Any organization, regardless of its purpose or sector, is a living system in which various entities co-exist and interact: suppliers, customers, employees, products, services, etc, and essential functions: production, marketing, sales, accounting, finance, human resources, etc. Each of these functions involves multiple departments and business processes. Also, continuous business process improvement enables a company to get better results.
A business process is a set of steps or interconnected activities that produce internal or external results for an organization.
In other words, business processes are a set of actions related to each other in a logical and consistent manner to promote an enabling output for the company – total quality and customer satisfaction – in both the internal and external aspect.
A structure of ill-defined business processes can jeopardize the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization through the clutter of products and services, loss of time, repetition of tasks, motivation and productivity loss.
As a result, business processes must operate in an integrated form compared to others and about the entire organizational structure, for only in this way can it achieve its goals, across any organization: efficiency in outputs, resource efficiency and the increase in value.
Business Process Management (BPM) – to improve performance
BPM is a systematic and disciplined approach, which involves practices related to business processes, automated or otherwise, to achieve consistent results, aligned with the strategic goals of an organization.
BPM techniques and methodologies enable an organization to align its processes with its strategy, leading to better performance, at all levels, focusing on the process end to end and the generation of customer value.
Develop knowledge in an integrated and comprehensive way, as well as, practices, principles, models and structures necessary for the management of business processes, with the creation of organizational culture to achieve results through optimized processes and continuous business process improvement.
The difference between business function and business process
Given the similarity of their compositions, business function and business process are concepts that often raise questions, as both are “things that the company does” But you need to understand what their differences are:
- Processes are cross-functional – or horizontal – as they cut across several functional barriers within the organization, eg: business improvement, increased sales and hiring employees;
- functions, which together describe the mission of the company, are vertical, eg: logistics, sales, accounting, etc.
3 examples of companies using BPM for continuous business process improvement
Modern management with BPM in a gym franchise
A major gym franchise adopted BPM tools to automate their business processes and gain greater administrative control. The improvement in communication and the possibility of monitoring processes were the main benefits identified.
“The BPM system improved communication between areas involved in each case, by sending and receiving communications. The system implementation greatly diminished the amount of e-mails being sent between areas. Additionally, enabling us to include and measure the execution time of each activity, giving us greater ability to manage processes ” – System Analyst
The opening of a chain of convenience stores
Now a global leader in testing, inspection and certification, the company automated processes to provide audit services in opening convenience stores. An improvement of 50% in staff productivity was calculated.
“Now all of the Opening Process information is intertwined with each stage of the activities and evolution of the opening schedule and importantly we can monitor each task and the transaction set” – Manager
Office processes in local government institutions
After mapping a project, a business unit within a local government institution, was looking for a tool to automate processes and found this possible with BPM. Now they have users in several areas with an emphasis on human resource management, information technology, administration and other office processes.
“We plan to expand the use of office processes to other sectors in a structured way, introducing tool integration, through automation standardization and process control”- Council office manager
Read more about continuous business process improvement in these articles:
- The Kaizen continuous process improvement method
- The continuous process improvement model for business
- The PDCA concept