1. Only big companies should worry about business process management.
True, large companies have lots of employees working in multiple departments and job functions, and business process management (BPM) is necessary to facilitate communication. However, small and mid-sized organizations suffer from communication breakdowns all the time.
How many times have little tasks like these fallen through the cracks and let you down?
- Following up on sales quotes
- Documenting customer complaints
- Securing a necessary vendor before an event
These tasks are obviously not exclusive to large organizations.
I was recently talking with a friend who works for a non-profit with less than 10 employees. Every year, he is in charge of planning a large community event that involves hundreds of guests and weeks of planning. He told me that each year, the planning process has become shorter and easier since now he knows the timeline and tasks that need to be completed before the event. He also told me that the event itself gets better and better every year (more money raised, happier guests, etc.) because he has used the extra time to make improvements. When he started working at the organization 5 years ago, he had no documentation of the event planning process, so he had to figure everything out as he went. If there had been a documented process in place and an easy way to implement it, he would have been just as prepared the first year as he is now.
2. Process management is too complex.
Whether you realize it or not, process management is already an everyday part of your business. Your processes are invisible. You can’t see them, but they are everywhere. Every action that takes place in your organization is a part of a process. A business process can be as complex as implementing a regulatory compliance program, but it can also be as simple as asking a guest if they would like a cup of coffee when they visit your office (the Welcoming Process).
Processes are comprised of actions. In every action, there is some type of input, then a person is going to add their skills and knowledge to that input, then pass it on to the next person. This repeats until the process is complete.
Effective process management begins by documenting three things:
1. Which tasks need to be completed
2. Who needs to complete these tasks
3. When the tasks need to be completed.
Breaking down your business processes is not as complex as it seems, but it will add tremendous value to your organization.
3. Process management tools are clunky and expensive.
This is partially true. Most process management tools are clunky and difficult to understand. If you visit the websites of other BPM tools, you will instantly be assaulted with sleep-inducing jargon.
Here are just a few examples I found in a cursory search:
- "technological frameworks for modeling"
- "evolutionary BPM methodology"
- "business-IT alignment during process design"
- "empowering organizations to rapidly build and deploy robust workflow-driven apps"
We designed ProcessPlan for organizations who want to improve communication and efficiency without investing tons of time and money in a complex system. You do not need any technical expertise to set up and manage your processes with ProcessPlan, and it only costs $10/user/month.
4. Training staff on business process management will be time consuming.
Not with ProcessPlan. We offer a one-hour kick starter session to help you setup your first process and guide you through the tool. Most of the time, that is all the training you will need to implement effective process management in your organization. You can even import many common processes from our public template library and tweak them to fit your needs. As for training your employees, they can use ProcessPlan if they can use email (and I’m sure they can unless they are living under a rock. If that’s the case, you really should consider paying them better). When it’s time complete a task, the person responsible will receive an email with instructions and a link to open their task in their Internet browser. From there, they can add notes or click a button to indicate their response.
5. The value added to my company by using business process management would be negligible.
ProcessPlan will give your organization insight into its processes and performance that is impossible without the tool. Plus, it will eliminate mistakes, improve communication and ensure consistency no matter who is performing a task. It reduces the training time for new employees, it provides a centralized location for every process in the organization and it increases the valuation of the company to have processes documented in this way.
You can even use all the time you’re saving to bake in some “secret sauce” to your processes. For example, you might write a handwritten note to every new client you acquire or send a gift on each "anniversary" of the date you started working with a client.
6. Having good employees is more important than having good processes.
Most people want to work hard and do well in their jobs. As much as we hate to admit, the value of your employees is usually not what sets you apart from your competitors. If your processes are broken, your employees, no matter how conscientious and intelligent they are, will be setup for failure. What sets you apart is your ability to meet your customers' needs and differentiate yourself. Documenting your processes will give you insight into every aspect of your business. You will learn your business inside and out and will be able to identify small things you can do to improve your customers’ experience and your employees' productivity.
If you can improve the details, then you can improve the processes, and in turn improve the performance of your business.
When you're chugging along in the day to day operations of your business, you don't usually have time to identify holes in your business processes or think about things you can do to improve communication. I understand that. But what if I told you that improving your business processes does not have to be time consuming or complex? What if I told you that you could carry on your daily activities without interruption while still improving your business performance? These statements might be hard to believe, but they are true. Sign up for a free trial of ProcessPlan to see for yourself.