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Business Process Management

Business processes are the foundation of an organization’s operation. Yet, the majority of small and medium businesses do not even have the understanding of what processes are and why it is vital to properly manage them, not to mention having the capacity to actually do so. The most common scenario is a single person, or a couple of partners start a business, run it based on their intuition, and it either flies or sinks.

Having your processes documented touches every aspect of the organization. Here is a non-exhaustive list of organizational activities, greatly benefiting from properly documented business processes:

Business Process Analysis / Mapping

The proper business process understanding starts with business process analysis – documenting and visually modeling existing business processes, as well as critically evaluating the documentation to identify missing components, links and dependencies. The analysis discipline aims to create understanding and documentation of the organizational modus operandi, both internally and externally. As a side effect, it also usually helps identify inconsistencies, bottlenecks and ideas for improvement, re-engineering (see below) and innovation.

Business Process Design / Modeling

Further analysis of business processes continues with identifying problems and their causes (root-cause analysis), bottlenecks and performance issues (cause and effect analysis), as well as performing various simulations (what-if analysis), which aim to model and alter processes to operate under different conditions – what if we have to perform with only 80% of resources, what if we reduce time or retail price, etc.

Business Process Improvement / Re-Engineerring

Addressing identified flaws in business processes (bottlenecks, duplication, race conditions, ineffectiveness, etc.) is an integral part of the discipline of Business Process Improvement. Identified problems and bottlenecks are fixed, processes that can achieve better efficiency, identified through modelling and what-if analysis, are re-engineered.

Continuous Process Improvement

Process improvement should be an iterative, continuous process. Continuous improvement plans and schedules should be designed and implemented in order to maintain competitiveness. Proper resources (especially time) should be reserved and allocated exclusively to Continuous Process Improvement.

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