Business Process Management Life Cycle
Traditionally, automation of business processes using workflows meant implementing the automated process and no more. Business Process Management takes this to the next level. BPM is about continuous business process improvement.
As well as automating the process, we are capturing the process in a structured way, then monitoring and optimizing the process. This cycle of process improvement repeats continuously for the life of the process.
This introduces a culture of continual process improvement into the organization in a structured but easy to use way.
The steps in a BPM Life Cycle are:
Capture the business processes at a high level.
Gather just enough detail to understand conceptually how the process works.
Concentrate on ensuring the high level detail is correct without being distracted by the detail of how it’s going to be implemented.
Historically carried out by business analysts, but simple-to-use technologies such as Sequence are allowing the business manager to undertake this task, as this is typically where the in-depth knowledge required to model the process lies.
Extend the model to capture more detail required to execute the process, e.g.
– Form controls and layout
– Email message content
– System integration
Instances of the process are launched and interacted with by the end users.
Measure key performance indicators and process performance.
View these vs. SLAs via graphical dashboards and textual reports to monitor how the process is performing.
Understand where the bottlenecks/inefficiencies in the process are.
Improve the business process and performance against SLAs by reducing the bottlenecks/inefficiencies identified during monitoring.
Simulate these changes using “what-if” simulation.
Determine which changes will deliver the maximum benefit.
Fine tune the process.
Continuous Business Process Improvement
Incorporate these changes into the model and repeat the cycle for continuous business process improvement.
Changes in the business that result in a need to change the process can be quickly introduced into the process at the Optimize stage.
For automating an existing process, we would typically start at the Model stage, as we already have a good idea of the process and how it is performing (positively or negatively).
For a new process, we don’t often know what is required, such as what resources we need at each stage. So we would typically start at the Optimize stage and try out some ideas, capturing these in the Model stage as our thoughts are formulated into a process.
The following white paper describes the aspects of an Intelligent BPM solution that implements continuous process improvement: