What is BPMN and why it is important for both SME’s and large companies?

You already know that your organization works because there are processes that underpin its operations, and that for each relevant operation, there is a sequence of steps that make it possible. You already know that you need to manage those processes to ensure that the execution of each step, and the process is usually successful. And you also know that there is a discipline called process management business (BPM – Business Process Management) which aims to help with that goal.

But, maybe you don’t know as starting to model these processes, as a first step to understand them, then automate them, and finally measure them to improve them. That is the purpose of this article: introducing the notation (BPMN – Business Process Management Notation business process management)

I will try to demonstrate what BPMN is the most appropriate notation, and I would even say indispensable so that your organization is a corporation with thousands of employees or a fledgling startup, can:

  •     Compete (and survive)
  •     Grow (being efficient and scalable)
  •     Get higher (involving everyone in that way)

 

Compete (and survive)

The reality is hard. And you know the only way to compete (and survive) is to be more efficient and effective than the competition. Otherwise, customers will leave and sooner rather than later, the company will break. So easy to say, difficult to do.

Automate processes is a tool (and one very important) to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. But to automate the processes necessary to model them first, and do so in BPMN presents great advantages:

The notation emphasizes business and process, not on technical aspects. Forced to think, analyze and understand the process. First this, then that, if such a thing happens, such other becomes.

Does not require technical knowledge to be implemented. Training in the use of basic elements is very fast.

It is simple to read and understand. This allows to implement earlier versions of processes, but above all, adjust them and correct them to measures that run and improvement opportunities detected.

Automation must be fast. The decision to automate a process, so it is really an instrument of competition, we must move graphic model (drawing) to their execution within hours, perhaps days, but never weeks or months. In that sense, the chosen tool (BPM Suite) should allow to pass directly from the BPMN model to its execution.

Let’s look at a simple example, which is self explanatory: just by looking it is understood the process, conditions and flow forks and where they would be any bottlenecks:

The efficiency generated by automating a process results in two major elements:

  •     Lower cost per transaction (optimized times, less input, etc.)
  •     Satisfaction of stakeholders (customers, employees, etc.)

Automation takes some time, therefore is an investment. The more time officers, more investment and more will be slow its return (ROI). Why it is so important to use a standard language like BPMN that all handle, and that the tool will pass the model to the execution with a single click.

Grow (being efficient and scalable)

From the processes automated and sequenced, it is possible to grow up with a standardized operation. Put another way, manual processes are not scalable, so the company that has to process more work per unit of time, may not do so, the costs to do so manually will fire, losing competitiveness, dangerous survival.

Again, here the use of BPMN is relevant, because to be a standard, after having automated a first process, the second, the third and the following will follow the same notation, will operate on the same BPMtool, and will not require a change management so that the people adopt it.

In this sense, we can see that BPMN:

  •     It is a notation simple, that facilitates understanding and formalize processes that can be complex.
  •     Visually it is very clear what is the flow (workflow associated with the process), and that allows you to discuss what is really relevant. Flows with multiple conditions are clear to all.
  •     You can add comments that explain non-trivial things in the diagram, what makes you you can share and be self explanatory.
  •     The above corollary: is autodocumentado, avoiding the cost and the cumbersome to maintain documentation of processes in text editors.

By way of example, the Library of processes of Flokzu (a Suite of BPM in the cloud, agile and accessible) brings processes modeled in BPMN, ready to use, so adoption is gradual but fast, and can thus be more scalable. The growing company will adopt one, and quickly the second, and the third, making their operation increasingly more automated and accompany their growth.

Get higher (involving all)

A company, large or small, is a team, and to get more precise high that all members are committed to this mission, are ranked on how do this and share values needed to do it the right way.

One of the most important points to achieve cohesive and aligned teams is to achieve a proper knowledge management. The only model altogether the company processes using BPMN allows make more cohesive teams (specific regarding this post), then:

  •     It is a collaborative task by definition.
  •     Allows all members to soak is the business and the processes meet the goals.
  •     Manage knowledge, given that the processes are formalized and will then be available for people who come later.

Using BPMN and the right BPM Suite, can do these tasks with high value added in a short time, and focusing on business (not in technical details). This video shows an example how a process is automated in 8 minutes:

Modeling processes, also implies the definition of KPIs to measure as they are working. It is part of the discipline of BPM, and is important to provide objectivity to how the organization is performing. From these KPI’s, conclusions which may involve modifying processes must be removed. And here again, it is essential to have them modeled in BPMN to make it simple and fast to introduce these improvements necessary. Put another way, if an improvement in the process (e.g., change a stage, or a condition in the flow), takes weeks or months, it will not be. And therefore it will not improve. And there will not be high.

Conclusions

BPMN is a notation for modelling business processes. Even though there are others, when a tool allows to model on BPMN and pass to the execution of these processes through a click, very relevant benefits are achieved. The efficiency and effectiveness is increased mainly due to the reduction of costs and improvement in the quality of the process). They would earn in scalability, to be formalized and automated processes. People lined up behind a common objective and is managed properly the knowledge on how to achieve it. The adoption of a BPM Suite based on BPMN ( Flokzu being a good example), allows you to travel this road with immediate results and moderate investment. All these elements and concepts, discharges, are as important in a large corporation as an SME, as any company, must have in their DNA racing, grow and reach higher.

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