(This article was excerpted from the book Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM.)
Organizations are constantly being tested in the markets in which they operate by shifting expectations of their customers, and by competitors looking to provide better value at a lower cost. This tension is the catalyst that continually pushes organizations to search for ways to improve their services, improve the speed which they deliver value to their customers, enable employees to get more done with less administrative overhead, and most importantly, to constantly grow by generating more revenue. This is the basis of BPM, to be able to identify and capture processes in an organization to create repeatable, measurable and consistent execution of goals to drive their business forward.
When an organization studies its operations, it discovers there are many processes used in its daily business. These processes are often not well thought out, or they were created to complete some aspect of the daily business, with little thought given to improving efficiency. At this point the organization looks for the first steps for improving through automation the processes that represent business value.
Business value could be anything that drives organizational goals forward to make customers happy, and thereby generate more revenue. This business value can be anything, such as keeping track of interaction with a customer. If that data could be captured, the marketing department could search a customer’s behavioral patterns to decide what products and services to market to a particular person. It would take mass marketing out of the equation and allow for direct, specific marketing towards individual customers’ needs.
It is possible to identify pieces of business value that are not worth automating because they are inconsistent or have too many potential paths to justify the effort to automate. Others will require traditional human brain power, which is not easy to capture in automated process form. An example of this would be the hiring of employees, a process that can be largely automated, but the actual decision to hire a specific candidate remains a factor of human intelligence. We can automate the process of handling applications, scheduling interviews, and the post process of on-boarding a new employee once hired. We leave the “hire or not to hire” task to humans.
Continue reading “Introducing Business Process Management with JBoss BPM”
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