Business Process Management and Mapping

Introduction

In order to avoid duplication of roles and duties between individuals and departments, any organization should lay down specific procedures. Proper management, support, and governance should be employed to ensure business success. This is discussed below.

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Business Process

There has been no conclusive agreement on the standard definition for this term as many people and technology continue to offer more diverse definitions for the term. Some of the definitions however have been widely accepted as a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specific output for a particular customer or market. (Smith and Fingar, 2003). It entails a strong work performance within a firm. A process is thus a specific ordering of work activities across time and space, with a beginning and an end, and clearly defined inputs and outputs: a structure for action…. Using a process approach entails agreeing to the customer’s point of view. Processes are therefore the structures through which a firm does the necessary in order to produce value for its clients. (Madison, 2005).

Support as a process. The type of support offered depends on the type of business that the organization is involved in. In the case of dealing with retailing, it will have to offer support to the consumers. Support to consumers, in this case, will have to do with after-sales services for the sold products. Support also may be extended into distributors that the organization has identified in selling their services and products.

Management-This is not to be confused with the whole issue of business process management that encompasses the running of the whole processes involved. Management as a business process is thus concentrating on the individual tasks at first which together make up a process. The proper management of the individual tasks will thereby lead to improved performance of the whole process. (O’Conneill, 2006).

Governance as a process- Governance is more concerned with emphasizing the importance of adhering to set organizational rules and regulations that provide a guiding framework on the operations of that particular organization. As a process, it has to have the inputs in the form of the setting of rules and regulations and the end product in the form of improved productivity. This process is more directed to the staff in the organization than the business operation itself. (O’Conneill, 2006).

Defines specific procedures involved in an organization thereby helps in avoiding duplication of roles and duties between department and individuals, for example, division of the processes makes it easier in employing technologies such as the use of computer software applications in the operations of the organization. (O’Conneill, 2006).

It’s the management of the complex interactions existing between the various businesses processes employed in a particular organization. The effectiveness of each process is determined by the effectiveness of BPM in harmonizing the operations of the various processes as they are interdependent. The result is the smooth running of the organization’s business with the utmost efficiency. (O’Conneill, 2006).

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What’s a BPMS?

Business Process Management System (BPMS) is a software toolkit that implements BPM practices in an organization. It is developed in line with the specific operations of the organization in mind. (Madison, 2005).

Differences BPM & BPMS

BPM is a management process intended at bringing efficiency in an organization in presenting a modernized way of harmonizing the different business process operations as created by the specific organization while BPMS is an intelligence software-enabled way that assists in carrying out BPM.

For many people, BPMS may look a lot like a business process management only that the former has an ”insignificant” S, but there exist some other key differences apart from their definitions. BPMS developers follow the same concept of BPM but its goal is the creation of reusable services that are linked together to create a process. (O’Conneill, 2006).

In BPMS implementation, the link between various services is drawn as part of the business process model. The process model is changed with the BPEL redeployed on the process engine whenever changes to the process definition occur. Thus, when the process changes (with BPMS), it is of no use to change the connecting code. (Madison, 2005).

Tools offered by BPMS include:

  • Business process modeler. Applied in defining the business process by business users. As earlier shown a process is a set of activities in sequence, parallel, or loop.
  • Executable process modeler. Imports a business model from another business process modeler in a bid to harmonize operations. For each activity in the modeler, the system draftsman adds execution details. These modelers generate a process definition and usually generate code, for example, a travel company employs a BPM system that enables online hotel booking for their clients if and only if their flight booking goes through.
  • Process execution engine. Executes the process defined in the executable process modeler and captures the process execution data.
  • Business activity monitoring component. Comprises the reporting tools for senior management, process owners as well as other business users.
  • User portal. Makes it possible for the end-users to take part in the execution process.
  • Administration portal. For the process owner to manage the process instances he can make use of the admin portal in version management and deploying for process definition.

Process centric organization

Process centric organization is one of the ways of executing business process which aims at:

Understand that processes add

  • value and efficiency to an organization

Strategizing should be based on the whole BPM and not individual processes

  • Organizational structure is built along with business processes, not just functional divisions
  • Top management recognizes and supports processes
  • (O’Conneill, 2006)
  • Recognition and rewarding of results can be linked to the efforts of a process.

Benefits of BPM

  • Runs as several transactions;
  • Consists of synchronous and asynchronous services;
  • Stores each intermediate process state, which makes the process forward-recoverable;
  • Runs in one transaction (O’Conneill, 2006).

Normally runs for a short time Examples of Composite Business Processes. Composite processes combine different stand-alone “process islands” allowing firms to speedily share and respond to changes on demand, for example, Install-to-Maintain involves capturing, managing, resolving, as well as improving service for those installed products. (Deveboise, 2007).

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Who are BPM players in the market?

  • IBM
  • Close
  • Subsystems
  • Oracle
  • Lombardi Software
  • NVISH

Differences and Similarities

The best way we can approach this question and further understand the relationship between the two is by listing their common characteristics and see how they relate to each other similarities of business rules and processes. (O’Conneill, 2006).

Both business rules and processes are complementary in that effective process automation and digitization without digitization and automation of business rules will be ineffective.

Constrained: a constrained business rule means that the circumstance is unconditional in that it has to be right or wrong or rather true or false. (Deveboise, 2007).

Business language; both are expressed in business language. The terms used do not however cut across all businesses as they vary according to business requirements.

BPM players in the Market

Action enabler- In enabling a specific business task both follow a specification be it a rule or a process.

Both are subject to constant change. For an organization to remain competitive it needs to keep on changing its processes. As process changes so will the rules to govern that particular process (Deveboise, 2007).

Elements of BPM

  • Integrate with existing operational systems such as ERP and databases.
  • Integrate business processes with those of a company’s suppliers and partners.
  • Incorporate the business rules that guide a business.
  • Provide managers with the visibility into those automated processes to monitor operations in real-time.

Offer managers the ability to deal with exceptions when they occur by changing business rules or entire processes to respond to business conditions in real-time (O’Conneill, 2006).

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Conclusion

Proper application of the above process will of no doubt lead to a successful business organization. Business rules and processes should be applied together since they are complimentary.

Work Cited

Deveboise, Tom, Business Process Management with a Rules Approach: Implementing the Service Oriented Architecture, New York: Book Surge, 2007.

Jeston John Nelis, Johan, Business Process Management 2nd ed.: Practical guidelines to successfully implementations London: Heinemann, 2008.

Madison, Dan, Process Mapping, Process Improvement and Process Management, New Jersey: Paton, 2005.

O’Conneill, John, Mastering your organization’s Processes: A Plain Guide to BPM, New York: Cambridge UP, 2006.

Smith, Howard and Fingar, Peter Business Process Management, Boston: Meghan-Kiffer Press, 2003.

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