Over and over and over and over. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Unfortunately, that’s all too common in the workplace today.
Employees spend significant time working on repeatable processes over and over and over. Accounting, sales, customer service, and many other departments — repeatable tasks.
When most of your payroll is spent on processes, it makes sense to optimize them.
See: Business Process Management (BPM), a method dedicated to better managing and optimizing all workflows.
This article will explain what BPM is, discuss its many benefits, showcase examples of BPM in action, and explain how to create a BPM system.
What is business process management (BPM)?
But first, a more formal definition
Business Process Management (BPM) is the discipline of streamlining all repetitive workflows within an organization.
A few examples:
- Creating standardized forms, boards, and templates to help speed up internal processes.
- Automating routine tasks like data collection and reporting.
As a company grows, the benefits of optimizing and partially automating these workflows become more significant … something that can have a dramatic impact on the top line.
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 its 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.
- onboarding new clients
- creating proposals
- billing and accounting
- sourcing raw materials
- shipping finished goods
Everything someone can do more than once (aka, repeatable) is a business process. So likewise, you can’t run a business without a repeatable process, which is why BPM is 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?
One example is 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 tasks are handled.
For example, rather than just having employees interrupt the IT staff every time they have an issue, create a formal process for handling IT requests.
On monday.com, that would look a little something like this:
Any time you standardize a process, you engage in business process management. However, it doesn’t have to include investing in (sometimes) expensive automation 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.
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 event, 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.
You can speed it up by having concrete workflows mapped out before each project starts.
For every new campaign and product, it’s important to 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, follow the same principles:
- Standardize the workflow as much as possible, outlining steps and deliverables.
- Visualize the workflow using software (hint hint: monday.com).
- Automate wherever possible to reduce time wasted on menial tasks like compiling data.
- Optimize your use of human resources, ensuring the right person is working on the right thing.
The benefits of BPM and automation
Business process management and automation have compelling 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 can handle.
Investing in the resources that enable you to leave those to your software 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.
These automations smoothed out every process stage, from pricing requests to finished products. 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 move from one stage to the next when someone finishes their part.
Our custom automation builder can cut a lot of dead time spent on meaningless administrative tasks.
Manual data entry and copy-pasting aren’t something you should spend time on in the 21st century.
When employees waste less time on repetitive tasks, they have more time to work on delivering value. Obvious, right?
According to Gartner’s research, a single robotic process automation (RPA) bot in finance can do as much work as 30 full-time workers,
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 most essential activities. As a result, sales staff have more time to sell, and marketers have more time to market your products.
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 experienceBy standardizing your workflows, you lower the chance of human errors, which lead to a poor customer experience. Automations mean you can leave your people to do, well, people stuff — like keeping your customers happy.
With automated systems that track where everything is, it’s easy to find information contributing 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 easily find the information you want. This 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.
Strategies to master Business Process Management (BPM)
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, you won’t have to start from zero the next time.
It also makes it easier to onboard new staff and ensures they hit the ground running. For example, 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, etc.
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 one business process.
Sounds great, right? But not every company has the funds to invest in custom-developing automation solutions for their unique situation.
Instead, they should start by automating administrative task 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 precisely what you can automate, start by doing something called process mapping — visually breaking down all the steps in a process. This means pinpointing exactly where automation is easiest to apply.
Automation and BPM tools can potentially transform how everyone works at your company. Start small and reap the rewards immediately without a substantial 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-rich 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 an intelligent digital work environment that eliminates menial tasks.
Use and adapt a variety of ready-made templates for each process
In our template center, find a ready-made template for any crucial business process.
Managing IT requests. Nurturing customers and leads. Hiring and onboarding new staff — monday.com has it all.
Yet the templates are just a guide, a starting point. 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 specific criteria — like getting a wireframe uploaded. You can also set up automated notifications for any deliverables approaching or exceeding their due date.
These seemingly small automations 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 various 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. We have a robust API and developed a feature-full, low-code framework to help companies build integrations and custom tools quickly.
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
Reinventing the wheel by developing your own solution is pointless. 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 immediately.
And that’s only a single use case of our Work OS. Imagine what your company will look like with every necessary business process optimized.