In each organization, there are business systems that contain individual processes where every process is characterized by a range of activities and tasks. Now, for any business to facilitate a quality item or offer a desired service, it becomes integral that it adopts competent business processes. The efficiency of a company’s processes becomes the ladder upon which it bases its growth.
Business Process Analysis allows companies to function through lower costs, perform at an advanced competitive level and enhance their core, in turn driving better results.
In a scenario where the business processes are inadequate, it results in businesses suffering owing to high overhead expenses and curtailed revenues. For steering clear of financial setbacks and losses owing to these inadequacies, the business can expertly examine its business processes and execute enhancements in performance.
Business process analysis (BPA) is an analysis methodology that is applied for making sense of the state of different operations in a business to enhance process efficiency. This is a specialized approach for examining if the prevailing processes are kept in pace with their business goals.
Applying this form of analysis approach aids businesses in identifying the adverse elements in an operation and determining how obstacles can be conquered. In the absence of a proper analysis, time and effort will be expended in the wrong areas added with the inconvenience of swapping between software.
The foundation of BPA is process mapping. As a process gets mapped, it offers the improvement with a visual diagram on how work is performed and what are the issues and aspects which hinder its execution.
Interestingly, Business process analysis is often misplaced with business analysis (BA). It has to be kept in mind that the two are separate in spite of their similar names.
While BPA is mainly fixated on the analysis of business processes and providing suggestions for enhancement in accordance with the analysis data gathered, BA meanwhile concentrates more on concluding particular requirements or issues amidst an organization that may not be as closely linked to processes, rather they include budget cuts, finances, research or hiring.
There is an ample number of BPA and BPM tools that offer several sophisticated features developed to help users in deriving deeper insights from the user’s analysis and allowing for improved collaboration.
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BPA tools help the user’s teams in simplifying the process of analysis, particularly if the business faces many complex processes which range across a number of data sources, departments, and resources in the company.
Through BPA tools, we can simply be able to visualize processes, save and give notes amidst stakeholders, develop models and execute automation features.
A few leading BPA tools include Kissflow, Signavio, Appian, HOPEX Platform, Heflo, st, Engage Process.
There are several integral steps that need to be followed while carrying out a BPA, which have been highlighted below :
Firstly we need to determine what we wish to achieve by carrying out an analysis. For instance, it could be to get a deeper insight regarding a particular business or involving automation within all business processes.
The SMART acronym is generally adopted while building competent goals, implying that they are generally specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
Having an idea about our goals allows us to detect which processes we can opt to examine. For instance, one can make headway with lesser business-integral processes, or underperforming areas of an organization. It is essential to determine our start and endpoints for ensuring that our analysis scope is not highly extensive.
In this step, a crucial action would be assembling one’s team. For the same stakeholders involved in the process, the design should also be included. All data process relating data needs to be accumulated in one place. The information can be of varying types like a flowchart, list of engaged individuals and teams, files & documentation, email threads, etc.
It is also favorable to gather key performance indicators at each step wherever possible and gain as much data as we can to gain a clear process understanding. Interviews and brainstorming sessions can also be conducted.
Steps to perform a Business Process Analysis
This step is characterized by business process visualization. The goal of process mapping is filtering pertinent information we gathered and presenting it in a structured and clear manner.
This enables us to easily visualize the process being dealt with and comprehend the stakeholder roles, which makes it simpler to observe what is working and what is not working and the risks connected with different process components.
Various ways can be adopted to execute business process mappings such as constructing workflow diagrams and flowcharts.
At this point, the next step involves an analysis of the prevailing process to detect any inadequacies and any areas where improvement could be required.
The focus lies in analyzing integral BPA components including consumer interactions, activities providing higher value and places in which information is traded, Bottlenecks, or other reasons causing delay and wasteful generated through the process production.
The following methods can be applied for detecting issues and identifying improvement areas :
Value-added analysis - This form of analysis involves overseeing each process area to conclude if it is adding value at the organizational or process level.
Root cause analysis - Root cause analysis focuses on the reasons causing an issue and also searches for potential solutions.
For example, if there is a labor-intensive new consumer onboarding process adopting an excessive number of human resources then one effective solution would be to automate the ongoing process via a low-code BPM (Business Process Management) software platform.
The final step involves returning to the goals determined in the beginning. All the present process enhancements should be adding to these goals.
This step is all about discussing the discoveries and suggestions with stakeholders, receiving their feedback, brainstorming and exploring all possible solutions, and taking into consideration how every solution will be affecting the organization in the short and long run.
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Be it by promoting transparency in processes, enhancing cooperation, coordinating better efficiency, and enhanced relations with customers, the adoption of BPA offers a range of benefits.
Discovering the covert details will offer insights into the actual business process flow and aid businesses in both detecting inefficiencies, bottlenecks, weaknesses, risks and in detecting the causes behind them.
For instance, process analysis can aid in reducing rework and decreasing some of the redundant, inconvenient, and taxing duties that are not adding up to the business’s core goals.
As a business grows, it gets increasingly challenging to handle the overall interaction and collaboration and gain the required KPIs, across varying departments, branches, and all hierarchy levels.
Properly operated business processes help management in handling and guiding the company and prompting business results.
In the case of big businesses, it becomes pretty tough to keep track of staff performance and stay updated on customers promptly. Analysis of processes allows one to stay updated on them and also determine how they impact the business.
BPA allows for complete and comprehensive documentation of the processes for businesses. It churns advanced functioning processes in which each of the parties involved is aware of what they need to be doing and also offers the new employees far more suitable and swifter onboarding.
It also runs parallel with advanced compliance inspection and evaluation of the user’s operations in accordance with the predetermined rules, regulations, and remaining needs.
BPA propels befitting customer acquisition analysis which can spot the weak areas of various processes letting the users know about the real causes behind issues so they can be fixed properly.
BPA boosts optimization while driving constant enhancement endeavors. Real-time insights regarding actual business process steps provide several improvement opportunities.
The seemingly menial approaches like cutting down unnecessary process steps or setting fresh guidelines enhance the overall productivity (i.e. higher ROI), without needing to invest in fresh technology or incorporate changes to existing systems within the organization.
The absence of transparency is one of the critical reasons causing issues with business processes. The process-related dimension offers managers an insight for undertaking appropriate decision making in comparison to conventional approaches.
For instance, if a company desires to enhance its results, the managers are usually asked to cut down costs generally leading to layoffs. Yet these layoffs should only take place if the managers possess data-based insights for individual performances and to measure how the loss of a specific section of employees would impact the overall process.
BPA aids in detecting integral areas which need to be focused on while we seek to apply new technology. Analyzing, optimizing, and rethinking every process prior to investing in Digital Transformation allows us to largely benefit when it comes to performance and saved expenses.
Below are a few leading BPA techniques that are adopted by many businesses.
Flowchart / Workflow Design - This technique formulates well-structured flowcharts through each of the written steps, associating with other steps through conditionals. The technique also assigns every step to a team or user who is operating on the same.
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Process Modelling - This is a Data-driven technique that is used for representing business processes graphically to detect areas requiring improvement. It deals with low-level process maps, its main focus is on improving the process.
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) - This is the process of determining the root causes of issues to be able to detect suitable solutions. This process can be performed through a collection of techniques, approaches, and principles which can be adapted for detecting the root causes of an event or trend.
Spaghetti Plot - This is a visual representation through a continuous flow line that traces an item’s path or activity via a process. The continuous flow line allows process teams to detect repetitions in the workflow and opportunities to accelerate process flow.
We hope that this article has been successful in giving you an idea on how to conduct a suitable and proper Business Process Analysis.
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