To put it plainly, business processes are the actions behind the business vision; absent these, the business vision simply remains intangible.
If the business processes are not carefully managed, they become meaningless in many ways, because the movement of information, products, or services can’t be quantified or qualified in terms of their effectiveness. Business processes need to make sense when it comes to the business strategy, and they need to be linked back to the objectives of the company as a whole. If business processes can’t fully meet with overall business objectives, they should be re-examined and re-engineered in a way that does.
What benefits should effective business-process management provide?
Having effective business processes in place offers many benefits, including but not limited to:
- Peace of mind for leadership knowing that there’s orderly start-to-finish execution when it comes to the company’s vision and meeting customer expectations
- An identifiable and measurable level of accountability for how things get done
- A mechanism for following a product or service to market
- A way to identify the status of a product or service as it moves through the business process
- A mechanism for identifying and reducing deficiencies or waste
- The means for standardization and regulation
- A way to streamline or identify ways to streamline product or service delivery in order to improve customer relations and company performance
Having business processes in place doesn’t mean you should “set and forget.” These processes should at least be reviewed annually for potential improvements inside or outside of projects.
Business process improvements (BPI) shouldn’t be perceived as an automatic side benefit of projects. Yes, sometimes they come about purely by accident, but is that optimal? Process improvements should be carefully contemplated, planned, and methodically executed, documented, and reviewed.
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Moira Alexander, PMP, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, is a recognized project management influencer, thought leader, a regular correspondent for PMI’s Projectified podcast, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PMWorld 360 Magazine, Founder of Lead-Her-Ship Group, and author of “LEAD or LAG: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership”. Moira has over 25 years of experience in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada and has been quoted in various publications including Forbes. She writes thought leadership content for top-tier publications and business blogs and oversees or writes sponsored content and software reviews on PMWorld 360 Magazine.