to understand more better how BPM is structured and how can it serve to achieve business objectives.
Business: The value dimension
The first dimension is the business dimension which is sometimes referred as the dimension of value, it is called so because it creates values for both customers and stakeholders. BPM brings more capability than ever before to align operational activities with goals and strategies. This dimension helps us to focus our enterprise resources on the creation of customer value. In this way, BPM prioritizes business processes as critical organizational assets that must be recognized, and then they have will been developed to deliver value-added products and services to customer.
Process: The transformation dimension
The second dimension is the process dimension, which creates values through structured activities that are called processes. Operational processes transform resources and materials into products or services for customers. This “transformation” is how a business works. This is a fundamental process for achieving business goal, the more effective this transformation, the more successfully you create value. Through BPM, problems will be solved before they become issues. Remember don’t go to visit your doctor only when you have something that worries you! Standardizing processes across the enterprise so they can be more readily understood and managed, errors can be reduced. BPM should involve a continue evaluation of the processes, so the improvements can be extended and propagated over time.
Management: The enabling dimension
The third dimension that completes the mirror of BPM dimensions, is the enabling dimension. Management sets people and systems into motion and prods processes into action, in order to fulfill the business goals and objectives. For management, processes tend to be the tools with which forge business success. BPM allows you to unify together the methods and techniques used for process development and process management into a system.
The functional goals of BPM
What Does BPM Do? BPM is a broad discipline, but it has a major functional purpose. And, of course, the BPM technology components have precise specifications. How do these all come together? BPM unifies business and IT activities and coordinates the actions and behaviors of people and systems around the common context of business processes.
You need to find out what’s happening in your business as it’s happening, and how potential changes can impact your business. BPM provides visibility into the state of current processes, and extracts the key metrics that are important to understand how this process affects the business. This way, you can judge what’s going wrong, and then design processes that will improve performance against these metrics. With BPM, you can simulate and test the performance of processes before you implement them, so in this way you will decrease the risk for failures. Experiment with different paths, resource levels, rules, and more, asking “what if. . . ?” about how the process could work best. Also, you can automate the execution of many process tasks that may have previously been handled manually, this is an advantage that BPM brings. In addition, BPM gives business managers direct control over certain change and control points in how the information systems facilitate process management. Another positive thing is that business users participate both in the specification of the initial process definition and also in changes to keep it continuously optimized.
Business processes shouldn’t be black boxes. BPM provides a clear view using modelling and monitoring capabilities. Models are representations, and what your experience is something different. Sometimes, what you experience is very different, and when you work with complex systems like operational business processes, it’s often too different. So in BPM, what you model is what you run (WYMIWYR).
With BPM, the model becomes the engine that runs the process. No translations, no muddled interpretations of requirements or design documents. Doing things this way is much faster and much more accurate than the way it’s been done before.
BPM offers you to see processes as they execute in real-time, and to determine how the business transactions that flow through the processes affect your key business metrics. BPM provides the tools to react and respond, and then to manage impending threats and opportunities proactively. BPM delivers information that helps tracking the root causes of problems and provides actionable, objective feedback as to how the process can be improved.
The structured collection of information that describes all these pieces and how they work together is called metadata. An architecture of reusable components means you have many more moving parts in your business. With different people controlling and changing different components, it can be a challenge to maintain a clear picture of how all of the moving parts interact. Metadata allows you to store the descriptions of all of these pieces and the relationships between them in a central repository. You need this view of what’s going on to manage all the assemblies and dependencies.
Process effectiveness and transparency are powerful, but BPM brings also process agility that increase the overall security that you are doing things in the right way. BPM enables change, both by streamlining existing processes and developing new ones. BPM is much faster than anything you’ve experienced before. It allows you to sense change when it happens, interpret the impact of that change, and develop a shared understanding of how the business should respond. It also allows you to develop and deploy solutions faster than is currently possible.
Often people that work in and around formal business processes are forced to interact with multiple existing systems, including packaged applications. Packaged applications and fixed systems can’t readily be customized to the individual needs of any particular person. The result? People switch back and forth between many systems and applications, and they have to figure out how to make it all work for them. In order to reduce the complexity of different systems and align the work and tools through a single personalized process environment, with BPM you can abstract these processes.
To conclude this article let’s summarize it with two words. We have seen the three dimensions of BPM and how important and vital they are for unifying methods, techniques and technology into a single system. Remember, if you have understood the main functionality of the dimensions and how they are related to each other you have gained a new weapon in business and revenue growth. Then we have talk about functional goals of BPM, and how some processes can be done automatically by facilitating and accelerating the work environment. So using BPM means a life more simple and less stress in the working days.
Kiran Garimella, Michael Lees, and Bruce Williams – “BPM Basics for DUMMIES”