Adopting and adpating to the new revolution of conducting organizational functions is a challenge. A tool being relied upon by many is business process management. BPM represents the future of business technology. But which business process management software yields the best on-going benefits, efficiency and dynamic organizational behavior? Adopting the best practice approach both in software applications and in BPM deployment improves the chances of successfully utilizing BPM and seizing the benefits of reengineering an organization for performance in the new world.
Tried and true methods for implementing processes, for example, represent the best processes to implement BPM. Other examples include best practices for CRM, human resource development or organizaitonal development.
Best practices are instantly adaptable solutions. They optimize processes to meet primary objectives, eliminating the need to "re-invent the wheel. They are important in change management, because best practices enable organizations to be rapidly responsive given the current economic climate and the related rate of change. BPM best practices enable organizations to meet multiple challenges in an organized fashion. Rather than resorting to management by crisis, companies can navigate through difficult issues and develop strategies. By leveraging best practices from existing business process management deployments, organizations can more easily:
- Develop objectives for BPM applications
- Support implementation of BPM
- Respond effectively to BPM feedback
- Adopt an ongoing dynamic amethod to business performance
- Create a goal-oriented management focus throughout the organization
- Set responsibilities and expectations for planning and goal achievement
- Manage operational goals and communication in line with key underlying objectives
- Promote transparency and accountability
- Formalize assumptions on the environment and its drivers
BPM practices are not just tools for competitiveness; they are effective methods for achieving efficiency in all areas, even uncompetitive or non-revenue-generating ones. Using BPM best practices in payroll, for example, helps to process paychecks efficiently, without making a company more competitive in market terms. By keeping costs low through efficient system design, though, helps to boost the bottom line.
BPM Software Applications
The core processes of BPM, IT and best practices give organizations control over the lifecycle of processes to achieve business agility. For example, many IT software solutions use the best practice approach for process support. Employing a formal standard for best practices to optimize corporate goals empowers IT departments; they can instantly access adaptable solutions and service organizational needs to provide customer value. Best practices in IT provide organizations with a logical framework to:
- Automate and streamline tasks
- Align IT to business processes
- Employ a framework for establishing and following policies, steps and rules
- Act on findings
Best practice BPM software also enables organizations to:
- Manage IT departments at consistently maximal efficiency levels to meet key goals (e.g., cost efficiency and profit maximization)
- Create IT department accountability for business performance and results
- Measure business performance and effectiveness
- Isolate and underline areas to implement cost cuts, enhancing quality and growth
- Provide customers with helpful information
- Locate procedural loopholes and superfluities
- Organize IT needs optimally with maximal efficiency and control
Implementing BPM Using Best Practices
To maximize BPM's potential, companies must implement business process management throughout the enterprise. Best practice BPM implementation strategies are relevant to any solution or application, regardless of software type or industry. Essentially there are four inter-related components in the strategy to successful business process management implementation. These are:
- Conduct a test-pilot run
- Involve other key departments
- Plan for organizational change
- Establish core expert group
Best Practice #1: Conduct a Test-Pilot Run
The best practice approach involves identifying one departmental project in line with key corporate objectives for the pilot run. This project can vary from one organization to another, depending on where its critical focus lies. For example, the help desk in an insurance company might focus on improved customer service, or a mortgage company trying to gain a competitive edge by fast processing times might focus on processing new mortgages.
The pilot run establishes the benefits of BPM implementation. By quantifying the findings and extrapolating them enterprise wide, companies can establish the benefits that BPM could yield to the entire organization.
Best Practice #2: Involve Other Key Departments
The best practice approach simultaneously involves professionals from other key departments so that they can:
- Benefit from the same solution
- Access interdepartmental process efficiencies
- Cut implementation, support and training costs
Involving other departments in the pilot run ensures that the same effort is invested in BPM implementation across the entire company.
Best Practice #3: Plan for Organizational Change
BPM implementation affects many aspects of the organization. From finance to service integration, companies must:
- Analyze, find and assess the level of change
- Determine how the change will be implemented
- Determine how systems will be used forthwith
BPM Best Practice #4: Establish a Core Expert Group
Concentrating expertise from IT departments, systems integration staff and key business users within the organization into a core discussion and action group brings shared experiences and fosters best practice discussion. The core group is also responsible for BPM:
BPM best practices have much to offer companies, giving them a leading edge in difficult market conditions. Companies using best practices in BPM while focusing on key processes can navigate any economical climate. Using BPM best practices, companies that work this way remain consistently agile. In essentially what is a top-down management approach, these organizations meet the ideal objective of best practices and BPM; namely, maintaining continual flexibility, innovation, accountability and competitiveness to meet key corporate objectives.