Typically, business process management (BPM) is divided into nine areas of knowledge. However, the truth is that it is not enough to master these areas of knowledge; you have to know how to use it within an order of interconnected actions called BPM Lifecycle. Randall Castillo Ortega is a business expert and the founder of RACO Investment, and shares the importance of BPM in business operations.
To get a broad view of the business processes in line with the value chain, at the Strategic Planning and Alignment stage, we need to examine all available documentation and assimilate how the processes are aligned with the services provided, with customer service, with support for management and sales. For this, four stages must be performed, frame the organization, identify primary management and support processes, identify performance indicators and prepare for process analysis.
In the process analysis stage of the BPM lifecycle it is necessary to observe the processes exactly the way they are happening in the company at that time. Only then can you obtain an “image” that will allow you to do the modeling and evaluation of the processes of the organization. “It is with this analysis of the present moment that it becomes possible to understand what could be improved, focusing on the next phases of the BPM cycle,” explains Castillo.
It’s time to make decisions about everything that was detected in the previous phase, called AS-IS, in the process design phase. Now that the obstacles, failures, delays and other deficiencies of the analyzed process (in as much detail as possible) are known, it is time to align with the strategic objectives of the company and design a new process. To do this, you can’t stop doing scenario-based simulations and include the necessary improvements. The steps in this phase include analyzing deficiencies and making comparisons, designing the process and do the IT usage analysis, following approval procedures for the new process and creating the implementation plan.
Deployment is a phase of the BPM lifecycle that can be done in two ways. Through a systemic implementation, that is, with the help of technology and software specific to that, or a non-systemic implementation, through which access to this type of BPM tool isn’t available. Regardless of which one to use, the goal is the same: to allow and put into action the execution of processes as defined and documented, in the form of a workflow.
All companies have strategic goals. And it is at this stage of the BPM cycle that you can find out if the processes are aligned with those objectives, by monitoring the appropriate indicators for the evaluation of the results. Explains Castillo, “The most commonly used performance indicators usually involve four dimensions: the length of the process, the monetary cost spent on the process, the capacity – how much the process actually produces. And the quality, which examines if there are many errors and variations that affect a satisfactory delivery to the customers of the process.”
It is in the process refinement stage that continuous improvement of processes begins. By analyzing the follow-up to the previous stage and realizing whether or not the strategic objectives are being achieved, whether the goals defined during modeling are achieved, in relation to the results actually observed in practice. Process refinement can also be understood as transforming processes through a planned and always supervised evolution in relation to measured results. Attention should focus on improving performance, reducing costs, and meeting customer needs and their relationship.
That’s why this whole chain of activities is called the BPM lifecycle. Now that everything is implemented and ongoing, we will re-analyze the processes, ensure that they are aligned with the strategic objectives and refine them continuously, always with the aim of offering the highest perceived value to the customer, generating more benefits for the company. In this context, it is clear that not only analysis and modeling, but also tracking, will depend on the use of BPM tools, agile, intuitive and transparent.