The Most Common Mistakes In Business Process Mapping

 

Business process mapping (BPM) is extremely helpful for managing a successful business, and it’s even more important if you want to change or optimise the business process of your company.

BPM is a conceptual tool to analyse the sum of decision-points, interactions, and action steps that constitute a company’s activities. BPM focuses on identifying the most critical parts of the process, as well as pinpointing those aspects that are not functioning optimally and should be improved.

While many businesses are already implementing BPM, here are several common mistakes that should be avoided if you want to get it right:

  • Don’t use an insider to do your BPM

Many companies use one of their own staff to do their BPM. However, this is problematic because there’s usually a strong lack of objectivity when it comes to your own people.

Your staff members are likely to think of your business in an idealised way and will tend to see what they believe should be happening, instead of what is actually happening. Even worse, they may tell you what they think you want to hear.

A consultant coming from outside the organisation will have a more objective view, and will, therefore, take stock of your process much more accurately.

In addition, an outsider won’t hesitate to highlight parts of the process that aren’t working properly, as they don’t have a personal stake in the issue.

  • Don’t be vague about defining your goals

BPM is most valuable when it measures the functional health of your business process relative to a specific goal.

So instead of setting a general goal, such as “how efficient is our process,” define the goal much more precisely, such as “how well does our sales process convert new leads into sales – what are all the people, decision-points and interactions involved, and how do they integrate with each other and with other teams.”

  • Don’t use BPM to confirm preconceived ideas

BPM often reveals unexpected issues, and you have to be prepared to accept them even if you don’t like them. For example, perhaps you believe that parts of your workforce aren’t doing their job satisfactorily, but BPM might reveal that you assigned the wrong staff to do a job they aren’t fully trained to do, or with the wrong tools.

For example, if a certain part of your company isn’t achieving the desired results and you decide to apply BPM to figure out why, then you must be prepared to follow the BPM analysis all the way.

Often company leaders think they already know what’s happening in their business and what needs to be changed. But the point of doing BPM is that it can uncover things you don’t already know.

BPM often reveals unexpected issues, and you have to be prepared to accept them even if you don’t like them. For example, perhaps you believe that parts of your workforce aren’t doing their job satisfactorily, but BPM might reveal that you assigned the wrong staff to do a job they aren’t fully trained to do, or with the wrong tools.

If you want to reap the full benefit of BPM, allow it to show you the things you normally don’t see.

  • Don’t fail to implement changes based on the BPM results

BPM is not about assigning blame. It uses an impartial lens to examine all relevant processes that happen in your business and then determines which ones are working optimally, and which ones aren’t (based on the goal that you have defined).

Once the results of BPM are available, they often reveal a number of key steps that can, or should, be improved. It’s important to act on these insights and to restructure your business process accordingly.

In other words, be ready to change the organisation of your business. Especially large corporations, with a long tradition of doing things in a certain way struggle with this point, but implementing change is the whole point of doing BPM.

  • Don’t implement changes based on incomplete BPM results

Often the business process of a company is a lot more complicated than we think it is. This is especially true for large companies. Not only do you have to examine all interactions within a particular team, but also critical interactions between teams.

In the example we mentioned above, the success of your Sales team is strongly affected by the quality of leads delivered by the Marketing team.

Also, if you have a product that can be tested with a free trial or demo, then the technical questions of a prospect are best addressed by the Customer Support team, and this may also affect a buyer’s decision.

Thus all three teams, plus their interactions, factor into the overall success of your Sales process, and you should only implement changes to the process once you have analysed the whole picture with BPM.

  • Don’t fail to communicate the results of BPM to your team

One of the great benefits of BPM is that it can make a complicated process much more transparent, since it allows everyone to see what everyone else is doing.

This is extremely helpful not only for the leadership, but also for individual staff members, as they can use this information to make better decisions on a daily basis.

In addition, if you decide to implement changes based on BPM, be sure to explain everything to the team – the results of BPM, why you want to change some parts of the process, and how you expect the change to be implemented.

Change is often met with resistance, but resistance can be minimised if the reasons for change are transparently shared and discussed.

Conclusion

When used correctly, BPM is a powerful tool to manage and improve your business process. If you plan to apply it to your business, make sure you avoid the pitfalls discussed above, and you’ll be able to harness the full power of BPM to ensure a successful outcome for your company.


 
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