Business Process Modelling is not something that you can just ‘fit in’ between meetings or if you have 10 minutes left before you go home, but it is an extremely important aspect of any business, simply because it ensures that any business operates as efficiently as possible and about having the correct IT systems in place to support all aspects of the business.
Given that it is so important, it has to be approached in a manner that is extremely methodical and detailed. It is time consuming, but after the BPM (Business Process Modelling) has been carried out, the business will be much more efficient and radical savings will be made. So taking the time out to undergo BPM is certainly worth it in the end.
Understanding The Basics
Before any BPM can be undertaken, it is important to understand the basics. The function of the business has to be defined. Is it to sell widgets? Is it to manufacture fairground rides? A critical part of this is to understand the voice of the customer – what is it that the customer wants – why should they use you ahead of a competitor.
Once the nature of the business is defined, then you have to look at how the goal of the organisation is achieved. If the purpose is to sell widgets, then how are the widgets sold?
Achieving the goal can be further broken down into several functions. These are all the different functions that have to happen in order to sell the widgets: the widgets have to be manufactured, they are stored, marketed, distributed, delivered, invoiced and there are also management and Human Resources functions as well.
To effectively carry out these functions, each business will have its own system in place to make sure that it can happen. Each system is a business process.
Once these processes have been identified, then the Business Process Model can be created.
The Model Itself
The Business Process Model will first of all look at all the processes and what their aims are.
Then it will list all the different processes, often in the form of a flowchart and this will be used as the basis for the model.
The model will look at everything that is done and document it, it will also document what needs to be done in the future, or what is planned to be done in the future.
Once this has been achieved then a review is carried out to ascertain how IT systems and technology as a whole can underpin each and every process and ensure that everyone knows what is required to facilitate for the business processes to be carried out.
The systems and technology can then be designed, adapted or secured to ensure that they support the business processes.
Use Of Business Process Model
The BPM is an invaluable document that can become the fundamental ‘bible’ of knowledge for any company. Each business process is detailed and the IT systems support it, so it becomes a way of ensuring that everyone in the company can know and understand each process.
It can be used as a way of training staff, so that they can become familiar with how the business works in a way that is very quick and therefore cost efficient.
The Business Process Model will have to be reviewed and updated as processes evolve and change to meet the needs of the business. Initially it can be seen as a very laborious and time consuming exercise, but it does ensure that every aspect of the business is documented and so even if key personnel suddenly leave or there is an unexpected shortage of staff: the Business Process Model has everything set out in black and white!