26th September, 2022
Understanding the processes that underpin your operations and how to manage them is a poorly kept secret to success – plus, it’s getting easier than ever to achieve.
From sole traders to multinational corporations, the importance of process management as an underlying foundation for good business management (and, in turn, steady and sustainable growth) can’t be understated.
Not to be confused with program management or process management in computing, Wikipedia defines process management for businesses as ‘the discipline in which people use various methods to discover, model, analyse, measure, improve, optimise and automate business processes’.
So, to truly understand process management, the business manager not only needs to understand which processes are being used, but how they’re being achieved.
That means gaining insight into the people involved, be they employees, contractors, suppliers or even customers, as well as understanding the technologies they use to facilitate your business processes.
Terms like ‘workflow’ and ‘business process’ are often used interchangeably, especially when discussing the software used to support them.
For example, you might find a sales team describe the work they do as a process that is documented by the customer relationship management (CRM) system, while at the same time the work that the marketing team does is described in terms of their workflows (perhaps working with both a CRM system and a content management system).
As businesses grow, their operations become more complex as more processes are added and employees join the organisation.
And as they specialise, whether it’s because of industry sector or business model, those processes become more unique to the business’s niche.
Still, the majority of all core workflows and processes fall into common categories, as detailed below.
This includes your sales and customer service, marketing and advertising activities – essentially everything involved with the transactional side of your business.
These processes cover supply management and tracking, as well as all your orders, inventory and creditor payment processes.
Think scheduling and rosters, time tracking and payroll – it’s all covered by people management.
Contractors, part-time staff, and management (right up to the executive suite) will all need to be considered when it comes to onboarding and training exercises, too.
Bringing it all together, cash flow management uses business intelligence and analytics in tandem with accounting and bookkeeping activities to create a view of your overall business health.
As a guiding layer, compliance activities exist for every facet of business operations.
Compliance requires a business to keep adequate documentation, to process tax obligations and maintain key certificates, licenses and contracts.
Slight differences in how work is defined and described can cause miscommunication in a complex business and could even cause structural and data ‘siloes’.
Until recently, growing businesses have had to cobble together any number of different solutions in order to deliver to their offering, often leading to growing pains when operations outgrew their current licenses and infrastructure.
Today, these challenges can be easily avoided.
That’s because modern business management technology can work to integrate many separate processes within a common platform, improving business connectivity and lowering the burden of business complexity in general.
Doing so enables a business to discover and deliver on sources of additional productivity based on faster, more accurate business intelligence.
Whether it’s reducing the number of errors creeping into sales data or making simple changes to lift employee engagement, integrating your core business processes in the one place makes it all possible.
In other words, a unified business management platform is the first step towards unleashing your workflows and unlocking future success.
If you work in a complex or scaling business, see the whole picture with this FREE download: ‘Building a connected business: Better connections, better workflows, better experiences for customers and employees’ from MYOB.