Understanding the Importance of Business Process Management (Part One)

Before any organization embarks on a journey of process, organizational, human, or technological change, there are a host of questions that must be asked and answered to better understand the impact of these decisions.

By Oculus Consulting Group LLC

Many organizations enamored with today’s technology infatuations have gone on an acquisition binge, thinking that their business process concerns can be satisfied with the newest version of today’s latest and greatest technologies.  Clearly, today’s organizations are facing a myriad of societal, technical, environmental, economic, and political pressures in their persistent attempts to not only survive, but also to thrive.  The number of technology alternatives available to their organization is nothing short of overwhelming.  While there may be a variety of right and wrong answers, an obvious organizational requirement is to ensure that these solutions are selected with an understanding of their essential business process implications.

Organizations must sift through the available technology options carefully, to develop and then identify a set of critical business process decisions, and then do everything within their power to truly commit to their successful attainment.  These decisions can be considerably challenging when the technology landscape and pressures mentioned above, continue to change rapidly.

One attribute of the decision process is certain: By not making a choice that incorporates business process understanding, these organizations will default to a position that might not be appropriate and worse, will place the entire organization at risk.  Before any organization embarks on a journey of process, organizational, human, or technological change, there are a host of questions that must be asked and answered to better understand the impact of these decisions.  At Oculus Consulting Group LLC, we understand how important these decisions are, and how necessary the understanding of business process impact will be to the organization’s success.  In this Part One of a Two-Part opinion and research, we explore some of the basics of business process management.

“Business processes are by default, the core endeavor in any organizational transformation vision.”

Organization Transformation and Business Process Management

In the most simplistic of terms, the purpose of any organizational endeavor is to act as a transformation mechanism.  When appropriate events and conditions trigger the required action, customer’s wants and needs combined with consumable resources are transformed into goods, services, and business outcomes that seek to benefit those consumers. Whether it is a facility manufacturing gas barbeque ranges, recreational vehicles, financial services enterprises, or even higher education institutions, every organization exists to meet a consumer need and to do it at a cost that creates profit or value for the enterprise.  Business processes are the tools and mechanisms that enable that consumer satisfaction.  Business processes are by default, the core endeavor in any organizational transformation vision.  At Oculus Consulting Group LLC, we understand the importance of business process management in designing and implementing organizational transformation.  We have developed and delivered workshop solutions that help organizations identify the critical business processes within their organization, and how they integrate into the overall organization’s vision for transformation.

What Are Business Processes?

A true business process begins with the first event that initiates this course of action.  That process isn’t complete until the last aspect of the final outcome is satisfied from the perspective of the stakeholder that initiated or triggered that event.  By using an external view perspective in examining the business process decision, the review will cut across the organization’s structures, geographies, and technologies in an attempt to answer 3 critical questions:

  • How does our organization know the criteria for satisfactory process conclusion?
  • What relationship must we have with the stakeholder who initiated this action?
  • Who cares about this process?

Within any legitimate business process there will be a variety of inputs – such as raw materials, information, knowledge, commitments by consumers and stakeholders – all of which are transformed into outputs and results.  This transformation cannot occur without the inclusion or consideration of guidance provided by policies, standards, procedures, rules, and individual knowledge.  From this perspective any business process will inevitably contain both logical as well as illogical steps, which also cross the organizational units and functions of the entity.

What is Business Process Management?

Business process management requires a process of continuous improvement in examining the drivers of organizational performance.  In today’s rapidly expanding technological pressured environment, that process requires both leadership and guidance.  Like many of the challenges that existed in the pre-Y2K world, this leadership and guidance has defaulted to the units responsible for selection and implementation of technology within the organization.   Lacking is the comprehensive view of the overall business process and how any new technology will impact the entire business process, it’s owners, and stakeholders.

Business processes should be considered just as much of an asset to the organization as the entities’ people, facilities, and information.  When well managed, they will pay off in terms of improved performance to the entire organization.  Any attempt to revisit processes that may currently be perceived as challenges to the organization, must take into account the external business reasons for the existence of the process.  Every business process must exist for one reason only, to enhance organizational performance.  Everything else that is performed in support of the processes’ should focus of achieving consumer and stakeholder benefits.  Business Process Management should be a never-ending journey that maintains the focus of the organization in the right direction, continuous improvement, and organizational success.  At Oculus Consulting Group LLC, we have demonstrated competence and experience in developing and executing business process mapping and reengineering workshops that have achieved positive transformation process reengineering for our clients.

Business Processes and Knowledge Management?

In today’s organization, units emphasize the business processes that create knowledge in the form of new products and services.  With the rapid growth of technology solutions, many organizations place an emphasis on those business processes that create or enhance knowledge within the organization.  Knowledge within the organization is what guides people in making judgments, formulating accurate decisions, and accomplishing meaningful work.

Improving the sharing of knowledge within the units of the organization is essential in providing guidance and enablers of the business processes at hand.  As a result, this knowledge transfer through business process management provides a pay off for the organization when applied to individual workers, communities of practice, and entity-wide knowledge creation. Individual knowledge enhancement is essential in developing a flexible and adaptable work force capable of responding to dramatically changing business conditions.  Communities of practice are teams of people with a common interest and bond associate with a knowledge topic or specific business need, who generate and utilize common business knowledge that can be shared if it is captured and communicated appropriately.  Organization knowledge creation involves business process creation and understanding that allows the organization to bring new products and services to their consumer market more efficiently and quickly.

Understanding the role of business process management in the creation and execution of an organization’s knowledge management activities is essential in today’s rapidly changing technology-driven environment.  Improving the sharing of relevant knowledge (both tacit and explicit) delivers better business process management guidance and more effective process enablers to the business processes under management review.  At Oculus Consulting Group LLC, we understand the important integration between business processes and knowledge resources.  Our workshops have demonstrable competence in identifying these key resources and the important role they play in your organization.

Concluding Thoughts

The objective of effective business process management is to make the business cycle more effective as well as more efficient for the entire organization.  This implies that business processes must be understood and that corporate knowledge must be made readily available in a variety of accessible formats. Improving the knowledge management lifecycle is critical to organizational success.  Without it, the organization’s overall performance can and will suffer.  Getting the best from your business process management efforts requires effective knowledge management of the business cycle quickly before the driver of the process becomes stale, a major of today’s intellect-based, fast-paced, technology-driven organizations.

At Oculus Consulting Group, our expertise and assistance has helped organizations transform their vision for effective business process management and related knowledge measurement into a measurable reality of improved organizational transformation.

To learn how you can secure our services and assistance, please contact us.

© 2018 Oculus Consulting Group LLC

Oculus Consulting Group LLC and “Transform Your Organization’s Vision into a Measurable Reality are registered service marks of Oculus Consulting Group LLC.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I would say most organizations don’t know the importance of BPR, they consider “processes” as an expense, but they don’t know how much time, money and energy it can save. I have been fighting to re-assess our accounting and purchasing ERP and processes, but it’s not easy. Thank you for sharing this amazing article on business process management.

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