It's one thing to put a plan on paper – the blueprint of how you want something to work – but an entirely different thing to actually put those plans into action. As the saying goes, the best-laid places of mice and men often go awry. And when it comes to business process management, too often do organizations realize that their formal policies and practices for doing work aren't actually translating in reality.
Optimizing workflow is a critical component of business productivity and performance. Unfortunately, it's pretty easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drum of activity, failing to realize that the processes we originally sought out to follow are either outdated, inefficient or abandoned completely. Adjusting processes and workflow strategies isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, regularly assessing internal operations to ensure they are as succinct and lean as possible is something every company should get in the habit of doing.
However, it is important to at least acknowledge when the set of activities your employees use to meet their goals differ from the systematic approach the company formally or previously decided on. If they do, it's indicative of the methods laid out on paper not being the most effective solution for real-world application, that it's time to update the processes to better coincide with the current workplace environment or that your staff members need to more closely adhere to the strategic plans to ensure the organization realizing its full potential.
Setting yourself up for success
In an article for CIO Review, Samantha J. Bureau-Johnson pointed out that, while there are a lot of resources and information about business process management tools, not so much is available on what's needed to take these solutions and use them in meaningful ways to activate the business strategy.
When executed correctly, BPM offers a wide range of benefits, from higher transparency and better decision making, to improved communication and enhance efficiency. However, in order for companies to glean the most value from BPM, Johnson argued that companies shouldn't only focus only on top-line business goals and metrics relating to revenue and operational costs. To drive the most value, a more holistic approach to BPM is needed.
Below are some tips organizations can use to better align business process management and strategy and, in turn, achieve greater levels of success:
1. Get input from all parties
If senior executives are the only people involved in creating the workflow strategies for employees at every level, there is bound to be some disconnect. After all, it's difficult to ensure the processes you're implementing are what's best for a particular function if you're not familiar with the day-to-day tasks and flow involved in it. If you are finding that your employees are straying from the formal workflow, it's possible that there are issues with how it works and that adjustments need to be made to eliminate these hurdles.
Getting input from staff at various levels of the organization can help give you the insight you need to devise the most effective and appropriate approach to various business processes.
2. Be realistic
Similar to how you need staff to be honest about what does and doesn't work for them, you also need to take an accurate assessment of the challenges your organization currently faces and consider what the viable solutions are.
"BPM solutions should be tailored to the needs of your organizations."
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to business process management. What works for some companies may not for yours. But it is important to ensure yours are tailored to the individual needs of your company and are reflective of the way your employees not work – not just the way you wish they did.
For example, with today's workforce going increasingly remote, mobile BPM solutions are gaining traction. Transparency Market Research recently revealed that the global mobile BPM market is expected to experience significant growth, due in large part to the real-time accessibility it offers businesses.
3. Choose the right tools
The BPM software you use significantly influences the effectiveness of its execution. If employees don't have the resources, platforms, tools and solutions needed to perform their job responsibilities, it disrupts the entire workflow and, ultimately, impedes the business strategy.
Furthermore, to track and measure the performance of your business processes – and ensure they align with the organizational goals – you need software that handles every aspect of BPM, including mapping, workflow, collaboration, communication, document management and results reporting.
The more intuitive your technology, the better positioned you'll be to making intelligent decisions that help enhance efficiency, streamline workflow and uncover cost-savings opportunities. To learn more, contact AppWright today.