BPM in the Digital Age

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By Anne-Teresa Patt

Organizations are subject to constant competitive pressure and must think carefully about how to design their offers in a more attractive way whilst also improving customer service. Process Management can help with this but how should BPM in the digital age look?

Let’s take a look at the practical side; what challenges are organizations faced with today?

Data and systems are becoming more and more linked, transport of data is becoming faster and more comprehensive: a growing number of digital tools and technologies are being implemented, offering new products and services with the aim of increasing sales. Those who don’t want to be left behind in the race should react to changes quickly and make use of digital aids.

A timely reaction to change is necessary in many sectors, for example, in the publishing sector where printing has lost a significant amount of profitability due to digitalization. Media houses need to come up with new revenue models to remain strong within their markets.

Yet when it comes to business innovation, all organizations are initially faced with big challenges.

  • New business models and services need to be redesigned and developed
  • Business processes need to be taken from the theoretical to the operative level
  • Department leaders must update existing processes quickly
  • Large quantities of data must be both managed, and used, effectively
  • Employees should be engaged in new target requirements and processes

Facing up to the challenges: begin with your goals

Clearly defining your goals helps you to align your approach in a profitable way, which goes hand in hand with business processes. Design your processes in a target driven way and don’t focus too much on details while modeling. Ask yourself before making any change in a process what influence this will have on what you want to achieve. Do this also before documenting new processes. In this way, the connection between theory and daily operations is upheld and you can work towards realistic and useful to-be processes.

Before you start implementing new ideas

  • Make sure that your aims are comprehensible for all those involved in the process
  • Identify processes and interfaces which are affected by these aims
  • Evaluate which processes must be changed together with departmental heads
  • Work efficiently and focus firstly on those processes which will have the biggest influence on the end result

Engage employees in your newly planned goals

If employees haven’t been adequately informed, delays and complications may arise. Make your aims transparent through processes, and make use of the functions of Web 2.0: the idea of social BPM is based on sharing and collaboratively editing business processes. If you discuss aims in a process based way, and work together towards improving as-is processes, your plans can be realized more quickly. Employees have the opportunity to become actively involved and influence their company’s everyday operations.

  • Choose a collaborative BPM tool which suits users with varying levels of modeling experience
  • Request specific feedback on the processes in which you are involved from your employees

Apply changes and try out new business processes:

Under the umbrella of continuous improvement, processes must be made agile. Changes must therefore be applied quickly. Most importantly, the aim is to ensure that business users are capable of updating and carrying out processes independently, because no one knows more about the details of the processes than the people actually carrying out the process .

The cornerstone for a successful transformation are your processes, which should be living documents. The implementation of innovative ideas requires experimenting with real situations: simulate and compare processes, so that you can continually improve and adapt them to new circumstances. Processes should never end up as dusty unused documents.

They should be practiced and lived out, as this is the only way you can measure your success.

  • Ensure uncomplicated transitions between the documentation and execution levels
  • Simulate and compare processes continually to reach the best possible result

More on modern BPM:

Is your BPM initiative ready for the digital age? Find out with the new MWD advisors White Paper “The value of a modern approach to BPM.” Click here for your free download!

We’re happy to advise you on your transformation projects and can offer you a free trial for our Business Transformation Platform.