Every business looks to empower its teams to work collaboratively so that business can accomplish business goals faster and get quality outcomes. Business process management helps businesses work collaboratively while agile methodology brings iterative development into project management. Combining these two powerful project/process management methodologies boosts business productivity and operational efficiency.
Business Process Management at a Glance
As per Gartner, Business process management (BPM) is a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve, and optimize business processes. People, systems, and information are important components of a business process. BPM collaborates with these components to produce business outcomes that are aligned with the business strategy. BPM enables organizations to make more flexible and responsive decisions that are aligned to market fluctuations. The main aim of BPM is to make process workflows more efficient and effective. A solid, well-documented BPM helps businesses accomplish their business goals. The three common types of BPM are document-oriented BPM, human-oriented BPM, and integration-oriented BPM.
Document-oriented BPM is used for processes that are largely or entirely based on paper or digital documentation. Human-centric BPM focuses on processes that directly impact the workforce. Finally, integration-oriented BPM focuses on streamlining information flow between people, networks, and different software tools. Business processes are detailed plans that dictate how a given task needs to be initiated, approved, and completed. Businesses may use one of the 3 types of BPM or combine different types as per the requirements of the business.
Delving into Agile Methodology
Agile methodology is a project management technique that is characterized by building products in short work cycles. This methodology is sought after when rapid production and constant revision are required in the project. A project that is managed by agile methodology is broken into several phases, with each stage requiring continuous collaboration between stakeholders and continuous improvement. Since there would be several phases in the project, seamless collaboration both within the team and project stakeholders is extremely important. Once the work is begun, teams go through the planning, executing, and evaluating cycle several times.
The agile methodology follows an iterative and incremental approach to product development, allowing projects to be more adaptive and flexible to changes. Projects that follow this methodology are able to deliver drafts or product iterations more frequently. A common mistake is that people assume that Agile lacks planning and structure due to its emphasis on iterations. That’s not true! Agile is a disciplined project management approach that requires complete planning for each phase before execution. The focus is only on critical documentation in this methodology. Agile aims to create a workable product at the end of each phase.
Who can benefit from using Agile? Agile was first introduced way back in 2011, it was designed for software development project management. It enabled teams to quickly model solutions, adjust the scope as required, and incorporate feedback all through the project lifecycle. Now, Agile methodology is adopted by any team/project that handles –
- Fast-changing deliverables
- Projects that do not have clear scope or requirements at the beginning
- Teams that are steeped in customer-centric roles
- Projects that require prototypes before the final project outcome
- Projects that require rapid feedback from each stage/iteration
- Teams with several interdependent tasks that need to communicate frequently
What is Agile Business Process Management?
The future of the workplace is all about efficiency, scalability, and adaptability. In other words, businesses need to be more agile and responsive than ever. It takes not one but 2 powerful project management methodologies to make that happen. Business process management has been around for quite some time now, with clearly established benefits and applications. From documentation to the workforce to integration – BPM has left an indelible mark in process and project management. Likewise, Agile methodology has become the core component for organizations that are looking to function smoothly and efficiently in digital workspaces.
With each of these methodologies bringing a host of advantages and applications to the table, agile business process management is the next big thing in project/process management. Business process management we know is a way to automate and manage business processes that are structured and repeatable. Processes are a set of activities, inputs, and outputs that collaborate to achieve a particular role. Agility or agile methodology focuses on providing a quick response to a set of given circumstances. Agile BPM combines the best of the two worlds by providing automated managed structures that are agile in their response to real-time circumstances.
Agile BPM has the potential to be a game-changer for businesses mainly due to its focus on –
- Breaking down functional silos
- Accelerating development cycles
- Providing a competitive edge to businesses
Agile BPM is an efficient way to replace the rigidity and regularity of BPM with flexibility and agility. Using both these methodologies, businesses can expect to achieve more efficient processes that require much lesser development time.