Interim Executive Resources

Enhancing Your Business Capabilities

Customer satisfaction is achieved and business profit is increased through the use of appropriate business practices. One of the trusted approaches when it comes to improving businesses is business process management (BPM). Through this methodology, companies can easily organize their business operations into understandable and executable pieces and help ensure that they are continuously improving business performance.

Some of the more obvious benefits of healthy business process management are better coordination, communication and evaluation/improvement of the myriad of activities it takes to deliver on customer requirements. BPM makes the business more effective by stabilizing activities around understood best practices and reduces the time consumed for repetitive work. BPM also increases productivity by eradicating defects and mistakes from all business levels.

Business Process Management has several stages

The first requirement for a successful BPM program is a clear and steady decision on the part of business leadership to devote the time and energy into the BPM effort.  It is not easy to move from an informal, ad hoc workplace to one that is more regimented and repeatable and it doesn’t happen overnight.  Management must be convinced and stay convinced that BPM will improve business effectiveness and achieve customer satisfaction.

A next step for BPM is to perform a business process inventory that identifies at modest detail levels a host of business activities that occur regularly.  This inventory is simply a list with owners and a few details that are organized in some fashion to help the team wraps its arms around the various work required to meet customer needs.

The business process inventory then needs to be “architected”, or designed into a structure that makes sense for the type of business at hand.  A manufacturing business has different characteristics than, say, a restaurant or an on-line retail store and these differences need to be established into a business process architecture that describes major flows across the business and between departments in the pursuit of meeting customer needs.

An important complement to the business process architecture is a healthy list of important business measures that should be tracked for ensuring healthy business operations.  A successful business probably has many, many metrics in play at any one time and it is wise to attach a really important few high level measures to the various pieces of the architecture.  Sometimes these are called Key Process Indicators, or KPI’s, and by having these identified/developed at the business architecture level, it helps the business install measuring and reporting systems that are balanced across the business.

Key process indicator selection plays an important role in enhancing business capabilities. They are a tool used to determine whether the business is performing well or not and help management and stakeholders understand areas needing improvement.  KPI measurement, reporting, and improvement is an effective tool in helping the team understand what is truly important about the business and influences their actions and behaviors. Good KPI selection and steady measurement and review will make it easier to meet business objectives and achieve customer satisfaction.

In KPI selection, it is essential to consider the following tips.  Prior to KPI selection process, review previous business data, business strategies, performance reports, and other business related information.  Make the KPI selection an interactive discussion. You’ll get more information and support for future plans by interacting well with stakeholders and employees.  In KPI selection, consider the existing business activities, group maturity, and direction of the business in the future.  Make sure to facilitate understanding of the KPI in relation to the process or activity concerned.  Be cautious in selecting the measures themselves; there are things which are difficult to measure, and too many measures will lead to wasted time and energy gathering information that does not drive effective action.

Make a crisp decision to adopt business management as a methodology and stay the course.  Take an inventory of what processes you use regularly and organize them into an intelligent architecture that makes sense for your business.  Attach key process indicators to the architecture and measure/report and review those metrics regularly.  After these steps you’re well on the way to developing a healthy and effective business process management environment and reaping the benefits of achieving increased customer satisfaction and ever-improving business performance.