What is BPI and how can you benefit from it?

BPI (Business Process Improvement) wasn’t designed to confuse people. On the contrary, its goal is actually to make everything clearer and more objective, making organizational activities perform more efficiently and assertively.

Therefore, before we answer ‘what is BPI?’, let us take a step back and understand that to promote process improvement, also called process optimization, we must first analyze those processes, to know what needs to be improved.

See also: Business process improvement definition: Surpass the competition today!

What is BPI?

Process Analysis: The First Step Before Improvement

As we just said, you must perform analysis before BPI. And this must happen in a broad scope, which encompasses, in the first instance, the company as a whole, its strategic objectives and the organizational structure.

For example, a non-profit health organization and a conventional medical clinic may be optimizing the same process of screening patients for care.

Even before knowing the agents, the steps and the procedures used in this process, we can say with certainty that the optimization of this process in these two organizations will be quite different, since their strategic objectives are different.

After this larger analysis, now it is time to analyze the process itself.

To do this, you need to take care of some activities:

1- Analysis of performance metrics

If you have already established performance indicators, or KPIs, it’s necessary to verify if you’re attaining them. In this way, we’ll know if the process meets the needs of the organization.

2-  Customer interaction analysis

If the organization’s goal is to satisfy customers, you must carefully map these “moments of truth”, as they’re critical steps in any process.

3- Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks are obstacles in the process that cause activities to accumulate and generate delays, you have to find out if they exist and what generates them.

Usually bottlenecks form when processes restrict the flow of resources, products, services, or information.

Learn more: Process Bottleneck Analysis: Answer these 4 questions

4- Business rules

Business rules are formal procedures which you pre-define to help employees make decisions quickly and assertively.

We must analyze whether they’re working properly and in accordance with the objectives of the organization.

5- Handoffs

When information passes from one system to another, or from one person to a system, and vice versa, it’s very common for transcription errors to occur.

Is this activity occurring properly in the analyzed process?

See more: Handoff strategies: Convert these procedures into results

Now, what is BPI?

Many confuse BPI  (business process improvement) with process automation.

In fact, we can answer ‘what is BPI?’ in the following words:

BPI, or process optimization, consists of analyzing the process as it is now (the “AS IS” phase) to find inefficiencies and activities that your company can perform in a better way, in order to define:

  • Goals
  • Workflow
  • Control
  • Integration with other processes

All, in order to ensure a highly perceived value delivery to the end customer.

So for each of the 5 critical points we listed in the previous topic, BPI will try to find the causes behind them and define ways to correct and improve them by modeling a new process flow, called “TO BE”: the optimal process that’s desired in the future.

For this, some BPI tools can be used, such as the PDCA cycle, the Ishikawa diagram and the 5 Whys methodology, among many others.

The important thing is to detect if the process is really inefficient by analyzing KPIs and then maximizing customer interactions; Discover the causes of bottlenecks; Check whether your Handoffs are effective; Check whether you can improve your business rules or even if you need to create new ones.

To achieve the best result in all these activities, it’s best to use a BPMN modeling tool.

HEFLO is free process modeling software that can be accessed by the cloud and has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.

And if you want to learn more about BPMN before using it, make use of our tutorials.

Check out this example: How Inclusive Gateways Work

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