Understanding Business Process Management Lifecycle
Every organization, no matter big or small, has a business process that requires regular improvement. However, not all of them have access to the right tools and expertise to do so on their own, and without knowing how business process management (BPM) tools impact the lifecycle, they won’t be able to do so.
Leaders need to understand the role of BPM to make informed decisions and improve the overall efficiency across all business functions. If you are not sure where to start, understanding the business process management lifecycle can give you some direction.
Some of the basic steps in the business process management lifecycle include:
Let’s take a deeper look at how each step works.
Stage 1: Making a model that aligns with the overall strategy
The first step of your business process management lifecycle includes a deeper insight into how the processes are aligned with the overall value chain. This stage includes activities like profiling an organization, identifying primary, management, and support processes, identifying key performance indicators, and preparing for process analysis.
The primary processes are the core processes of an organization that bring direct value to the customers. Any process that partakes in designing, creating, and selling the product is considered a primary process. Secondary processes are those that support the primary ones and typically include human resources, procurement, office administration, IT management, and perform other administrative functions.
Management processes are those that include monitoring primary and secondary processes and help the organization meet its financial and operational objectives while complying with the regulatory requirements.
Stage 2: Analyzing the processes before implementation
This is a crucial step that business leaders tend to miss because it requires you to take a step back and simply observe. Take a look at the processes and how they are functioning currently to get a broader perspective. Ideally, it should come before the modeling stage so that any changes that need to be made can be implemented beforehand.
A process analysis can be both qualitative or quantitative, depending on the nature of the business. Generally, it entails the following:
1. Interviewing the people who perform the processes
2. Analyzing the process documentation
3. Painting the final picture of how processes are working so far
Stage 3: Designing the process
Analyzing the processes should ideally reveal the bottlenecks, delays, and lags that you might have missed otherwise. This prepares you for the design stage because, at this point, you need to decide if you want to keep the process as it is or want to make drastic changes to amend the issues that resurface.
This leaves you with two options. You can proceed with continuous process improvement where you accept the process as it is and remedy the issues one after the other. Or you may remodel the entire process and start from scratch.
After the process of remodeling, you need a deployment plan to approve the new procedures. This is to make sure that key individuals who will perform the newly identified processes are well-equipped to handle the task. It also ensures a smoother transition.
Stage 4: Process implementation
Finally, it is time to implement the process design – refurbished or the original with minor tweaks – and there are two ways to go about it. You can either choose a systemic implementation that uses BPM software or tools or a non-systemic implementation that uses neither.
There’s no right or wrong choice, but it depends on the nature of your business processes and whether the organization has the resources to make it happen. Ultimately, your goal is to reinforce the workflow design into practice as identified in the previous stage.
Stage 5: Monitoring the process
Remember those KPIs that you identified in the first stage? In this stage, you will monitor them closely to observe whether they are aligning with the organization’s goals. This process involves tracking, measuring, and controlling continuously.
What are some of the common KPIs in a business process management lifecycle?
1. Duration of the process
2. Cost of the process
3. The capacity of production or the process
4. Issues impacting customer experience and satisfaction
This process also provides valuable information to help you understand if you need to ideate and redesign some parts of the process to meet the goals and objectives effectively.
Stage 6: Refining the process
This is the most crucial part of the business process management cycle, and perhaps the most satisfying one as well. It allows you to fill in the gaps between the current process and the new process design with the changes outlined. The business process management life cycle is an iterative process that works on the notion that there is always going to be something that can be better. As an organization, you have to go through the cycle methodically every time to boost your growth and meet your business goals.