Gregory Burrus asked:
Are you just starting out in business? Are you wondering what IOVC and the “O” of IOVC technology means? You heard about office process improvement, business process improvement, business process management, workflow management and you wonder what these IOVC technologies can do for improving your business operation?
IOVC technologies can cut your business costs sharply. Business process improvements that address your office processes have demonstrated many business benefits for a long time now. This set of IOVC technologies has been primarily associated with large corporate business but no more. Small and medium business can benefit from an office process improvement or BPI/BPM tool. If you need to ring more profit from an existing business operation then you owe it to yourself to make yourself profitable with the many readily available business process improvement technologies.
In this series examining the “O” of IOVC (internet, office, voip and crm) technologies, the office improvement or business process improvement movement has many tools and products available to help the business owner improve their business operation. To sort out the complexity of business process improvement, business process management, technology and application support we need to answer a few key questions such as:
What is your BPI, BPM process?
What is your potential problem?
What do you need to learn about your business?
What is the business process improvement process?
What is the best way to train you and your team?
What benefits can you expect?
What are the next steps?
What is your BPI, BPM process? Those new to business process improvement and business process management need to understand just what is a business processes. The office or business process is really your normal office workflow that you and your team use daily. Within that workflow are people, process, products and projects. Supporting and or enabling these components are your software applications and supporting technologies that allow you to perform the business functions.
What is your potential problem? The complexity that occurs after your business has been operating for a while means your business processes by their nature become complex, disjointed and out of sync. The ability to manage your processes and keep your processes operating at peak efficiency is what’s needed to keep your business healthy. Viewed from a top down perspective, it is your end-to-end business process or business workflow that drives your business.
What do you need to learn about your business? With that understanding your team needs to define your business process and unearth the perceived business problem. Yes you have to make the problem real on paper. The team needs to define what tools are used when identifying your business processes.
What is the Business Process Improvement process? The team would document the existing business process by developing beginning to end process maps. They would identify which steps in your process add value. Then the team would identify the steps that cause pain and detract from the efficiency of the process. Then the team works to eliminate those business steps that fail to add value. Once all is documented, the team transitions from identifying and knowing what steps to improve, the team would collectively be able to understand and discuss what to do when the identified solution conflicts with business policy or a current external process and still make it functional within your organization.
Enter Business Process Management phrase – Then the business improvement solution is implemented and becomes operational. To ensure continued success, the group proceeds to manage the business process using a selected business process management tool. This requires the complete understanding of current routines, future goals and the gaps in between. Once the process is operational, the process becomes a business process management procedure.
What is the best way to train you and your team? Since your personnel work daily to complete specific business processes using technology that you have within in your business, they should become intimately involved with learning about managing your business processes especially since they are a part of them everyday. For BPI assessments to be effective, the best way to learn is in a situational manner which enables you to identify and manage your specific business processes. You may even consider having customized courses that can be defined to target your specific situation.
What are the expected benefits? The benefits of a business process improvement and management assessment is that your business will be able to continuously strive for a more effective business process and therefore you will gain improved efficiency. The resulting office process improvements enable many other products and services to operate more efficiently. Working with a team and understanding the issues associated with your end to end business operation can help you define the gaps in your business and remove the daily problems and disconnects with your vendors. This can come from keeping your business processes in sync with the proper support of your technology and your people. The gains can sometimes approach a 50 percent or more gain in efficiency.
In today’s business environment, we continuously strive for a more effective business process operation and a firm with actual hands on experience can help you learn and apply these strategies. That is because business process improvement and business process management have become essential tools to just about any organization.
In summary, with proper people, education and learning in a situational environment, one can first identify the process, then analyze the process and move on to improving and monitoring the process. The complexity and payback of business process improvements are many because one improvement can lead to many more and sometimes it’s a simple fix and other times a lot more complex. The details require more explanation then we can provide here, however you owe it to yourself to investigate this area of IOVC technologies further and profit from these capabilities.