Why Document Your Business Processes?

Why Document Your Business Processes?

There are compelling reasons why a company would want to model its business processes  and properly document them. One effective way of achieving this is to use  well defined techniques that are a part  of a mature Business Process Modeling (BPM) program.

One basic reason is to understand the current processes  the business is using. Another is to monitor the processes that the company uses to achieve its  goals. Yet another may be to see if the processes being used are the most effective and efficient.

Reengineering the company’s processes will improve its  operations.

In a dynamic environment, a company changes continually. This dynamism is primarily the result of market conditions, competitive forces, product evolution, personnel changes, along with other factors. The internal and external dynamics of this changing environment present an opportunity to revisit what processes are in place and decide whether  to change/improve them.

What is a business process? A business process typically has the following characteristics, it:

  • Is goal oriented.
  • Uses various inputs to get the job done
  • Performs activities.
  • Produces outputs.
  • Uses  resources and systems to accomplish its tasks.
  • Crosses internal and external boundaries, such as intra and inter departments, vendors and suppliers.
  • Can be controlled by various policies and procedures that prescribe what must be done.
  • Produces value for customers.

Examine your internal departments’ business processes by first creating a context for the organization. What are the essential inputs and outputs of the organization? What  policies and procedures  drive the way a division does things ? What are resources, systems, and vendors,  influence the outcomes?

Create a  map  to illustrate all the above factors. A simple and effective way to do this visually is to use flowcharts and process diagrams.  Use BPM drawing conventions to depict activities and decisions related to inputs, performances, and outputs.  Use symbols, such as rectangles, circles, arrows and diamond shapes  to show critical process features.

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