Successful Business Process Management

What You Need to Know to Get Results

 Successful Business Process Management

Author: Paula K. Berman
Pub Date: April 2014
Print Edition: $29.95
Print ISBN: 9780814434017
Page Count: 272
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814434024

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Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Before we plunge into the details of business process management, it will be useful to begin with a description of what Successful Business Process Management is, why I wrote it, who it is written for, and how it is structured, because for this book to be helpful, it has to be a discussion. You need to bring your own opinions and experiences, together with an understanding of your business and company culture. In order to make processes and procedures work for your company, you need to tailor them to fit, because there is no magic bullet and no one-size-fits-all approach.

There are tools and methods that are applicable in many cases, but you’ll need to use your own judgment: You can drive a nail with the end of a screwdriver, but it’s not an efficient way to work and someone is likely to get hurt along the way. A similar thing can happen if you try to use the wrong tools to create process solutions that don’t fit your problems. For this reason, I’m going to avoid jargon and management-speak in favor of plain language and simple ideas that can be adapted to provide the value you need.

WHAT THIS BOOK IS

In the chapters that follow, I discuss the basic principles of good processes, starting with fundamental ideas. I explain how a process system works (and how to create and maintain one), how to document standard processes so you have something your process users can read and follow, and how to put that documented process in place as a standard way of working that will remain effective over time. I also provide methods that will enable you to use your own work experience to understand your company’s needs, create processes that meet them, and ensure that those processes are optimized, in place, and working correctly in order to achieve your organization’s goals. Whether you are a member of a quality department, a manager, a project leader, or the person who will be performing your process as part of your normal work, you can make your processes effective and productive.

This book might seem simple and almost naive compared to some books and articles on this topic. I am not pitching tools that can automate everything for you, I am not instructing you on the latest object modeling methodology, and I am not promising you a silver bullet cure for everything that ails your company. This is not intended as a criticism; there are lots of good tools and methodologies out there, some of which can make your life and your process management much easier—but you need to understand the basics in order to choose the right ones.

No matter what methods you use, you have to consider the needs of your company and engage your own common sense in deciding how to model your business, in figuring out what procedures you need, and in determining what to include in those procedures. Having standardized procedures will not automatically increase your revenue, decrease your time to market, improve your flexibility, or enhance your creativity—but having a good process system, choosing the right procedures, and keeping them flexible can do all those things. Modeling tools and process improvement methods can facilitate your work and provide visibility into your processes’ interactions and performance. What they can’t do is substitute for understanding what you’re doing at a fundamental level.

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