Technology is constantly evolving. Disruptive technologies elevate newcomers to the tops of their industries – occasionally creating entirely new ones – while the mainstays of yesterday are rendered obsolete. In an increasingly competitive and dynamic business environment, organizations need to be more proactive than ever, doing whatever they can to gain an edge.
Business process analysis (BPA) is one proven method that organizations use to examine and improve their processes. More specifically, BPA offers 3 significant benefits including improved visualization and understanding of processes, highlighting bottlenecks and weaknesses in workflows, and identifying cost reductions. In this article we will explore each of these BPA benefits in more detail.
What is business process analysis and when is it used?
Business process analysis (BPA) is a method within the discipline of business process management (BPM) that is used to understand a process, identify areas for improvement, and make it more efficient.
There are a variety of reasons why an organization may perform a business process analysis. One is to help identify the causes of bottlenecks and recurring performance issues for the purposes of business process improvement. Another is to provide stakeholders with a better understanding of a process through visualization.
Organizations also use BPA prior to introducing new technologies like automation into their business processes. In fact, successful implementation of automation is in many ways dependent on performing a BPA. Without an understanding of how a process works, organizations often merely end up automating broken processes.
When it comes to implementing new technologies business owners are often concerned about costs. Moreover, for those unfamiliar with BPA, the idea of investing time and money into analyzing a process is generally not appealing. Yet an organization can perform a BPA relatively quickly by following established steps and using an affordable low-code BPM software solution.
It is worth mentioning that the outcome of a BPA is not always a large-scale restructuring. Rather, organizations often implement small scale incremental improvements largely by replacing manual procedures. These improvements can generally be made quickly and for little cost.
Benefits of business process analysis
1. Visualization of processes
Business process analysis is a hands-on exercise that helps everyone in an organization to gain a better understanding of how a process works. A key component of a successful BPA is business process modeling. Business process modeling creates visual depictions of processes typically using a universally understood process modeling notation system like BPMN 2.0. This allows both business users and technical users to utilize the same diagrams.
For employees, they are given a clear idea of what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to do it, and what role they play in helping an organization to achieve its business objectives. These well documented processes make it easy to train and onboard new employees through fast knowledge transfer.
For organizational leaders and management, BPA helps to align operations with their business strategies. In other words, leaders ensure that employee tasks are consistent with and further an organization’s broader goals.
2. Highlights process bottlenecks and weaknesses
For an organization to improve a business process it must first identify weaknesses. Many organizations make the mistake of addressing weaknesses on the fly (i.e., firing an inefficient employee) without gaining a full appreciation of the root cause of a bottleneck or performance issue.
Take Lego for example. A little over a decade ago, Lego, the biggest toy company in the world, realized that they were selling their products at a loss. Through business process analysis, Lego identified major bottlenecks in their supply chain which hindered production. It was not until they identified these issues that they were able to take corrective action. Simply put, you cannot correct a problem if you do not know it exists.
3. Identifies potential savings
In an increasingly competitive and challenging business environment, improving margins through cost reductions is vital. Business process analysis gives stakeholders a full appreciation of the costs involved in a particular process. This allows stakeholders to identify wastes and areas where they can save money.
Automation technologies play an important role in executing cost reduction strategies. Automating repetitive tasks allows employees to focus on things that are more valuable to the organization. For instance, providing better customer service or closing more deals.
Business process analysis offers organizations a broad range of benefits. Countless organizations located all over the world rely on ProcessMaker’s innovative low-code business process management (BPM) software to transform their business processes.