The Business Process Management Concept

Introduction

Business process reengineering (BPR) is one of the earliest management processes, which precisely focus on white collar non-productive services. Introduced in the early 1990s, companies which attempted to employ the reengineering process at that time failed. The main reason for this failure was because; BPR principles that were used then focused mostly on organizing work around processes instead of extending further and concentrate on work around the tasks performed. The greatest failure of BPR implementation according to Alagse.com (2012, par. 2) came about due to insufficient and inadequate evolving power of IT, which was meant to embark on the companies entire reengineering process. Business Process Management (BPM) on the other hand is fully conceptualized on flexibility throughout the entire process managements. This flexibility is perceived in terms of expanse and intensity. As stated by Alagse.com (2012, par. 2) BPM tools unlike BPR, targets mainly the end-to-end process achieved after a radical redesigning of the whole process. Moreover, BPM tools can also be incorporated part by part into the entire organization operations at ago.

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The major differences existing between BPM and BPR

BPM is known to have a continuous level of change. Alagse.com (2012, par. 4) states that BPM tools take a very short time for its incremental implementation, which are smooth with flexible expanses. Risks and implementation stress of BPM tools are very low since the entire process allows the incorporation of other technology. On the other hand, BPR according to Alagse.com (2012, par. 4) poses a radical and one step level of change. Moreover, BPR takes longer since it practices mainly on implementing only one process at a time. The risks and implementation stress are very high because, BPR demands huge efforts in order to work on the disruptive changes encountered during the implementation. Technologically, BPR only allows the use of IT.

Critical Success Factors of BPM and BPR

The reality concerning the effective implementation of BPM tools in an organization appears simple yet it is a complex process. This is because the implementation process also involves the clients, vendors and all other business partner. Considering the statement from Jeston & Nelis (2006, p. 34) implementation of BPM/BPR processes does not only have effects in the organization alone, but also affects other stakeholders outside the organization who are associated with the business.

There are several fundamental factors that are associated with the entire BPM/BPR processes. According to Jeston & Nelis (2006, p. 34) Leadership is one of the most critical factor that must be carefully observed when implementing BPM/BPR process. The organization CEO must be able to offer total undivided support to the entire process. Notable to mention is that, the CEO and other departmental leaders in the organization must collectively assist one another throughout the implementation process. The statement made by Jeston & Nelis (2006, p. 34) reveals that good leader must be committed, supportive and should also pay attention to time factor. Time is one of the most critical factors contributing to the success of BPM/BPR. A good leader will always support all stakeholders without a time limit.

Jeston & Nelis (2006, p. 34) proposed that It is critical and mandatory that the project leaders must have significant skills regarding the process management. Furthermore, for smooth BPM/BPR implementation, the project leader must be appointed from the central business department in the organization and not from the IT department. Additionally, Linkage to the organization strategies is another key factor that determines the success of BPM/BPR projects. It is clear that this BPM projects were established simply to add value and execution of the business objectives. However, according to Jeston & Nelis (2006, p. 34) managers after solving any tactical problem within the organization never get back and refocus on that problem again. Instead they go ahead and divert all their attention to other organizational issues. After some time, some of the neglected sources of problem may recur and develop later into a greater significant challenge impossible to handle.

To avoid this, organization strategies must be followed strictly and should clearly establish common grounds that direct everyone in the organization to operate towards the same objectives. For the success of BPM/BPR project in an organization as Jeston & Nelis (2006, p. 34) stated, there is need for the leaders to come up with proper guidelines and implementation process directives to be followed by the concerned people. Such proper, synergistic and consistent approach developed always ensures that maximum benefits are derived from the BPM/BPR project.

Barriers/Challenges to successful implementation of BPM/BPR

Lack of enough Time is the greatest challenge faced by most organizations including the ICMG IT architecture firm. According to Towers (2009, par. 4) poor support from the organization senior management team is one of the main reasons contributing to failure of the project. BPM/BPR does not only refer to change but is also known to cause dramatic changes within the organization. In the implementation of the process in ICMG company skills development, incentive systems and also the use of IT is greatly required. It is known that a successful BPM/BPR project in ICMG significantly reduces on the costs and also saving on time. Nevertheless, this project can fail when the management team get confused and fail to establish the correct strategies to be followed and how it should be performed. The other barrier to a successful implementation of BPM/BPR is lack of awareness when selecting the area within the firm to fully implement the change. In most cases, many organizations due to this incapability’s only depend on practical try and error.

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Importance of change management in the success of BPM and BPR projects

Change management as described by Sdn.sap.com (2005, p. 8) is a well worn concept, which is important for the success of BPM implementation. Notable to mention is that, change management is very important because companies contain human elements. Therefore, the extent in which change management is carried out totally depends on the nature and scope of the BPM project being implemented. According to Sdn.sap.com (2005, p. 24) change management when incorporated, assists the organization to increase in their efficiency and productivity. Under the same context, change management also helps in strengthening employee’s identification and solidarity within the company.

Significantly, change management also contributes positively towards the company’s flexibility and power of competitiveness. Sdn.sap.com (2005, p. 24) clearly states that, when incorporating change management together with professional approach to change, BPM implementation will automatically be successful. Additionally, change management is considered to be a vital measure since it directly creates a positive image of the entire process. Furthermore, it also increases the spirit of acceptance among employees towards the enforced changes by just ensuring that the established change measures are implemented on time.

For a successful BPM project implementation, Sdn.sap.com (2005, p. 24) propose that the comprehensive change management procedure must include frequent and regular employees assessments. This definitely means that, change management provides an elaborate means of monitoring individual employee success. Moreover, change management also pays attention towards identification of critical areas within the organization. These critical areas include; communication of changes and standard qualification levels required. It is important to note that, proper change management creates room for large project changes. This change must have an advanced employee’s survey tool used for gathering relevant information concerning employee’s attitude towards the project. This measure is very important as far as BPM implementation success is concerned.

The role of HR in BPM or BPR

Human resource in ICMG Company is a department, which provides a framework that ensures all workers are accountable for their roles played within the organization. It is clear that the role of HR is fundamental for the success of BPM/BPR implementation within the organization. Nevertheless, any changes subjected to business process will directly affect the workers job description and performance expectations. Therefore as it is stated in Workflowiq.wordpress.com (2008, par. 2) the role of HR is to advice the organization authorities on changes that are significant enough to cause material impact on the workers job description.

Similarly, these changes in most cases can also affect the employee’s recruitment procedures. Workflowiq.wordpress.com (2008, par. 4) clearly describes the essential role of HR in BPM/BPR. The HR has the mandate of ensuring that there is a modified human behavior. In this context, it is upon the HR to ensuring that there is improvement in quality of the way things are done within the organization. The HR must be involved in BPM/BPR project assessment that determines changes to be established within the organization. The HR together with the management personnel must also agree on how the organization rules must be documented and followed.

Additionally, Workflowiq.wordpress.com (2008, par. 5) states that the HR must clearly air out all the possible risks associated with the implementation of BPM/BPR process. This must be done so that all employees in the company become well informed about the possible negative impacts associated with the project. Significantly, the HR should come up and execute a proper comprehensive communication plan that will overcome workers resistance to change. Resistance to change is considered to be the greatest barrier to an organization trying to implement BPR/BPM process. Therefore, the HR must fully act as the greatest asset as far as communication within the organization is concerned.

Process automation/innovation

Business Process Automation (BPA) delivers a continuous pressure of achieving more resources with less consumption. According to Nicol (2012, par. 2) it is clearly stated that, automated processes within an organization is considered to be very fast and more consistent in terms of quality. This is because; automated processes when fully implemented in an organization totally eliminate possible human errors. Automation on the other hand also reduces the time that is generally spent on daily work handling significantly. BPA ultimately replaces human operators in an organization from operating tasks that are hard and monotonous. Furthermore, Nicol (2012, par. 6) stated that, process automation also replaces employee’s who work mostly in endangered environments thus reducing risks of possible accidents.

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The workers who are replaced will therefore be freed and eventually take over other roles. For process automation to be implemented, Nicol (2012, par. 4) clearly stated that the firm much dig deeper and allocate huge initial investment to cater for the process. The other disadvantage associated with automation processes is that, it requires accurate and frequent error-proofing Nicol (2012, par. 4). This is because; automated processes are always programmed to perform what they are commanded to do. This means that they don’t always do what is right but only what they are commanded to do. The problem comes about when there is an error. Instead of eliminating the encountered error, the automated process will just continue producing bulk of such wastes at a high speed.

Advantages and disadvantages of BPM/BPR

The implementation of BPM/BPR tools in ICMG has a number of advantage and disadvantages throughout the entire process. The work done becomes more satisfying when reengineering process is incorporated within the company. This is because workers feel motivated especially when their work is appreciated by their supervisors. The most important advantage in this context is that, customers are always satisfied with services offered by the organization. BPM project also contribute towards growth of knowledge among workers in the firm who experience a widespread knowledge through the entire BPM process. Furthermore as Walden (2005, p. 5) stated, this knowledge gained enables workers to effectively expertise, nurture and grow their experience.

The use of BPM tools as discussed by Walden (2005, p. 4) also delivers the spirit of solidarity among the employees in the company. Moreover, there is increased demand of services from customers. This increase comes about after customers are all fully satisfied with the operations and services offered by the company. The other advantage of BPM is that in companies that don’t use BPM tools, employees are always required to strictly follow the rules and regulations that are set by the management. The management personnel in such companies do expect total discipline among worker and those who break rules face disciplinary actions. According to Tower (2009, par. 5) employees in companies that incorporate BPM like ICMG are encourage to make their own rules and follow them. This is advantageous because employees are given a chance to make their own decision needed for the success of company and there is no any supreme rule controlling employees.

Despite all the advantages discussed, BPM implemented in ICMG firm also has disadvantages. As Walden (2005, p. 4) discussed, there is excessive increase in demand of services offered. In most case when a company offers more satisfying services to clients, automatically there must be an increase in services demand. This increase creates a more challenging and difficult time for employee’s. Occasionally according to Walden (2005, p. 4) due to such increase much of the previous old routine of work will tend to change gradually or even automated. The disadvantageous part of BPM/BPR projects implementation following Walden (2005, p. 4) statement is that majority of unskilled workers will definitely find it difficult to cope with these process changes. Additionally, the process often makes it difficult for some employees to freely adapt and perform several tasks given with time limits. Survival for such workers according to Tower (2009, par. 5) in a company implementing BPR is very difficult and most probably can result to personal failure in the job. According to Tower (2009, par. 5) the most challenging part in BPM implementation is how to design and incorporate an effective business processes. Furthermore, the implementation process is considered to be more complex as compared to other improvement methodologies used to boost organization operation and services.

Summary

Business process management is a quick emerging trend applied in areas of business processes. It is important to note that BPM also allows the incorporation of process automation and system design. According to Nagaraj, Thonse & Balasubramanian (2001, p. 1) for a successful implementation of BPM project, business process like data will have to be kept in management system. At this point, it is easy to effectively determine the best way to conduct business. Nevertheless, Nagaraj et al (2001, p. 2) stated that up to date there are still many issues concerning BPM that need to be addressed. This must be done before this concept becomes widely adopted internationally. Despite all the negative impact BPM implementation contributes, it is important to state that the process in more beneficial and should be used. This is because the organizations that incorporate the process tend to benefit more than those not using the process. Moreover, the HR also has a bigger part to play for the success of the process in the organization. The HR must be on the fore front guiding and advising the organization authorities on what to do and how to do it. Finally, for BPM/BPR projects to be successful, cooperation and proper communication among departments within the organization must be observed.

References

Alagse.com, (2012). Promoting Through Leadership: BPR to BPM. Web.

Jeston, J & Nelis J. (2006). Business Process Management: Practical Guidelines to Successful Implementations. Oxford: Elsevier Limited. Vol. 1, no. 2, pp.34.

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Nagaraj, N., Thonse, S & Balasubramanian, S. (2001). Business Process Management: An Emerging trend. Web.

Nicol, A. (2012). The Dangers of Process Automation. Web.

Sdn.sap.com, (2005). Business Process Management. Web.

Towers, S. (2009). Enterprise BPM. Web.

Walden, S. (2005). Inside-out or outside-in; How Business Process Re-engineering and six sigma promise but fail to consider the customer. Web.

Workflowiq.wordpress.com, (2008). HR Dimensions of BPM (Business Process Management) are Mission-Critical. Web.

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