Does BPM mean Automation?

For some time, as consulting professionals we live under the aegis of the “alphabet soup” and acronyms, which often leads to an erroneous understanding of concepts.

  • BPM: a management methodology, and does not imply in any way, as “sine qua non”, process automation:
  • BPMN: a process notation,
  • BPEL: Business Process Execution Language,
  • BPMS (tools),
  • SOA: IT Strategy, Service Oriented Architecture
  • etc…

Of course, automation is likely to become a natural consequence, in order to streamline and increase efficiency, integration, interactivity and productivity of a process, but BPM is much bigger than that.

bpm automationThis is what BPM is for me -in very condensed form- and starting from scratch:

  • Lift all processes of the organization (or those considered strategic or critical);
  • Map these processes, identifying: I/O, interfaces, responsibilities, functions, flows of activities, value chain, costs, indicators, time, 5W2H, critical points, control points, customer requirements (internal and external), correlation process (chain of cause / effect – events), hierarchical processes (macro-processes, processes, sub-processes, sub-sub-processes, where I like to use the nomenclature sub1, sub2, Sub3 , according to hierarchy ….), work instructions, or operational procedures involved / bound support systems, stakeholders, possible improvements (for mapping at the time of the same can be identified) and so on;
  • After this we will analyze whether the processes are aligned with the guidelines of the Strategic Planning and BSC, and establish priorities for needed improvements, redesigning, optimizations and resulting action plans, where obviously, technological resources should be used, including the automation of the processes;
  • Understand well the correlations and the requirements of each process;
  • Establish meetings to discuss with key stakeholders (process owner and interfaces) all questions about the alignment and optimizations under consideration;
  • Research / analyze possible solutions on the market or “benchmarks” / “cases”, so we optimize processes;
  • Conduct periodic audits of processes, involving all parties;
  • Participate in committees, presenting innovations and possible alternatives for changes / optimizations, demonstrating advantages, gains, competitive advantages, cost-benefit ratio and so on. Always working together with customers areas.
  • In parallel, track and monitor key indicators (DASHBOARD) and taking appropriate measures to meet the desired performance;
  • Establish a “culture of process – process management” with the organization, from a learning plan / training, because we must consider the culture and people together in order to consolidate Process Management, and perhaps, a future Process Management;
  • Establish an Office of Processes (BPO – Business Processes Office), making it a central (strategic) element within the organization;
  • Conduct Change Management projects that entail the adequacy of processes, organizational culture, training people, “barriers” and alleged internal paradigms;
  • Monitor market trends and competition, providing more streamlined processes, effective, less costly and agile;
  • Design a set of practices, concepts, methodologies complementary / supplementary in various areas of knowledge in business and business strategies that might add to the studies and analyzes under constant development.

Finally, in a “very naive” way, for me this is the initial scenario of the concept of BPM. It is likely that the steps are not a sequel because I was writing in accordance with the points considered most important.

In this scenario, all actions of the team (consultant / analyst) should be aligned (and vice-versa) with the “major” organizational areas: IT / systems, competitive intelligence, strategic planning, HR, logistics, marketing, costs, quality, research & development and more. And of course never forgetting those who understand the “business”, the user area, and nevre forgetting that we only act as a catalyst, as an agent of change, integration and improvements, proposing the use of best practices and our integrated vision of the organization in alignment strategies, and in this respect act as multipliers.

Currently, do you have to determine the competitive advantages of an organization? Since with the “commoditization” of the ERP, many processes have become “standard” and may be considered as templates. (Mainly administrative and support: HR, Accounts Payable / Receivable, Billing, Purchasing, Inventory).

Were the price, the level of innovation, the relationship with the market / customer (loyalty), market segmentation, the vertical, speed (time), the response time demands, the “branding” (strengthening and positioning), capillarity (distribution), the market share or the quality of products / services, the most likely to promote business competitiveness??¬†Or is that none of this, and has it to do with BPM?

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By Vitor Alberto Klein @ Trends Consulting | May 14, 2012

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