What Is Process Management? (Ultimate Guide)
Curious about process management and wondering how to implement it?
Process management is used by businesses to identify how the organization functions as a whole and how it can run more efficiently.
Here’s what process management usually entails:
- Improving processes so that work can be done faster
- Purging any redundant and wasteful process
- Creating a work environment of continuous improvement
Business Process Management (BPM) is crucial to the success of your organization.
And no one knows this better than NASA.
They lost $327 million due to process management gaps!
To prevent your company from crashing down from outer space, we’ll cover everything about business process management.
We’ll talk about how business process management works, how it protects your organization from losses, and how you can speed up the BPM implementation within your company.
Let’s get started.
What Is Business Process Management?
Business process Management refers to creating, analyzing, controlling, and transforming core business processes within an organization. Ultimately, BPM implementation helps an organization run more efficiently and meet all its business objectives.
But wait, what’s a business process?
A business process is a sequence of tasks or activities that need to be done in order to achieve a goal. Your company has to work together to contribute to a particular process.
Let’s look at a business process example:
- You run a donut shop, and a customer places an order for 100 donuts
- Then, you’d have to delegate the work to your staff
- After that, you need someone to manage your stock and inventory
- Then you need to assign someone to ring up the order and prepare an invoice
- Finally, your team boxes all the donuts and hands it over to the delivery company
And voila, you just sold 100 donuts!
Who was the customer, you ask?
No surprises there.
Business process management ensures that all the steps in the above process are working well, ensuring that Homer gets his donuts in time.
Why is process management important?
Without a proper business process model, your organization would be in chaos.
Here’s what would happen if you don’t follow a BPM practice:
- No one would know who’s responsible for a particular process
- Employees wouldn’t be in control of their own work
- There would be no way to track progress
- A simple error can derail can the entire project
NASA’s 1999 Mars Climate Orbiter Mission experienced that last result.
It turns out that one engineering team used Metric units, and the other used English units.
As a result, the navigation system was faulty, and no one knew about it until it was too late…and the orbiter was lost in space.
If this process design mishap can happen to geniuses at NASA, it can happen to your team.
What Is The BPM lifecycle?
In order to implement BPM in your business, you would have to follow the BPM lifecycle. It contains 5 phases which are essential for the continuous improvement of your processes:
- Process planning
- Process modeling
- Process execution
- Process monitoring
- Process optimization
However, note that the BPM lifecycle doesn’t end with the final phase.
It can be repeated endlessly until every business process is running as smoothly as creamy peanut butter!
1. What is process planning?
In this phase, the process manager has to create a plan that lays down the business strategy or the direction the company should take in the future. This process plan guides teams when they need to create a business process model.
Process planning involves four steps:
- Understanding the organization’s current goals, objectives, and strategy
- Identifying all the business rules and every existing process
- Analyzing the strengths and weakness of a business process
- Determining whether the existing business process is aligned with the business goals
After these steps, you’ll receive great insights about what you need to do next.
You’ll have to either:
- Design and document a new process to supplement the current process
- Rework a process, so it aligns with the goals
- Or in the worst-case scenario: scrap everything and start from scratch
Don’t worry, 3 occurs only when all of your processes don’t work, like the teams featured in Hell’s Kitchen!
2. What is process modeling?
During the process modeling phase, the process owner has to create a process design that highlights how the work will be done from start to finish.
This often means visualizing the workflow by creating a diagram or a flowchart.
Most BPM professionals prefer the standardized BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) for process mapping.
Here’s what it looks like:
Business process modeling is a great training tool for new employees.
The model clearly defines what they need to do in case they get stuck, so they don’t feel overwhelmed during their first week at work!
Additionally, management teams can study a process model to identify any opportunities to change or adapt a process at the drop of a hat.
3. What is process execution?
In this BPM practice, the designed business process is implemented within a company with the help of a BPM tool. Begin process execution by testing the new process with just a few team members, and gradually allow your entire organization to implement it.
Then, sit back, grab an iced latte, and watch this new process in action.
4. What is process monitoring?
After you’ve implemented a process, you’ll need to analyze it to see if it’s running efficiently.
Also known as process mining, the process monitoring phase helps you identify repetitive tasks, bottlenecks or any other issues that need to be fixed. Think of this BPM phase as a health check-up for a process.
How do you analyze a process?
With the help of a BPM monitoring tool.
Just like a blood test report, this tool measures the health of your process with the help of metrics; such as customer satisfaction, cycle time, revenue, productivity, etc.
However, this isn’t a one-and-done deal.
Similar to a health check-up, you need to keep a close eye on your process every few weeks or months. Otherwise, it might face serious issues, and you wouldn’t know until it’s too late.
5. What is process optimization?
Also known as process improvement or process control, this is the final phase of BPM. Here, business processes are fine-tuned so that they continue to be efficient and meet their business goals.
What are some examples of process optimization?
Some examples include:
- Removing redundant tasks/processes
- Streamlining the workflow with process automation
- Improving communication with tools
What Are The Benefits Of Implementing Business Process Management?
There are tons of benefits to BPM implementation.
However, we’ll narrow it down to the top 2 advantages of a BPM system:
- Increased operational efficiency
- Reduced production costs
Now, let’s take a closer look at them:
1. Increased operational efficiency
Every BPM initiative has a few processes that are as inefficient as these Stormtroopers.
These processes waste time and resources, so they should be removed, right?
Unfortunately, it’s hard to identify and change these processes quickly as they’ve become entrenched in your organization.
The BPM methodology is designed to find and solve these inefficient processes.
Through BPM, managers learn more about each step of the business process, which helps them identify inefficient areas and quickly brainstorm a BPM solution
2. Reduced production costs
This is the key reason why business leaders love business process management. When looking at a process map, they can see how much a process costs and the resources it requires.
How does this help?
The business process management system helps managers figure out what processes are not cost-effective and require process automation.
What Is Business Process Management Software?
A BPM suite helps you with all stages of BPM implementation.
From planning to mapping, execution, monitoring, and optimization – it can handle everything.
A BPM solution is tailor-made to ensure every existing process is upgraded to achieve operational excellence.
What Are The Core Features Of BPM Software?
Now that you know what business process management software is, you’ll need to find the best tool for your business.
These are 7 features every great BPM tool must have:
- Workflow templates
- Reports and analytics
- Custom Permissions
- Integration capabilities
- Mobile support
Coincidentally, these are all features that are available in ClickUp!
Let’s take a closer look at these essential business process management features:
1. Workflow and task templates
Since a business process contains a list of tasks that need to be repeated to achieve a goal, it would be quite tedious to create and assign the same tasks over and over and over again.
Fortunately, ClickUp has a few shortcuts up its sleeves.
Create and store repetitive process tasks in neat templates like so:
So, the next time when you want to use the task, the Task Template can be summoned like a Genie.
That’s not the only template ClickUp has for you.
You can reuse Task Checklists to spell out the steps team members need to take to execute a process or task perfectly.
While working on a new process or task, your team members need clarity on how they need to get stuff done.
Sure they can communicate through email, but have you tried searching for that one particular email?
Finding Waldo is easier than that!
Fortunately, BPM tools like ClickUp store all your messages in one place. Each task has a dedicated Comment section.
Here’s what you can do with Comments:
- Create and reply to comments
- Attach files and other important process documentation
- Convert a comment into an actionable task and assign it to your team members
- Link to other comments or tasks
- Add 😃 emojis 😃 or a list with rich text editing
3. Reports and analytics
How do you know if your new process design is effective?
By taking a good look at it!
And the best way to do this is through reports as they offer great metrics and insights to monitor your process.
And here’s the kicker:
You can arrange these Agile Widgets anyway you’d prefer, and make your very own custom process command center!
4. Custom Permissions
Since your BPM process management tool contains all your project data, you might have some sensitive information you want to protect.
ClickUp’s Custom Permissions allows you to control what business users can and can’t do within this BPM system. You can choose who has the ability to create tasks, edit statuses, delete stuff, etc.
Your BPM system should allow you to automate tasks that are repetitive.
Remember, BPM automation not only saves up on effort, but it also speeds things up.
ClickUp allows you to automate any manual task management process easily. You can choose from a library of 50+ Automations, or even create an automated process of your own.
Here’s an example:
Whenever a task is marked as high priority, the task status changes to ‘Open.’
Want to learn how workflow automation works? Click here.
6. Integration capabilities
A good BPM solution is like a Lego brick.
We mean that the BPM tool should be able to connect to countless other ‘bricks’ (i.e. work tools).
Integration makes it easy to connect one software to another, streamlining work done over these two tools. Luckily, ClickUp has an integration with popular management software like Slack, Unito, Hubstaff, GitHub… you name it!
7. Mobile support
Almost every cloud management tool can be used on the go, and a business process management system shouldn’t be any different.
But that’s not all folks.
ClickUp isn’t just for process management. Here are some bonus features that make work management a whole lot easier:
- Goals: create and track business goals, objectives, and OKRs
- Task Views: view all your tasks in a neat checklist, Kanban board, calendar, and more
- Mind Maps: plan and organize ideas to create an efficient workflow or a process plan
- Gantt View: measure your project’s progress over a duration of time with a handy Gantt chart
Business process management is like the rocket fuel powering your spacecraft.
Without it, your team members simply aren’t at their best and wouldn’t be able to do anything. But once you bring BPM in, they’re charged up and will be able to zip through any business process in no time!
But remember, business process management is impossible without a tool to actually facilitate it. And that’s why a business process management tool like ClickUp makes it easy for you to implement BPM within your organization.
It has tons of features to help with workflow management, business process automation, and continuous process improvement.
So why not give ClickUp a shot, and see things really take-off at your company?