Every organization/company has business processes that include a set of policies, practices, procedures, and processes. They are mostly used in developing and deploying strategies and executing them. This entire process of business is to provide performance information which is then used by leaders in their decision-making process. As a business and workforce grow it becomes difficult to manage. To address this challenge, organizations may choose to implement a traditional Business Process Management (BPM) system.
What is Business Process Management and What’s its use?
BPM is a stacked practice of optimizing and continuously improving operational processes. It helps organizations achieve the highest levels of efficiency in time and cost performance. This modular structure of BPM has been the guiding principle for a successful business for a long time. It was 1911 when Frederick Winslow Taylor (Father of Scientific Management) published the 4 principles of scientific management. They go as follow:
- Replace working by “rule of thumb”. Use the scientific method to study work and determine the most efficient way to perform specific tasks.
- Rather than simply assign workers to just any job, match workers to their jobs based on capability and motivation for maximum efficiency.
- Monitor worker performance, and provide instructions and supervision.
- Distribute work amongst managers and workers so that the managers spend their time planning and training.
According to Workflow Management Coalition,
“Business process management (BPM) is a discipline involving any combination of modeling, automation, execution, control, measurement and optimization of business activity flows, in support of enterprise goals, spanning systems, employees, customers, and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.”
The Association of Business Process Management Professionals defines BPM as,
“A disciplined approach to identify, design, execute, document, measure, monitor, and control both automated and non-automated business processes to achieve consistently, targeted results aligned with an organization’s strategic goals. BPM involves the deliberate, collaborative, and increasingly technology-aided definition, improvement, innovation, and management of end-to-end business processes that drive business results, create value, and enable an organization to meet its business objectives with more agility.”
Gartner too has a take on what BPM is all about,
“The discipline of managing processes (rather than tasks) as the means for improving business performance outcomes and operational agility. Processes span organizational boundaries, linking together people, information flows, systems, and other assets to create and deliver value to customers and constituents.”
There are multiple takes on BPM. But the definition comes to only one conclusion. BPM is any combination of methods used to manage a company’s business processes.
Business Process Management System
A Business Process Management System is comply used in mid-to-large organizations. The system assists in automating business processes through various styles of workflow apps.
The system processes data that might be grouped, analyzed or improved using the lifecycle process such as — expense reporting, PTO requests, employee onboarding, invoicing, account management, compliance management, loan origination, CRM, project management, and more.
The system tends to focus on long-term analysis and improvement rather than providing one-time solutions.
To give pointers, a BPM system does the following:
- Enables complex business creation, spanning across multiple departments and locations
- Monitors and maintains processes to ensure optimal performance
- Modifies existing processes to facilitate change
Business Process Management and Six Sigma
Similar to the BPM, Six Sigma is a process management methodology designed to improve process quality by removing errors and defects. Often in organizations, the success measurement is done by measuring the Six Sigma deployment and how much it grossed ROI-wise. But sometimes, there might be some reports in the sheets with saving errors. This happens due to executives are unable to calculate a certain amount as the savings are in the silos. This necessarily does not impact much on the enterprise level, but it does leave an impact.
This is where the BPM and Six Sigma merge to create a unique framework where executives can easily confront every shortcoming in the first go.
Business Process Management and Six Sigma Offering
Six Sigma methodology is a driving force in today’s age that can influence BPM. Such that, BPM can be regarded as a broader and inclusive approach, while Six Sigma contributes for the tools and techniques. Six Sigma supports project executions and shows how measurements and data are to be examined and concluded.
This integrated approach of BPM and Six Sigma has two key fundamentals:
- Improve business process flow and speed
- Delight the customers with speed and quality
BPM alongside Six Sigma drives positive outputs of:
- Providing Framework – The merger of BPM and Six Sigma helps to uncover the information that supports eliminating the non-value-added work. It showcases how it can be tackled with well-defined activity or a group of steps.
- Weakness Coverage – Both the processes, BPM and Six Sigma, has their individual shortcomings. Merging them negates those shortcomings, thus providing you with a comprehensive, stable, and productive approach to operational excellence.
- High-Profit Margin – It has been known that using any of the two, BPM or Six Sigma, yields in higher ROI. Now imagine what the ROI will be when these two are merged!
The BPM’s ability is to understand processes and workflow through modeling and examination of inputs, outputs, and performance. It has its moments where it might fall off, but to fill in the potholes, one can utilize Six Sigma with its rigorous approach to data collection and analysis. Both the processes go hand-in-hand, where one monitors the process improvements and the other provides tools to automate the process improvements and connect them to the entire organization.