The 6 Stages of Business Process Management

the 6 stages of business process management

An In-depth Look at the Stages of BPM

Business process management, commonly abbreviated as BPM, describes the systemic approach used to improve both business processes and workflows. There are 6 core elements of BPM including-

1. Synchronization- Business process management systems must align with a company's objectives and overall business strategy. Any BPM solution is ineffective if it does incorporate both the values and mission of a company.

2. Methodology- Methodology includes the tools, methods, and techniques used for business process management initiatives. One well known BPM methodology example is the Six Sigma technique developed by Bill Smith.

3. Information technology- Digital transformation and business intelligence tools are more commonly used throughout the entire BPM process than ever before. Information technology is used to guide business process management with tools ranging from process modeling to process performance simulations.

4- Human resources- As valuable as business intelligence and digital transformation tools are, a great BPM system still requires human support. Employees that are deligated BPM responsibilities should ideally possess exceptional process management skills and a strong understanding of within organization objectives.

5. Organizational culture- A proper business process management system involves every process performed in a company. Therefore, BPM initiatives should be supported and undertaken by all departments.

A great way to facilitate an organizational culture of continuous improvement is to incorporate BPM directly into company objectives and business strategy.

6. Governance- Every participant of BPM should be well aware of their individual role and the roles of others. Clear within organization governance promotes increased accountability and enhanced transparency.

In addition to the 6 core elements of BPM, there are 6 life cycle stages of business process management including-

1. Planning

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The process planning stage consists of developing a clear understanding of business strategy and objectives. All existing processes and every new process can be narrowed down into 3 categories- primary, secondary, and management.

A primary process is a core process of a business that provides value to customers directly. A secondary process supports a primary process and does not directly provide value.

Lastly, a management process is used to monitor and measure primary and secondary processes, confirming compliance adherence where applicable.

2. Analysis

Existing processes are analyzed extensively during this BPM life cycle stage. The primary goal of the analysis stage is to ensure existing processes are aligned with business strategy and objectives.

Qualitative and quantitative analysis are commonly used process performance measurements. While quantitative analysis is focused on numbers, qualitative analysis is less numerically based. Quantitative analysis techniques range from process simulation to flow analysis. Qualitative analysis techniques include value added analysis and root cause analysis.

3. Design

Using the data gathered during the analysis life cycle stage, existing processes may be redesigned or a new process may be created. Process modeling and process design are undertaken if the previous life cycle indicates it essential.

The objective of process design is to guarantee the delivery of value to customers. The business process model is also incredibly valuable for future process performance evaluations and new process creation.

Business process reengineering and continuous process improvement are 2 main process design approaches. Business process reengineering extensively analyzes the entire process structure and redesigns it.

Continuous process improvement identifies issues within the process in order to undertake corrective action. Continuous process improvement is far less comprehensive than business process reengineering.

4. Implementation

During this BPM life cycle, designed and redesigned processes are implemented, either systemically or non systemically. A systemic implementation utilizes specific business process management software and technology.

Alternatively, a nonsystemic implementation does not use technological BPM tools. Often times, deciding between systemic and nonsystemic implementation initiatives will depend on a company's business process complexity as well as resources available.

5. Monitoring

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Continuous improvement of business processes necessitates constant measuring, tracking, and controlling. The objective of the monitoring BPM life cycle stage is to measure process performance and determine if any additional redesign is required.

Business process management software can be very helpful during this stage, providing tools such as dashboards and business rules based notifications.

6. Refinement

Process refinement seeks continuous improvement of all business processes through monitoring, controlling, redesigning, and reengineering. Data gathered during the entire process is then used to optimize processes as much as possible.

The main focuses of the refinement life cycle stage are process performance, process management, and within organization improvements. As the BPM lifecycle is continual, once this stage is complete, the entire process can start over again.

Key Takeaways

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  • Planning, analysis, design, implementation, monitoring, and refinement are the 6 stages of business process management.
  • Synchronization, methodology, information technology, human resources, organizational culture, and governance are the 6 core elements of business process management.