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Business Process Management

Business Process Management

Introduction

Business process management is a part of operational management that is aimed at improving corporate performance by optimizing and managing company’s business processes. It can therefore be defined as the optimization process which contributes to organization’s efficiency and flexibility in terms of functionality and capabilities. The processes also affect the revenue and cost generation of an organization. Business process management (BMP) also represents an important asset for an organization that is managed and developed to promote value-added services and products to customers. The approach is reminiscent of total quality management and improvement process methods. Therefore, BMP is evaluated and viewed from the perspectives of technology and human capital. Business process management is also a discipline which embraces a mixture of automation, modeling, control, optimization and measurement of business activities to guarantee the achievement of enterprise goals, motivate employees, and meet customer demands. In general, an ordinary organization is engaged in traditional processes which are promoted by task perspective, resources perspective and information perspective. The purpose of the paper is to explore the current trends and challenges in implementing management initiatives of business processes, as well as provide recommendations for future endeavors.

Literature Review

Essence of Business Process Management

In a broad sense, business process management is a part of tradition which is aimed at improving the business activities and approaches to managing people and technologies. To some extent, business process management can be associated with six sigma implementation, work optimization or reengineering of business processes. To understand the essence of BPM, Harmon (2015) has introduced three major traditions which are typical for the definition. These are the quality control, the management tradition, and the IT tradition. Regarding the implementation of all these dimensions in BPM, Harmon (2015) suggests that “managers have always tried to make workers more productive, there have always been effort to simplify process and to control the quality of outputs, and, if IT is regarded as an instance of technology, then people have been trying to use technologies of one kind or another even since the first human picked up a stick to use as a spear or a lever” (p. 38). Therefore, these traditions have taken their origins from the industrial revolution, which contributed to the evident shifts in manufacturing. At the same time, the ancient roots of these conventions and recent developments in the field make it essential to introduce certain changes to the business process management. Therefore, work simplification, industrial engineering, and overall quality control management should constantly be adjusted to cultural, social, and innovational challenges. To support the idea, Skrinjar and Trkman (2013) have also proved that the use of business process management schemes contributes to a higher level of orientation. The attention to these schemes is essential for understanding how theoretical foundation can define the best processes for the maturity of the organization. Roglinger, Poppelbuth, and Becker (2012) have also explored the role of maturity models in business process management. Specifically, the paper discusses the BPM capabilities in terms of the different maturity models which are employed in an organizational process. It has been found that maturity models address general design principles for descriptive purpose. Design principles are not taken into account. Hence, BPM maturity frameworks do not provide sufficient guidance for defining maturity levels and making improvements.

The essence of business process management consists in understanding and revealing the major cultural values of the approach. Specifically, Schmiedel, Vom Brocke, and Recker (2013) have explored the issue to define the holistic perspectives of the business process management initiatives. The BPM, therefore, embraces cultural issues in an organization which play an enormous role in achieving objectives and ensuring the effectiveness of business processes. In this respect, there are four major cultural values encouraging BPM, such as customer orientation, responsibility, excellence, and teamwork. In fact, identification of these cultural implications could be highly beneficial to achieve higher level of optimization and quicker adaptability of BPM culture, which supports business process initiatives. BPM, therefore, is important for defining measures aimed at introducing a new culture as a necessary means for ensuring company’s success. The attention should also be paid to the analysis of such characteristics as previously established cultural and social settings, which either motivate or discourage employees.

Rosemann and Vom Brocke (2013) have highlighted several important elements of business process management, such project and program management, vendor management, complexity management, and standards management. First of all, project and program management focuses on the development of individual projects, which have different dimensions in an organization. Program management also defines how BPM can be adjusted to specific corporate objectives. Second, vendor management discusses the value of overall contribution of business process management, along with the solutions aimed at addressing the major BPM issues, and achieving organizational goals. Outsourcing opportunities should also be taken into consideration to define what consulting and training trends could be analyzed. Finally, complexity management leads to the development of comprehensive and holistic nature of business process management which is decomposed of managerial issues. There is a number of co-existing initiatives within one organization, which provide orientation to those initiatives. Finally, standards management discusses the elements of business process management, which should be adjusted to standards available in the organization, defining its major initiatives.

There are different models and trends in business process management, which signify its evident evolution. In this respect, information systems research focuses on the innovative design for exploring different methods and techniques o ensure high quality information management in organizations. In such a way, it will be possible to focus on the potential of automated research processes in the context of business process management. Houy, Sainbuyan, Fettke, and Loos (2013) have restricted the concept of automated trend evaluation to promote innovative software tools and define the investigation of trends in the sphere of business process management, which is a vital part of information system research. That is why the potential and boundaries could also be analyzed in this context.

In the studies by Seethamraju (2012), the attention has been paid to the analysis of the gaps in current business education in terms of process management. It introduces the evaluation of the background of a business process management from the historical perspective, assigning the importance of business management for the modern business education. The scholar argues that the importance of business process management in terms of the emerging information technologies highlights its major advantages and promotes new aspects of business project management employed by business schools. Such an approach defines the overall effectiveness of BPM and emphasizes the importance of embedding the concepts and tools across business schools. The findings can definitely help the practitioners to expand their understanding of the gap between theory and practice, as well as develop new development and training strategies.

Gunasekaran and Ngar (2012) have underscored the importance of business process management with reliance on the perspectives in operations management. In particular, the analysis discusses the importance of managing operations in service and production organizations, which have evolved significantly over the years due to the changes in market demands. Indeed, the market has acquired international importance, compelling the current trends in enterprise operations. The scholars have developed the analysis of information systems and outsourcing to define the landscape of business process management and operation management techniques. The researchers have argued that consciousness regarding the environmental safety requires the managerial staff to explore the operation management approach and production from different perspectives. Currently, energy cost and protection against terrorism have made evident changes in the portfolio of enterprise operation. As a result, the picture of operation management has changed as well. The issue of management is also associated with the problem of adequate distribution of the potential and resources which is much more effective when proper information systems are adopted.

Challenges in Business Process Management

Bochon, Ivens, and Nagel (2015) discusses the challenges of business process management in the context of cloud computing. Specifically, the authors have argued that cloud computing is an important tool for changing the current information system and developing cloud computing network to examine the key factors of this approach. Cloud computing also has other important functions and capabilities, which play an important role in managing a business venture. This particularly concerns elasticity, cost reduction, security, remote access, and availability. To develop the idea, it should be mentioned that elasticity focuses on the possibility of short-term removal or additional amount of computing resources to provide the online customers with required level of flexibility. The advantage is obtained by the customer who is always aware of the problem and is able to predict exact computer resource requirements. Second, security problem developed by social mass media is overrated being focused on free of charge services. In case of business applications, the implementation and control of these rules is obligatory for cloud operators. Third, cost reduction is another critical factor influencing popular publications that are difficult to compare with classic IT management and cloud computing. Hence, neglecting elasticity and flexibility can be dramatic, leading to the decrease in customer demand. Further, remote access is another important issue which should be discussed in the context of challenges because it is associated with a potential advantage for business process managers. Finally, availability is another issue that is associated with certain advantages for networking and power supply. While evaluating the advantages of cloud computer system, it becomes evident that it can successfully be applied to business process management. In the majority of cases, business process can become ubiquitous, which is always difficult to achieve without using the virtual space.

It is evident that business process management is critical for organizational competitiveness. In previous decades, business process management shifted from technology-focused into a holistic-oriented discipline associated with effective business management. At the same time, the constantly emerging digital innovations demand constant re-evaluation of business process management in organizations. With reliance on these insights, it is possible to develop a holistic and principal approach to address currently emerging obstacles. According to Schmiedel and Vom Brocke (2015), “socio-technical cognition of BPM build on a growing consensus among both researchers and practitioners that BPM is comprised of more than just methods of systems of operational excellence” (p. 4). Hence, it becomes clear that there is a connection between innovation and business process management because it defines major elements of change and development. Lack of innovation and technological advancement, therefore, can become a serious issue for further exploration and development.

Alotaibi and Liu (2013) have conducted an analysis of specific challenges and problems related to the development of business process management. They have concluded that a successful BPM should be able to ensure exact alignment between information technology and business processes to ensure security, control the constantly changing business environment, manage consumer power, and be flexible in terms of reengineering of IT goals. Therefore, the major approach to management should be narrowed down to striking the balance between manual control and digital novelties, which contribute to the effectiveness of business process management.
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The above-presented overview of trends and challenges of business process management reveals similar issues in terms of the analysis of specific opportunities for improving the quality of business management through the introduction of technologies, as well as the development of the ideal synergy between them. Business process management also deals with efficient training and project management because it defines further bound angles and interactions, leading to the emergence of new managerial spheres of influence. The essence of business process management is restricted to studying, identifying, controlling and changing the business environment, ensuring a smooth time control. Business process management, therefore, encompasses a number of methods and techniques, which could be enhanced by technologies, and defines new routes for improvement. Also, there are many components and elements, which create a holistic picture and redirect the processes.

Recommendations

An in-depth analysis of the current trends in evolution of business process management is narrowed down mostly to the automation of the system, introduction of information systems and reconstruction of new opportunities to promote technological progress and innovation. Since the major bias refers to technologies and innovation, the recommendations will be related to the technological advancements. First of all, it is recommended to integrate cloud computing network to improve business process management. The latter implies constant information exchange and processing, as well as the introduction of different methods, which would contribute to better quality management, as well as re-engineering of the production process. When it comes to services, the attention should be paid to the promotion of online content through new technologies of web design. The business process is also composed of operational initiatives, which define new schemes for improvement and re-arrangement. The major recommendations will be related to several aspects. First of all, it is essential to organize the process with reliance on outcomes, but not the tasks to ensure the relevant focus on the task management. Improving and correcting processes before automating them along with control of organized issues is also among the necessary innovations to be introduced. Third, it is important to establish processes and distribute responsibilities to quickly adjust to any changes since flexibility provides an opportunity for self-improvement. Besides, automated organization excludes mistakes, which could be made during manual control. Finally, standardization within a company can also be managed with the application of technologies, which would reduce the risks and eliminate errors. There are many steps to be taken for re-organizing and re-designing the organizational process in order to improve the overall flow of task accomplishment in general. There are also consequent steps, which should be taken, such as analysis, modeling, implementation, monitoring, automation and management. These are the pillars of successful business process management.

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Success of business process management relies on the way managers identify and label information in their repositories so it can be included and detected in case of relevant query. The major advancement in the task accomplishment focuses on the form of cloud computing, a full specification of semantics and syntax that data business intelligence tool can define to skillfully interchange the shared information. Additionally, effective business management also concerns efficient workflow, which could not be arranged effectively without proper optimization and technological advancement of the process. It should be stated that business processes should embrace the mobile workforce and devices, which can accelerate the process of the achievement of organizational objectives.  Overall, business process management is an effective means of controlling and evaluating the processes and activities in a business organization. It also presents an effective framework to be used in emergency situations by taking steps and introducing relevant processes, which could be adjusted to make them more cost-effective. Such an approach will help to provide new trends in management, as well as develop new relevant schemes of management.

Conclusion

Efficient business process management starts with the holistic evaluation of the effectiveness of processes and activities within an organization. It includes operations, logistics, production, cost-effectiveness, and quality control. There are many other spheres that are subject to business process management, but they could have been better arranged if relevant technological advancements were implemented. Indeed, there is a strong correlation between business process management and technological advances. The latter could include cloud computing network, which can facilitate the distribution of responsibilities, task accomplishment, and activities across the enterprise, as well as provide a new space for action. Such an order is highly valued, but there are still certain gaps regarding technologies. This especially concerns mobile technology and devices which could be used more effectively to transfer and arrange data. Therefore, the greater information accuracy is achieved, the better quality of production outcomes could be obtained for the company. In this regard, the scheme of production could also be monitored and controlled to sustain a competitive edge over other companies. Technological advances could also reduce the expenses on manual procedures. At the same time, the business process management is a concept map which does not exclude creativity. The task of the leaders is to encourage greater creativity and critical thinking for the employees to properly arrange their time. Finally, constant reporting and the use of online resources could create perfect conditions for improving the business processes and developing new insights in organizational management. It can also contribute to organizational culture as well as learning and development opportunities. Task management could also be limited to a certain algorithm of action, which would in turn ensure a systematic improvement of all the tasks within the business environment. Smaller work processes could be integrated into a broader and more meaningful system, which is the task of managers.

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