10 Crucial Business Process Management Building Blocks

business process management

The 10 Building Blocks that will help your Business Process Management (BPM) program deliver Excellent Results. Achieving process excellence is the goal. Business Process Management (BPM) is a system to achieve this lofty objective.

A business’ first priority should be to maximize profit while creating the best possible value for its shareholders and its stakeholders.

In today’s world of instant gratification and rapidly changing customer trends, young businesses need to step into the race running fats and retaining a competitiveness pace while for established ones it is about having the agility and flexibility to flow with constantly morphing customer demand for a high-quality experience.

We know that business results are delivered through processes. It goes to reason that the more effective and efficient processes are, the higher the company returns. Introducing a process improvement mindset and efficient and effective processes lead to sustainable results. 

Business Process Management (BPM) holds the promise of providing a holistic approach to ensuring processes are well oiled and remain so while adapting with agility and flexibility to an ever-changing and increasingly demanding business environment.

To recap.

  1. Maximum value is the goal of a business.
  2. Goals are realized through processes.
  3. BPM offers a process management solution for higher efficiency and effectiveness.

Processes have long been recognized as holding the key to a business’s performance. Many methodologies, such as Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPM), have been popularized over the past more than half a century. Business Process Management is the latest refinement of achieving process excellence. 

Every generation of process improvement or management retains the best of the past and brings in the new. In the case of BPM, it is the use of information technology to create a holistic solution to successfully tackle today’s challenges. In the operational world, it is referred to as Industry 4.0.

The essential building blocks of Business Process Management

But let’s be clear, three reasons businesses do not reap the full rewards of BPM are:

  1. Business Process Management is treated as a “get rich quick” initiative. That is, leaders implement it as the believe that with by some magic it will provide huge “cost savings” without them or the organisation truly buying in.
  2. Business Process Management is not an IT solution. By implementing some clever software that promises to manage your process for you will but your entire business at risk unless you have built the require organisation wide process excellence mindset.
  3. The past does not predict the future. Not only do market sentiment and needs shift, but so too processes, whether through wear and tear, loosening calibration, or behavioural changes. A health mix of historical science, current behaviour and market analysis is required.

BPM Business Process Management Building Block #1: Business Strategy

This one is a no-brainer, but often poorly thought through by leaders. Usually, the business has a strategy, whether realistic or not is often debatable. 

BPM Building Block #2: Align Business Strategic KPIs

Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI) linked to achieving the business strategy. 

BPM Building Block #3: Identify Core Processes

Identify the core processes that will ensure delivery of the business strategy measured through the aligned KPIs.

BPM Building Block #4: Map the Core Processes and Capture in the Process House

Map the core processes that typically span across the business and may even flow back from suppliers and forward into the delivery channel. These core processes need to be mapped as they are and not as individuals think they are undertaken. A secondary important process that feeds into these processes should be mapped and understood too. At a later stage, the organization can move to a deeper process until all processes are visible.

BPM Building Block #5: Measure the Core and Secondary Process Outputs

Implement measurement systems that measure the output of processes and visibly display them. The closer to real-time the metrics are known the quicker shifts can be addressed in the process. Automating metrics offers a good way forward. 

At this point, a shift in process output metrics should directly cause a change in the business KPI. If not, either the measurement systems are not aligned or incorrectly measured. Improvement in the process should stick to the bottom line of the business.

Based on the ‘current state’ of the core process and the desired ‘future state’ to deliver on the organization’s strategic objectives, a maturity roadmap is established that lays the path to continuous process improvement to achieve best in class status.

BPM Building Block #6: Prioritization of Effort

A mechanism should be established that prioritizes and selects the top projects that will see the improvement of metrics of core and secondary metrics. Key resources, with the required skills, should be deployed the lead vital impactful projects.

Typically a Performance Centre of Excellence has SWAT teams ready to address larger performance improvement projects that may span several of the organizations’ departments or even plants.

BPM Building Block #7: Establish a Culture of Excellence

Everyone throughout the entire organization, whether a production or service process, should know how they impact the outcome of the core process they are involved in.  They should possess basic process improvement skills to be able the measure their work and be skilled at solving problems as they arise.

The Performance Centre of Excellence is tasked with change management to keep the organization on track towards excellence.

BPM Building Block #8: Maintain Quality Excellence

All improvements that are made to a  process must be sustainable. Best practices should be shared across the organization and immediately implemented across similar processes. I

Improvements are captured in new or modified Process Maps and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are housed in the Process House and visible to all stakeholders.

BPM Building Block #9: Business Process Governance

Process maturity and metrics should be continuously monitored by responsible and accountable Champions. Projects undertaken by the SWAT teams should be reviewed and roadblocks removed. Financial improvements must be audits and reviewed for authenticity to ensure it sticks to the bottom line.

BPM Building Block #10: Business Process Management Software

And then comes a holistic BPM software system that ties together all of the above in one Business Process Management House. It happens that organizations implement a BPM system before they are clear on what they want to achieve or even have the organization ready for process excellence. 

In other cases, an organization may be quick to adopt process excellence only to have IT emerge as the new bottleneck hampering digital transformations. IT itself often needs a bit of BPM to enhance its ability to respond to business requirements faster. The new trend is moving towards a more agile Low-Coding approach.

Everything you will find on this website deals with achieving process excellence and it engine is the latest evolution of BPM. On this website, you will find genuine tips, gained through many years of experience at the coal face, on how to get your processes flowing freely.

If you found this article of interest, below are a few you mind find of value too.

Click here to revisit the  article on Process Excellence Opportunity Prioritization and Selection

Click here to revisit the article on  Identifying Process Excellence Opportunities

Click here to read the introductory article Doing the Right Things.

Related Articles:

Process Excellence Roadmap

10 Crucial Business Process Management Building Blocks

Identifying Process Excellence Opportunities

6 Steps To Prioritizing Improvement Opportunities

Defining Improvement Opportunities

The 4 Process Excellence Foundation Blocks

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