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How to Create an Effective Business Process 

 November 2, 2022

Written by Yemisi Iyilade, Project Management Consultant, Scientist & Innovation Expert.

In business, nothing is more important than efficiency and an effective business process can help your organization achieve its goals by streamlining tasks and improving communication.

Optimized processes are key for any business program or service, regardless of size. They provide interested parties and the project team with a clear understanding of what is happening in the process. It will also help you understand where data should be collected and analyzed, or it may show why there are delays in the project.

In this blog post, we will discuss the key benefits of business processes and how they can help your business grow.

What is a business process?

A business process is a series of steps that are taken in a specific order to create either a product or service. Business processes are designed to be efficient and effective, with the goal of providing value to the customer or client.

Any project manager will tell you that their role can be complex and, at times, unmanageable. With a million different details to think about and stay focused on, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. You can make project management less difficult by surveying your business processes and making improvements before the project even starts.

The business process manager applies processes to every area of a business, from sales and marketing to human resources and finance.

How Can Business Processes Benefit Your Project Management?

Business processes can greatly improve your project management by focusing on which areas of the company are most important and making sure they get the attention needed. Additionally, business processes can help you achieve economies of scale by making things more efficient and eliminating wastefulness.

Incorporating clear processes into your project tracking and management can free up some time and resources you need to focus on other aspects of the project. If something does go wrong, you’ll have a roadmap in place to quickly identify the problem and correct it.

These processes can provide significant benefits to project management including:

  1. Improved Efficiency: By establishing efficient business processes, project managers can streamline their work and improve productivity.
  2. Better Communication: Business processes can improve communication between different departments and stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
  3. Increased Quality Control: Business processes can help ensure that projects meet high-quality standards by establishing guidelines and procedures for quality control.
  4. Enhanced Risk Management: By establishing risk management processes, project managers can identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them before they become major issues.
  5. Improved Resource Management: Business processes can help project managers allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget.
  6. Greater Transparency: By establishing clear processes and workflows, project managers can provide greater transparency to stakeholders, enabling them to track project progress and identify potential issues.
  7. Better Project Planning: Business processes can provide a framework for project planning, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken and that the project is completed on schedule.
  8. Improved Decision-Making: By establishing clear processes for decision-making, project managers can make informed decisions that are based on data and facts rather than intuition or guesswork.
  9. Greater Flexibility: Business processes can provide a framework for project management that is flexible and adaptable, enabling project managers to adjust their approach as needed to respond to changing circumstances.
  10. Improved Customer Satisfaction: By establishing clear business processes, project managers can ensure that projects meet customer expectations, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

    Finally, business processes can help improve communication among team members by ensuring that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities.

Business Process Mapping: Your Step-By-Step Guide

Before we get into the steps of business process mapping, let’s quickly define what it is. Business process mapping is the creation of a visual representation of a company’s tasks and flows.

This map provides an overview of how data moves through the organization, what resources are necessary to complete each task, and where bottlenecks or roadblocks exist. This process is sometimes used to redesign an existing process or to create a new one from scratch.

In either case, the goal is to improve efficiency and quality by eliminating waste and reducing errors, hence business process mapping is an essential part of process management and improvement.

You can create a map of your company’s processes, that will guide you in identifying inefficiencies and areas for improving data management. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in creating a map of your company’s processes.

Step 1: Define Your Scope

As with any project, the first step is to define your business scope. What is your business about and what would you need to do?

When embarking on a business process mapping project, you’ll need to decide which processes you want to map out. While there might be a lot of them, depending on the size and complexity of your organization, you may want to start with just one or two processes and expand from there.

Once you’ve selected your target processes, it’s time to move on to step 2.

Step 2: Assemble Your Team

Next, you’ll need to assemble a team to work on your business process mapping project with you. Depending on the scope of the project, this team could include employees from multiple departments or just a few key players from a single department.

The important thing is that everyone involved understands the importance of the mapping and is committed to seeing it through to completion.

Once you’ve assembled your team, it’s time to get down to business!

Step 3: Identify Tasks

The first order of business is to identify all of the tasks involved in each process you’re mapped out. This can be done by observing employees as they work or by conducting interviews with key personnel that has been engaged with the processes.

As you’re identifying tasks, be sure to look for bottlenecks or roadblocks that could be hindering efficiency. If possible, try to find ways to eliminate these bottlenecks altogether, however, if that’s not possible, look for ways to reduce their impact or frequency.

Once all of the tasks have been identified, then you will be able to see how they fit together by creating flowcharts or swimlane diagrams. These diagrams will show how data moves through each task and what resources are necessary at each stage.

Step 4: Create A Data Plan And Flow

Decide on the start and endpoints of the map, then walk through each step as if you are the work item being processed. Try to involve those who work the process and those who know the process, it makes it so much easier to start.

It is important to plan for data collection in order to measure the progress of the project effectively and efficiently. Data collection should be based on the different phases of the process. The type of data and amount of work required for each phase should be determined, as well as where and from whom the data should be collected.

The more specific and detailed your questions, the better! Make a list of all possible scenarios that might happen during each phase. This will help you to understand what data needs importing or exporting in order for it be accurate with any answers needed at every stage along the process

Data flow refers to the movement of data throughout the process. When mapping out data flow, it is important to consider how data enters the system, how it is processed, and how it leaves the system. It is often easier to consider decision points in the process, and then figure out how data will be routed based on those decisions.

Common symbols for creating process mapping visuals include rectangles for (activities or tasks), diamonds for (decisions), arrows for (sequence of flow), and ovals for (start and endpoints).

By mapping out data flow, you can ensure that data is flowing smoothly throughout the process and that there are no bottlenecks.

Decide the output you want from each phase, then set up the tools you need to make that possible, and finally determine where and from whom the data should be collected and the next steps.

Step 5: Develop A Hypothesis, Then Test And Implement New Changes

Having looked at and updated your data, it’s time to come up with ways of improving your processes.

For each problem area or phase, you identified, brainstorm potential solutions and decide which ones are worth testing further. Be sure to involve key stakeholders in this step so that everyone has buy-in for the changes that will be implemented later on.

After you have your theories, put them to the test by implementing changes and seeing how they affect your processes. Begin with small Changes so that you can rapidly adapt if they don’t create the intended outcome.

Don’t forget to track your data so that you can measure the impact of the changes you’re making.

What are some Business Process Management (BPM) techniques?

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to improving processes within an organization. It involves mapping out existing processes, identifying inefficiencies, and designing and implementing improvements.

The goal of BPM is to make processes more efficient, effective, and responsive to the needs of the business. Most BPM tools and techniques can be used to support a variety of different process types, including but not limited to:

  1. Process improvement initiatives
  2. Change management initiatives
  3. Organizational transformation projects
  4. Mergers and acquisitions
  5. ERP implementations

Some of the most common tools used are process mapping, process simulation, benchmarking, process mining, Lean Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management (TQM) for business process improvement. These tools also can be used for business process automation.

Identifying where your processes can be revised, making changes, drawing up new procedures altogether, and observing the effects of these choices over time are all viable benefits for business process management.

What is Business Process Automation?

Business Process Automation (BPA) is the use of technology to automate and streamline business processes. BPA can involve the automation of a single task or the automation of an entire business process. The goal of BPA is to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and enhance productivity, leading to increased profits and competitive advantage.

The automation of business processes involves the use of software and other technologies to automate tasks and workflows. BPA software can be customized to fit a company’s specific needs, enabling the automation of tasks such as data entry, invoicing, and document management. Automation allows businesses to streamline their processes, reduce manual labor, and improve accuracy, thereby saving time and resources.

There are several benefits of business process automation. One significant advantage of BPA is that it can reduce errors and increase accuracy. By automating tasks such as data entry and invoice processing, the chances of errors are minimized, reducing the need for rework and enhancing customer satisfaction. Automation also enables businesses to handle large volumes of work efficiently, leading to improved productivity and faster turnaround times.

Another benefit of BPA is that it can improve compliance and security. BPA software can be programmed to comply with regulations and standards, ensuring that businesses operate within legal frameworks. The software can also be used to maintain data privacy and security, preventing unauthorized access and data breaches.

BPA can also improve communication and collaboration within an organization. By automating workflows and providing real-time data and analytics, BPA enables better communication and decision-making, leading to more effective collaboration among team members.

In addition to these benefits, BPA can also lead to cost savings for businesses. By automating repetitive tasks, BPA reduces the need for manual labor, leading to reduced labor costs. Automation can also reduce errors, minimizing the need for rework and saving costs associated with correcting mistakes.

Overall, business process automation is an essential tool for businesses seeking to improve their efficiency, productivity, and profitability. By automating workflows, businesses can reduce errors, enhance accuracy, improve compliance and security, and increase collaboration among team members. Moreover, BPA can lead to cost savings, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes. As technology continues to advance, the role of business process automation in driving business success will only continue to grow.

What are the 5 components of a business process?

business process

Business processes are a set of interrelated tasks that are designed to achieve specific business objectives. These processes can vary widely depending on the nature of the business and the industry, but they generally include five essential components:

  1. Inputs
    Inputs refer to the resources, materials, and information that are required to initiate and complete a business process. These inputs can include physical materials such as raw materials or equipment, as well as intangible resources such as data or information. Inputs are a critical component of any business process because they provide the starting point for the process and can impact the quality and efficiency of the process.
  2. Activities
    Activities are the specific steps or tasks that are required to complete a business process. These tasks can include everything from data entry and information gathering to physical manufacturing or production activities. Activities are typically arranged in a specific sequence, and each activity may have dependencies on other activities within the process.
  3. Outputs
    Outputs refer to the end result of a business process. These can be physical products, completed reports, or other deliverables that are produced as a result of the process. Outputs are a critical component of any business process because they are the tangible result of the process, and they must meet the expectations of stakeholders such as customers or business partners.
  4. Controls
    Controls refer to the mechanisms that are used to monitor and manage a business process. These can include quality control processes, checkpoints, and performance metrics that are designed to ensure that the process is working effectively and efficiently. Controls are a critical component of any business process because they provide a way to measure and manage the performance of the process and make adjustments as needed.
  5. Feedback
    Feedback refers to the information that is generated as a result of the business process. This feedback can include data on the performance of the process, customer feedback on the output, or other information that can be used to improve the process over time. Feedback is a critical component of any business process because it provides a way to measure the effectiveness of the process and make improvements to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of stakeholders.

In conclusion, the five essential components of a business process are inputs, activities, outputs, controls, and feedback. Each of these components plays a critical role in ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of a business process, and they must be carefully managed and monitored to ensure that the process meets the needs of stakeholders and achieves its objectives. By understanding these components, businesses can design and implement processes that are optimized for success and drive value for the organization.

What makes a business process efficient?

Efficiency is a critical component of any business process. It refers to the ability of a process to achieve its objectives with the minimum amount of waste, time, or effort. Efficient business processes are essential for achieving optimal productivity, reducing costs, and improving the overall performance of an organization. Here are ten factors that contribute to the efficiency of a business process:

  1. Clear Objectives: Efficient business processes have clear and well-defined objectives that are aligned with the goals of the organization. This enables the process to focus on achieving specific outcomes and avoid wasting time and resources on unnecessary activities.
  2. Streamlined Activities: Efficient business processes are streamlined, with a minimum number of steps or tasks required to achieve the desired outcome. This reduces the potential for errors, delays, and other inefficiencies that can impact the performance of the process.
  3. Standardized Procedures: Efficient business processes follow standardized procedures that have been optimized for efficiency and effectiveness. This ensures that the process is consistent and repeatable and that all stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities.
  4. Technology: Technology can play a significant role in improving the efficiency of business processes. Automated systems and tools can streamline processes, reduce errors, and improve productivity. Business process software can reduce costs and time.
  5. Efficient Use of Resources: Efficient business processes make optimal use of available resources, including people, materials, and equipment. This ensures that resources are not wasted and that the process is completed with the minimum possible cost.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Efficient business processes are continuously improved over time. This means that the process is regularly reviewed, and adjustments are made to optimize efficiency and effectiveness.
  7. Performance Metrics: Efficient business processes are measured using performance metrics. This enables stakeholders to track the performance of the process, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments.
  8. Effective Communication: Efficient business processes require effective communication between stakeholders. This ensures that everyone is on the same page, understands their roles and responsibilities, and can work together to achieve the desired outcome.
  9. Training and Development: Efficient business processes require well-trained and skilled personnel. This means that organizations need to invest in the training and development of their employees to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform their roles effectively.
  10. Flexibility: Efficient business processes are flexible and adaptable. This means that the process can adjust to changing circumstances and requirements, ensuring that the desired outcome is achieved even in the face of unexpected challenges.

In conclusion, efficient business processes are critical for achieving optimal productivity, reducing costs, and improving overall performance. They are characterized by clear objectives, streamlined activities, standardized procedures, technology, business process reengineering, efficient use of resources, continuous improvement, performance metrics, effective communication, training and development, and flexibility. By focusing on these factors and improving business process management strategy, organizations can design, and automate business processes, and operational processes. Companies can implement business processes that are optimized for success and drive value for the organization.

What Are The Types of Project Management And How Do They Impact Business Process?

Project management is an essential aspect of any business that involves the planning, execution, and monitoring of projects to achieve specific goals within a defined scope, budget, and timeline. Effective project management can have a significant impact on a company’s business processes, including its productivity, profitability, and overall success. There are several types of project management approaches that businesses can adopt, each with its unique benefits and challenges. In this article, we will explore the different types of project management and their impact on business processes.

  1. Waterfall Project Management The waterfall project management approach is a traditional linear model that involves a sequential process of planning, executing, monitoring, and closing a project. The waterfall approach works best for projects that have a clearly defined scope, a fixed budget, and a set timeline. It is suitable for projects where the end goal is already known and the path to achieving it is straightforward. The major benefit of the waterfall approach is that it ensures a high level of accuracy and predictability in project outcomes. However, it can be inflexible and difficult to adapt to changes in scope or timeline, making it unsuitable for complex projects that require more flexibility.
  2. Agile Project Management Agile project management is an iterative approach that involves continuous collaboration between the project team and the stakeholders. The agile approach focuses on delivering incremental value to the customer and adapting to changes in project scope, requirements, and timeline. It is suitable for projects that are complex, require a high degree of flexibility and adaptation, and have changing requirements. The major benefit of the agile approach is that it promotes teamwork, collaboration, and transparency, allowing for better communication and faster decision-making. It can, however, be challenging to manage, and the iterative process may result in scope creep or project delays.
  3. Scrum Project Management Scrum project management is a subset of agile project management that focuses on teamwork and collaboration. The Scrum approach involves breaking down the project into smaller, manageable tasks that can be completed in short iterations or sprints. The project team meets regularly to discuss progress, identify challenges, and plan the next sprint. Scrum is suitable for projects that require continuous improvement and adaptation, and have a high degree of uncertainty. The major benefit of the Scrum approach is that it promotes teamwork, collaboration, and transparency, resulting in better communication and faster decision-making. It can, however, be challenging to manage, and the iterative process may result in scope creep or project delays.
  4. Kanban Project Management Kanban project management is a visual approach that focuses on limiting work in progress and optimizing workflow. The Kanban approach involves creating a visual board that tracks the progress of each task or work item from start to finish. The project team can easily see the status of each task and identify any bottlenecks or obstacles in the workflow. Kanban is suitable for projects that require a high degree of flexibility and adaptability and have a continuous flow of work. The major benefit of the Kanban approach is that it promotes continuous improvement and optimization of workflow, resulting in better efficiency and productivity. It can, however, be challenging to manage, and the visual approach may not work for all projects or teams.

In conclusion, the choice of a project management approach can have a significant impact on a business’s processes, productivity, and overall success. Each approach has its unique benefits and challenges, and businesses should choose the approach that best fits their project goals, scope, timeline, and budget. By adopting an effective project management approach, businesses can improve their project outcomes, minimize risks and errors, and achieve their goals in a timely and efficient manner.

Yemisi’s Take

By understanding how a process works and identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies, businesses can make changes to improve the overall efficiency of any program or organization process.

Mapping out your company’s processes may require some time investment upfront, but it will save you both time and money in the future. You’ll also be able to identify areas that need improvement more easily.

There are many benefits to incorporating business processes into your project management strategy, and by taking a systematic approach to process improvement, you can increase efficiency, communication, and responsiveness within your organization.

When it comes to choosing the right BPM tools and techniques for your organization, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; the best approach will vary depending on the specific needs of your business.

Personally, I have used Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Visio as tools and they worked very well.

Wrapping Up

Processes are important because they provide a framework for performing tasks and achieving goals. There are many benefits to having an effective business process in place, including improved customer satisfaction and flexibility toward change.

By streamlining your processes, you can improve efficiency and productivity whilst also reducing costs. Projects will run more smoothly and when you properly document your business processes and ensure everyone follows them, employees will naturally become more efficient in their work.

Each correctly completed task then sets the stage for the next one, leading to an overall improvement in your business.

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Yemisi Iyilade


Yemisi Iyilade is a Project Management Professional, PMP and Maxwell Leadership Coach and Trainer. She has worked in the environmental, nonprofit, and technology industries, developing new products and services, providing leadership, and facilitating meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Yemisi is driven by a mission to empower young people, women, and immigrant professionals through content delivery, coaching and training. She believes that if given the right tools and tactics, any motivated person can gain the awareness and grit needed to create better opportunities.

Yemisi 

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