In order to organize and focus an organization’s efforts, and the people involved therein, business processes are developed. While the intention is to drive efficiency, issues of complexity and scale can creep in to derail their efforts. Even structured, disciplined organizations can get off track if they don’t adhere to the requirements they’ve built for their processes. To help maintain order, business process modeling and the ability to effectively build and manage parallel processes assists those tasked with managing processes. This results in more focused efforts, and acceleration toward target goals.
Time and Business Process Modeling
Time is a critical ingredient of a business process. It enables organizations to gain control over outcomes, while creating the ability to predict how later process stages will be impacted by earlier actions. This early notification leads to early intervention and response, which results in a more comprehensive view of business options, the players that can affect them, and how they can be executed. The capability to predict changes the entire nature of how we perform business tasks, and this is where Process Timeline becomes a defining element of Process Director, providing BP Logix customers with a particularly unique view into how BPM is handled.
BPM is often thought of as a linear function, but the reality is that any type of work is abstract. Most BPM vendors also tend to view processes through the lens of methodology, rather than for practical action and reaction. Process Director takes into consideration that processes, actions, and decisions are time-dependent, and that the amount of time needed to complete, route, authorize or do any number of actions for a given activity is dependent upon other activities in the process. Activities that may need to be adjusted as the process evolves.
Optimize with Parallel Processing
Effective timeline management provides advantages for organizations wanting to plan beyond just day-to-day operations. At any given time organizations must operate multiple processes to maintain continuous improvement and growth. The more valuable aspect of the timeline, therefore, is in the reliability of how it manages parallel processing; in other words, the most effective way to deliver better business outcomes is through the agility of multiple, disparate processes, all being managed through a realistic lens of timelines.
We created Process Timeline to enhance our customers’ abilities in measuring and predicting process execution times, and to do so for different stakeholders who need to manage different types of projects and processes. Process Director enables organizations to be flexible in modeling parallel processes, and to give non-technical users the controls to build and adapt these processes as their business goals change. Every step of the way is governed by three specific ways of thinking:
- What must complete before this step can begin?
- How long will this step take to complete?
- What processes do I have running in parallel?
Using Business Process Modeling to Deliver Value
The questions above help users apply elements of dependence, duration, and disparate-ness. Each activity will begin as soon as its prerequisites, if any, are complete. The result is a solution with many valuable features:
- Modeling is greatly simplified: project owners list each activity, estimate its duration, and then drag-and-drop it onto the activity or activities that must complete before it can begin.
- As many of the activities as possible will run at the same time, without the need to explicitly configure parallel behavior.
- The status of the process can be determined at a glance.
- At any point — even the moment the process is launched — the system can determine which activities, if any, may not complete by their due date.
- The system records actual versus predicted execution times each time the process is run, and adjusts its time estimates accordingly.
Organizations look to Process Timeline to help them deliver better results with more addressable solutions. The benefits from Process Timeline include:
- Faster time-to-value: The simplified model gives businesses the opportunity to go from discovery to full automation faster than was previously possible.
- Proactive response: The earliest possible notice of potential delays (and the resulting missed deadlines) — even for tasks that haven’t yet begun — means that your business can predict a future problem, adapt to changing circumstances, and succeed in overcoming those obstacles.
- Improved compliance: Every approval, every piece of data entered, and every step of every process is permanently stored by Process Director, and can be made available to internal or external auditors, regulators, or risk management personnel.
- Rapid changes: Business processes must respond rapidly to changing requirements. Process Director is configured through a simple, intuitive graphical interface, requiring no programming skills. As a result, Process Director makes it possible for your processes to change at the speed of your business.
When a business goal is addressed through a realistic application of governance and execution, the likelihood of success is significantly increased. When a reasonable timeline can help identify potential issues and predict outcomes, the organization can adapt and be flexible in how it handles the situation.