The BPM Life Cycle: What Is It and What Are the Stages?
In this post, we discuss the business process management life cycle and how it can help small and medium-scale enterprises thrive.
Small and medium-scale enterprises are notable contributors to the growth of the global economy through the creation of jobs. According to Forbes, 99.9% of businesses across the US are small businesses. And nearly half of the employees in the US are employed by small and medium-scale enterprises. This shows how important small and medium-scale enterprises are to the economy and why they should be kept alive. In this post, we're going to discuss the business process management life cycle and how it can help small and medium-scale enterprises thrive.
What Is the BPM Life Cycle?
BPM, which stands for business process management, is a structured approach that an organization or business uses to design, execute, and optimize business processes.
In any organization or business, a series of tasks or processes are performed in order to accomplish the business's objectives and goals. Such tasks include staff onboarding, leave applications, contract approval, and invoice management, to name just a few examples. These tasks are mostly repetitive, requiring staff to execute them consistently so as to achieve consistent results.
The BPM life cycle provides a strategic way to continuously manage these tasks or processes. It does this by defining a series of stages that execute one step at a time with the aim of improving the business process through each stage. Every stage in the life cycle is a continuous loop. So, upon completing the final stage of the BPM life cycle, you iterate through the stages from the beginning to continuously improve your business processes.
Some organizations apply the BPM life cycle to separate sections of their organization rather than the organization as a whole. This allows them to get a better view of the business process flow separately in every section of the organization and manage them in isolation. That can lead to better management of issues and improvement in the process.
How Many Steps Are in the BPM Life Cycle?
The BPM life cycle is a holistic process that has five phases aimed at improving and managing business processes:
Let's take a look at each in detail.
The design stage of the BPM life cycle kick-starts the process. The main objective of the design stage is to detect whether the current process is good enough or needs to be reconstructed to a finer process flow. This stage is crucial, as it can determine the outcome of the whole process. At this stage, you identify any bottlenecks in your current process, which enables you to formulate ideas and plans on how to improve the process.
At times, such improvements can involve automating your current workflow process and removing manual procedures (e.g., automating in Slack the assignment of invoice approval to staff members). Or it could be something as simple as removing unnecessary steps in the process. Regardless of the specific improvements you need to make, it's a good practice to break down your design into smaller chunks. This gives you a clearer view, enabling you to resolve the issues more easily.
In this stage of the life cycle, we'll discover and decode the process in the form of a process model. This can be, for instance, communicating with stakeholders or individuals who are involved with the process on a regular basis. We then capture the outcome of this discovery as is. Finally, we use this discovery to quantify and point out issues in the business process. You can use different analysis techniques to attain different outcomes. For example, qualitative techniques allow you to come up with an organized set of factors that lead to an issue. Or quantitative techniques measure the performance of a process in detail under various scenarios.
Once both your design and modeling processes are done, it's time to start using them. We call this the execution stage, where we test all the improvements designed earlier in the process. This stage of the life cycle takes the design and model and implements them into the business process. This process can involve automating your business processes. But don't fully trust your workflow to perform without errors; creating a test environment that can carry out this process before you ship it for users or employees to use live is a good way to go.
After we have a live process flow running, we must monitor to ensure unintended bottlenecks do not create friction in the newly formed business process. It's important that your framework keeps an eye on the current condition of the process. Is the process executing as instructed, and is it running in accordance with its timing? We can use all this information to make actionable decisions that are time sensitive and critical to the business. It's at the monitoring stage of the BPM life cycle that we spot areas in the current process that require improvement and determine whether they meet expectations.
This is the final stage of the BPM life cycle. It's at this stage that the life cycle transitions into a loop, one that allows us to constantly optimize and improve our business process. With a proper monitoring and control system in place, this stage of the BPM life cycle uses all the information and metrics obtained from process monitoring to optimize or improve any area that needs adaptation. From here, you restart the whole process from the first stage to continuously find ways to improve the process. When you optimize your processes properly, you prevent wasted effort, improve outcomes, and speed up the process.
BPM Automation Tool
BPM has been a crucial factor in the way organizations and enterprises carry out business processes. It's important that businesses have an easy and accommodating way of handling this process. Using software that can automate the process workflow through design, modeling, and implementing processes will help minimize errors, improve performance, and provide effective and better communication patterns.
Wrangle is a business process automation tool that allows you to streamline work in Slack. Companies use it to automate processes like purchase orders, PTO requests, IT ticketing, and more.
Wrangle approaches BPM with workflows and tickets. Workflows automate common processes while tickets manage issues. Unlike other products on the market, Wrangle workflow automation occurs directly in your Slack channel, where your teams are actively managing their daily work.
You can create workflows or tickets to automate any business process. Here’s a sample list of how customers use Wrangle to automate BPM:
- IT ticketing
- Purchase orders
- PTO requests
- Expense management
- Sales contracts and proposals
- Employee Onboarding
- Bug reports
- Feature requests
- Collateral review
If you have a process that is occurring in Slack, Wrangle can transform your work into an efficient BPM machine that can be measured and tracked.
In this post, I've covered some best practices that you can use to improve your BPM. For a more detailed discussion of some of the most important practices to keep in mind when dealing with BPM, check out our previous post. You can read through it to get a better understanding of what to avoid and what to do when it comes to BPM.
This post was written by Suleiman Abubakar Sadeeq. Suleiman Abubakar Sadeeq is an ambitious react developer learning and helping to build enterprise apps. In his free time, he plays football, watches soccer, and enjoys playing video games.
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