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Posted March 24 2020
Written by Christian Dubuc

Business Process Management: where should you start?

In a world where aging manpower is leaving the workforce bringing years of acquired knowledge with them and where the new generation is quick to look for new opportunities, knowledge retention is fast becoming critical. Thus, several questions arise: How can we upkeep the knowledge and skills of our employees? How can we ensure everyone is achieving their tasks the right way, the same way? And most of all, where should we start? Should we start with business processes that require more money or those that we utilize more often?

Business processes, part of the company’s assets?

Business Process Management (or BPM) considers an organization’s way of doing things an asset just as important as buildings, equipment, and employees.

Indeed, a business process should be designed and implemented the same way a production line or a piece of equipment would be. Someone must be accountable for its performance and for its evolution. The way a process is operationalized should be known and improved by everyone. In a nutshell, it is not only machines and employees that contribute to the achievement of an organization’s goals, implemented (or not) business processes as well.

Some of the main elements of business process-based management are:

  • Definition of the company’s goals;
  • Definition of roles and responsibilities;
  • Standardization of the way you do things and management of knowledge;
  • Performance assessment of an organization’s business processes;
  • Improvement of processes aligned with the organization’s goals.

Assessing your business processes based on the maturity scale

First, you need to assign a maturity level to each of your processes. There are five business process maturity levels. Illustration 1 allows using those criteria to define the level of maturity of your organization.

5 business process maturity levels_Business Process Management_CreatechIllustration 1: 5 levels of business process maturity according to Createch

The first level, “initial,” produces unpredictable outputs. The second one, “repeatable,” shows a basic control that may not meet the customer’s expectations. In the third level, “standardized,” the definition of the customer’s expectations and the measurement of customer satisfaction are initiated. Starting at this point, improvement projects leading us to the fourth level, “improved,” are implemented.

The fifth and last level is “optimized.” To achieve this, several improvement projects must have been completed, furthermore, you cannot gain neither speed nor quality using the same technologies you have been using up to this point.

“Without standards, there can be no improvement”

Masaki Imai

Combining maturity to business process impact

In order to choose a business process, we could prioritize a process corresponding to maturity level 1. However, if the selected process has little impact on the business goals, it will be wiser to choose one that has a greater impact for the same level of maturity.

To manage a business process, it is useful to use tools that are associated to continuous improvement, such as Damasix (Createch’s Mobile DMS), EPC, Sherpa or Poka.

Are you experiencing the following issues?

  • Are you having trouble finding your business processes and the related documentation?
  • Do you have several versions of a same document, but none of them is the right one?
  • Is the process owner identified? Who has the information?
  • Your company standards belong to everyone and no one at the same time?
  • Is the documentation being developed by several resources at the same time?
  • Is creating documentation demanding?
  • You do not have any continuous business process improvement tools?

Our business process optimization and manufacturing performance improvement teams can support you in your efforts. Don’t hesitate contacting one of Createch’s experts to help you solve these issues, and many more!  

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