Because of COVID-19, digitalization and innovative working practices have soared to the top of the list. Organizations continued to implement business process management frameworks to improve their ability to respond to emerging challenges, fueled by escalating data and compliance requirements combined with the cloud’s power.
No matter how well-planned your business processes are, you must always leave some leeway for unforeseen events. Traditional business process management (BPM) is inadequate in these situations.
Poor processes and outdated I.T. infrastructure have been exposed, and people understand that it is time to rethink things and that changes are possible if there is a sense of urgency.
Almost every sector is blending Agile Development methodology and Business Process Management (BPM) into a hybrid – Agile BPM – to reap the benefits of both approaches.
Processes can only be as rapid as the people feeding those data. How can you ensure that enough data flows into your processes so that they can keep moving?
That’s where agile strategic planning enters the picture. This article will discuss agile business process management and why it is beneficial to use when the unexpected happens.
Let’s get deeper into the topic
What is Agile BPM?
Traditionally, business process management has been used to automate and manage structured processes that can be repeated over time. Agile methodology is well-known for its adaptable planning and creation process, bringing cross-functional teams together to generate solutions in iterations and increments. BPM also assists organizations in becoming more flexible and responsive to market demands by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of process workflow.
In contrast, processes are not always designed to respond in real-time. They are programmed to follow the pattern given to them, but they are not always responsive to immediate feedback.
Agile BPM provides automated structures for business processes, allowing the process to react in real-time to new data inputs. This is incredibly beneficial when you cannot predict future outcomes. BPM is examined by project managers in terms of inputs, processes, and outputs. The inputs are variable; they could include unexpected requests, broken tools, and late payments. Agile BPM allows for unexpected inputs and provides a framework for dealing with them.
In short, agile business process management can not only respond to data inputs in real time but can also liberate from the box of predictable and clearly defined processes that traditional processes are restricted to.
Example of Agile BPM
A Scrum, software development team hired to build a new website for a client’s business is an example of agile business process management. The client may change their mind and request a new set of features during the development stage. The Scrum development team will need to quickly adjust their processes, restructure their sprint plans, and possibly hire backend developers to handle the increased workload.
BPM VS Agile BPM
Agile BPM differs from other performance improvement methods and hybrids in providing much more than just flexibility. Traditional business process management caters to pre-planned and predictable situations, whereas Agile allows for more uncertainty.
Agile BPM is distinct in several ways, including:
1. Discovery Workshops – These events bring together the organization’s business and technology concerns and build on a mutual commitment to shared goals. Participants collaborate to identify and solve problems. Critical project elements such as roadmaps, timelines, documented solutions, and a list of next steps are among the outcomes of discovery workshops.
2. Multiple Iterations – Quality experts anticipate that early versions of an improved process will be rough and raw, but they also anticipate that early iterations will reveal flaws in the process that would otherwise go undetected. Agile BPM is intended to complete as many laps around the track as necessary by producing multiple versions of a process before crossing the finish line.
3. Managing Culture – Agile BPM brings business operations and the I.T. department together. These two organizations have very different cultures. Savvy quality professionals understand how to use agile BPM to maximize company benefit while avoiding alienating those involved in the process.
To respond to the rigidity of traditional BPM, agile BPM must have the following characteristics:
- Users can alter processes on the fly to respond to changing conditions, but the model remains constant.
- The ability to work in an unstructured environment
- Predictive analytics provides knowledge of the conditions under which those processes operate.
Why Agile BPM are Necessary?
Agile BPM serves as the framework for your processes. It sketches concrete methods that organizations can use to manage their business processes. A method is something like a Kanban board or table that you might use to implement agile BPM principles.
To make agile BPM work, team members must be able to handle unstructured or ad hoc work requests without completely abandoning or changing the work process.
The Agile method is extremely beneficial in assisting businesses in developing successful products. This is primarily due to agile emphasis on teamwork and the importance it places on customer satisfaction. Another reason Agile projects are so successful is the creation of project roadmaps and their continuous evolution in response to changing consumer needs.
Agile BPM is changing the business landscape in various ways as more organizations adopt it.
Reduce Organization silo
The first requirement for Agile BPM is that communication is seamless and transparent across all departments. Once this open communication pattern has been established and maintained, these departments can continue collaborating on various projects.
Organizations that use Agile BPM become top performers by allowing them to solve problems creatively and quickly adapt to new markets. They can stay ahead of the competition because of their adaptability.
Cut Down the Development Time
Agile BPM users respond quickly to changing market conditions. They can tackle more improvements and put them into action faster.
Rapid customer feedback
Customer feedback and incorporation are critical for a product’s success, but they are frequently overlooked. According to a survey, only 1% of all respondents believed that their feedback was taken into account and that the product ultimately met their expectations.
Project organization improvement
The Agile method develops an exceptional team working strategy, which results in a superior end product. The following Agile practices assist agile teams in improving their project’s organizational process:
- With each iteration, list all of the project’s functionalities.
- Using a variety of management tools to aid in task and time management
- Prioritizing each team member’s responsibilities
- Tasks are assigned to appropriate team members.
- After each iteration, all tasks are evaluated, and each iteration is evaluated.
- After evaluation, restructuring tasks and functionalities to improve the project process in the next iteration.
Making BPM More Agile
Organizational agility enables them to respond to changes and identify process improvements and innovation opportunities
Based on the framework and preliminary findings from our current research, we have compiled the points that are critical for anyone planning to integrate agility into BPM initiatives.
1. Recognize Your Processes to Be One of Several Alternatives
Business processes may be efficient, but there is always room for improvement, adjustment, or innovation. Agile BPM decision-makers allow for novelty, spontaneity, and experimentation. New trends or technologies can help to improve business processes, and business processes, in turn, can provide opportunities for automation or improvement.
2. Make Use of New Technologies and Real-time Data
New technologies have the potential to improve the management of business processes. Process mining and IoT demonstrate how new technologies enable the recording and replaying of activity patterns, which can then be used to make adjustments and improvements. As a result, it is critical to consider how such technologies can be integrated into existing processes. When used appropriately, such technologies can cast a whole new light on business process execution in the organization.
3. Allow For Flexible Process Change and Ongoing Decision Making
As important as technology is in agile BPM, agile process work primarily depends on people. Agile teams can deal with uncertainty and ambiguity. Decisions frequently lack clear rules, and even when things have been working for a long time, people must be willing to unlearn established ways of doing things to learn new ones. Organizations must adopt an appropriate corporate culture.
4. Never, Ever Stop Improving
Agile BPM is defined as remaining open, willing to change and experiment, and committed to incorporating new opportunities. Being agile essentially means that organizations are always on the move. It implies that business environment evolve, providing opportunities to improve and innovate business processes. Not all changes can be predicted because of today’s highly dynamic business environment.
To opt for agile methodology, you’ll need;
- Team ready to alter stuff on the spur of the moment: You must be able to change minor aspects of the process, such as assigning a new team member or breaking tasks down into smaller parts.
- A Versatile Attitude: Your team must accept the fact that processes may change — and that they have the authority to do so.
- A Solid Measurement Procedure: If your mechanisms are evolving, you should be able to determine whether or not the change was beneficial.
Agile BPM –Best Practices
Surprisingly, agile process management is no longer the exception. It is becoming more commonplace in businesses. This is especially true for businesses with dozens, if not hundreds, of processes.
On the other hand, Agile process management can be applied to business processes that meet the following criteria.
- Unpredictable nature of the process
- Processes that aren’t quick enough to adapt to your business needs
- Highly qualified personnel performing unnecessary repetitive tasks
How Can Agile BPM Help Project Managers?
Agile BPM will ensure that your business is much more open to unexpected changes and data inputs if you are using a rigid and inflexible process model. Here are some of the advantages you stand to gain as a business owner and office participant.
- Team members who are more focused on important tasks
- A more adaptable and capable approach to unexpected circumstances
- A more collaborative environment in which data flows easily between people
Agile BPM is an excellent way to free your organization from the rigidity and structure of traditional BPM and allow it to be more flexible. Furthermore, your team can pool their intellectual resources on the same problem rather than waiting for someone to complete a task before receiving it.
They are not going to wait to see who finishes what first. If a task needs to be completed, even if it is in another person’s queue, they can also open it up.
Companies that rely on efficient and effective processes that can be quickly adapted to changing market conditions should seriously consider Agile BPM training and certification.
Do you have any prior experience with Agile Business Processes in your line of work? Please let us know in the comments!