In most companies, the majority of your employees spend most of their time working on repeatable processes rather than standalone projects.

Just think of accounting, sales, customer service, and many other departments — they do the same things over and over again.

When the majority of your payroll is spent on processes, it makes sense to optimize them.

That’s where business process management comes in. It’s a method dedicated to better managing and optimizing all your workflows.

In this article, we explain what BPM is, its benefits, showcase examples of it in action, and explain how you can create your own BPM system. 

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What is business process management (BPM)?

Business process management is the discipline of streamlining all repetitive workflows that happen within your organization.

For example, you can create standardized forms, boards, and templates to help speed up internal processes. You can also automate routine tasks like data collection and reporting.

As your company grows, the benefits of optimizing and partially automating these workflows become more significant.

The average office worker spends up to 60 hours per month — 3 hours per workday — on easily automatable tasks.

A medium-sized company with 2–300 employees can save years of work and a large part of their payroll by optimizing how they handle some of these processes.

Imagine freeing up almost half the workday for a significant chunk of your employees. That’s a lot of added productivity.

What is an example of a business process?

A business process is a repeatable workflow — a chain of tasks and events — that is an inherent part of running a business.

For example:

  • onboarding new clients
  • creating proposals
  • billing and accounting
  • sourcing raw materials
  • shipping finished goods

Basically, everything that you have to do more than once while running your company is a business process.

You can’t run a business without any sort of repeatable processes, which is why BPM is such a universal discipline.

It applies to companies of all sizes in any industry. There’s always some process you can make more efficient.

What’s an example of business process management?

An example of a business process management initiative could be to create a standardized workflow for onboarding new employees — including training materials, checklists, and an automated training system.

But it doesn’t need to be something of that scale. It could also just be optimizing how you handle tasks in your offices.

For example, you could create a formal process for handling IT requests, rather than just having employees interrupt the IT staff every time they have an issue.

In monday.com, that would look a little something like this:

IT request board in monday.com

Any time you standardize a process, that’s an example of business process management. It doesn’t have to include investing in expensive automation robotics technology.

Most companies can achieve good results by just using business process management software.

It’s all about finding ways to make everyday activities as easy and smooth as possible for your team.

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What’s the difference between business process management and project management?

The main difference between BPM and project management is that BPM focuses on the ongoing processes and workflows that support your business rather than one-off projects.

A project is a time-restricted, unique undertaking, whereas business processes are ongoing and often virtually unchanged for several years.

There can be a surprising amount of overlap between repeatable processes and one-time projects. For example, even if your marketing team is working on a brand-new campaign from scratch for a new product, your team has done similar things before.

By having concrete workflows mapped out before each project starts, you can speed it up significantly.

Marketing project template in monday.com

That way, for every new campaign and product, you know exactly where to start and what to do. Many projects can become almost like repeatable business processes over time.

To excel in both business process and project management, you can follow the same principles.

  • Standardize the workflow as much as possible, outlining steps and deliverables.
  • Visualize the workflow using software, for example, monday.com.
  • Automate wherever possible to reduce time wasted on menial tasks like compiling data.
  • Optimize your use of human resources, making sure the right person is working on the right thing.

If you’re not completely on board with the idea yet, read on to explore the many pros of BPM.

The benefits of BPM and automation

Business process management and automation have incredibly powerful benefits that can transform your business from the ground up.

The most significant include saving human resources, boosting productivity, and speeding up projects.

Saving human resources

Automation doesn’t have to include robots to help you save a lot of time and effort. Just think of all the little tasks you complete in a workday that software could handle.

When you invest in the resources that enable you to leave those to your software, it frees up a lot of time for growth.

Falkbuilt, an interior construction company, used monday.com to save 40,000 human actions per month throughout the manufacturing process.

Screenshot of Falkbuilt case study results

These automations smoothed out every stage of the process, from pricing request to finished product. They included:

  • Alerting the right person when a pricing request comes in.
  • Automatically creating work items based on new contracts.
  • Managing all design requests and matching them with designers.
  • All items automatically moving from one stage to the next when someone finishes their part.

With our custom automation builder, you can cut a lot of dead time spent on meaningless administrative tasks.

Manual data entry and copy-pasting isn’t something you should spend time on in 2021.

Boosting productivity

When your employees waste less time on repetitive tasks, obviously they have more time to work on delivering value.

For example, a single robotic process automation (RPA) bot in finance can do as much work as 30 full-time workers, according to Gartner’s research.

But, don’t go getting rid of your people just yet. Instead, focus their skills, experience, and increased capacity on tasks where they can deliver real value.

BPM software and automation help your team focus on the activities that matter most. Sales staff have more time to sell, marketers have more time to market your products, etc.

Just imagine adding that kind of extra productivity to your team.

Speeding up projects

When underlying processes are automated and efficient, you also speed up the projects your employees are involved in.

That makes it easier to stay competitive and gives you a shot at earning a first-to-market advantage with your new products.

Delivering a better customer experience

Continually improving

With automated systems that keep track of where everything is, it’s easy to find information that contributes to organizational learning.

That’s a stark difference from how things used to be before the first computer. Good luck navigating the company records room.

Now you can simply type a search phrase into your BPM software of choice, and you can easily find the information you want. Which means you can see what’s been done previously and avoid reinventing the wheel.

Plus, with the history of your improvements at your fingertips, you can spot — and tackle — potential problems in existing or new workflows early.

That’s why any strategy for continuous improvement should include a BPM initiative.

Now that you’re more familiar with some of the benefits, let’s cover how you can unlock them.

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Strategies to master business process management

Convinced to give BPM a shot but don’t know where to start? With these basic strategies, you can give yourself a head start.

Prioritize standardization and documentation

62% of organizations have modeled and standardized up to 25% of their business processes. The reason is self-explanatory, right?

By writing down and documenting the process, the next time you won’t have to start from zero.

It also makes it a lot easier to onboard new staff and have them hit the ground running. If nothing is standardized, you’d need to train them for weeks before they could start working.

With standardized practices and documentation, new team members can start delivering value from day 1.

If you outline and document your processes in messy Excel sheets, that won’t help much. The information must be easily accessible if it’s going to change anything at all.

The best way to do that is to invest in BPM software, where you can create custom workflow templates for each process.

You may be tempted to invest in a specialized tool for each use case. For example, HR software for onboarding, a CRM for managing leads, and so on.

But with a comprehensive platform like monday.com, you can easily create custom solutions that work for your company — across departments and use cases.

Start automating the in-between administrative work

Business process automation is becoming more and more popular among companies.

According to McKinsey, 66% of companies in 2020 had already invested in automating at least 1 business process.

Graph of business process automation survey results

(Image Source)

Sounds great, right? But not every company has the funds to invest in custom-developing automation solutions for their unique situation.

Instead, you should start by automating administrative tasks that people no longer need to handle.

For example, collating data into weekly reports can be replaced by setting up a real-time dashboard.

To figure out exactly what you can automate, start by doing something called process mapping. Basically, you just visually break down all the steps in a process. By doing so, you can pinpoint exactly where automation is easiest to apply.

Automation and BPM tools have the potential to transform how everyone works at your company. If you start small, you can reap the rewards from day 1 without a huge up-front investment.

Use monday.com to optimize your business processes

monday.com goes beyond the scope of task management and workflow software. It’s a feature-full Work OS.

That means you can standardize workflows with custom templates, boards, and timelines — but that’s not all you can do.

You can also use our native integrations and automation builder to create a smart digital work environment that eliminates menial tasks.

Use and adapt a variety of ready-made templates for each process

In our template center, you can find a ready-made template for just about any crucial business process.

From managing IT requests, nurturing customers and leads, to hiring and onboarding new staff — monday.com has it all.

Recruitment pipeline template in monday.com

But you don’t have to stick religiously to the templates. With monday.com, you have the freedom to tailor every template to match your needs.

Standardize processes throughout your company by creating custom templates

You can edit all fields, columns, colors, and more to create customized templates for every repeatable workflow.

For example, for design, you can add a multi-step approval workflow and add multiple file columns for the wireframe, initial design, and more.

Make the software work for you, not the other way around.

Use automations to speed up processes and eliminate unnecessary delays

monday.com’s automation builder lets you remove all the small administrative steps from a process.

For example, you can automatically move work items when they meet certain criteria — like getting a wireframe uploaded.

You can also set up automated notifications for any deliverables that approach or exceed their due date.

These seemingly small automations really add up. Use them to create the foundation of your new smart business process management system.

Streamline your workflows with integrations

You can’t automate a manual process without the right integrations on board. monday.com offers 40+ native integrations with a variety of tools, including help desks, advertising platforms, email clients, and more.

Use our low-code framework and API to integrate with internal tools

Need an integration with any custom-built internal tools? Don’t worry. Not only do we have a robust API, but we’ve also developed a feature-full, low-code framework to help companies build integrations and custom tools with ease.

You can create the exact BPM solution your company needs, without needing a large team of developers.

Business process management is easier with the right platform

In 2021, there’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel by developing your own solution. A highly extensible and customizable platform like monday.com is the foundation of a good BPM strategy.

For example, you can use our recruitment and onboarding template to help new team members start delivering value from day 1.

And that’s only a single use case of our Work OS. Imagine what your company will look like with every integral business process optimized.

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