Starting a business is easy, but to achieve long-term success, you need a structured plan and process to take your business to the next level.
The business process forms the foundation of any business, be it online or retail. Without a structure, you won’t be able to find an objective or a target audience.
A successful business is a culmination of multiple processes interconnected to each other. All these processes must work seamlessly to deliver the desired output.
This is where business process design comes into play. Without a conclusive process design, your business will be navigating through the unknown, acquiring poor outputs.
Learn more about business process design, its benefits, and why it is needed to transform your business.
As the name suggests, a business process is a series of structured steps and tasks businesses undergo to reach the ultimate goal. The business process should have a specific objective/goal, and teams must be driven to achieve said goal.
Every major business has three types of business processes: Operational, Supporting, and Management. All these processes should work in unison to bring success to the team.
Business process management (BPM) is a business's strategic approach to streamlining its business processes. BPM manages these processes individually to ensure they align with each other to reach the ultimate goal.
Business process design is the activity of creating wireframes and workflows from scratch that lead to a successful business process. This is the planning phase, where you map out the possibilities, consider the resources, and plan how you will execute the process to achieve the required goal.
Generally, there are three phases of a business process design:
The analysis phase is where you determine the workflow required to carry out tasks like understanding the resources, their efficiencies, and operational processes like purchasing, sales, and production.
This phase also involves understanding the requirements and set goals. Once this is done, you move on to the modeling phase, where you decide the processes that align together – this will help segment your resources and train your workforce.
The third phase is implementation, where you put the model into action to achieve desired results.
Most businesses create vague process designs and start implementing them right away. You don’t have to take that approach – a process business design should be structured well if you want long-term success.
Let‘s consider the example of an email marketing campaign where the business has to send a newsletter announcing the launch of a new feature/product. These are the steps involved in this business process:
In this activity, not just one but multiple business processes were involved – the engineering team who built the product, the marketing team responsible for the email, and the support team responsible for guiding the customers.
This process will only be successful if all the departments work together, and it is possible only with a structured business process design.
You’ve learned what business process design is, now let's see the benefits it can bring to your business:
The first step in business process design is analysis. It exposes the inconsistencies in your existing process, lack of resources, risk factors, and difficulties in reaching the desired goals.
You can fix all these issues and set out to model your business process with successful process analysis.
The example we discussed in the previous section showed that all departments must work together to achieve a streamlined business process.
Without a proper process design, there will be inconsistencies and miscommunications between the teams. BPD ensures that all the teams understand the business goals and work together to achieve them.
For a business to stay on the top, its workforce must work toward its goals consistently. For that, they must know the end goal and steps required to reach it.
Business process design fills this gap by showing the team what should be done to stay consistent in their tasks.
Communication is crucial for business success. If your internal teams don’t communicate and collaborate, there will be discrepancies in your business process and delays in reaching the objective.
BPD ensures healthy communication and a consistent data flow between the teams.
You should not design your process based on vague and inconsistent data; having a standardized business process instead of guesswork is essential.
Strategic processes are simple to understand and remember, resulting in fewer errors, better efficiency and safety, and lower costs.
So, how do you actually do it? Let’s look at the sequential steps involved in business process design:
The first step involved in business process design is identifying the scope of the process and analyzing the environment.
As we said earlier, this process will reveal all your shortcomings and areas that need improvement. You can use this step to enhance all your resources and requirements.
If your business is new, you must start from scratch, from onboarding new customers to delivering the experience they need.
Remember, your business process must be connected and should not interfere simultaneously.
You must identify:
A clear-cut plan for these processes will make it easier.
Once you’ve identified the scope of your business process and the requirements, the next process is to set the responsibilities and assign them to your teams.
Make your team members accountable for specific business processes. This will give them more control and self-awareness, increasing the team's productivity.
You should also identify the core processes where the teams must collaborate to get the results. Assign the responsibilities to each team to make collaboration effective.
Mapping the business process is where you define the flow/order of the processes to execute them. This will show your team where the process starts and where it ends.
Process maps should be simple and straightforward without any entanglements. They can be in the form of a pipeline, flowchart, or infographic. Divide the process into plausible little tasks and actions to minimize workload and increase the team’s productivity.
Process maps will thus show your teams what needs to be done, so they can be prepared for it. A typical process map will include:
Multiple processes will be involved in your business, and you should create process maps for each to achieve better results.
You can create process maps using business process management software. When mapping, make sure you explain the tasks in simple words to make it easy for your workforce to comprehend.
Each process should be documented in detail so everyone in the organization can understand the requirements. This will make it easier for other departments to identify the tasks done by others, and internal teams will have transparency on what’s happening, increasing collaboration.
The documentation should be updated in specific intervals to prevent your workforce from working on inaccurate data, leading to inconsistencies and errors.
Testing is a crucial step in your business process design. Run mocks or prototypes of individual processes to see how they work. You can perform stress testing on your processes until they fail to determine vulnerable areas.
Design one or more business processes and run A/B tests to see which one performs better and move forward with that process.
Testing will expose the areas that need improvement, and you can make the necessary changes before implementing the process. One mistake that most businesses make is that they don’t test their processes enough and end up paying the price later.
Once you’ve tested the process and made changes to the design, it is time to implement it. While implementing, ensure your teams stick to your mapped workflow to avoid inconsistencies.
Check if your teams are collaborating to reach the objective. Your business process should be transparent to all the departments of your business if you want to achieve better results.
Once you’ve implemented the process, it doesn’t mean your work is done; you need to constantly monitor the performance for future enhancements.
Track your teams and business process to see how things are getting done. Use the right KPIs to understand how your design works out. If your teams find it hard to collaborate, you must go back to your drawing boards and streamline your design for better collaboration.
You shouldn’t plan the tracking and measurement after the process implementation; it must be planned before the process is implemented for effective measurement.
Business process design lays the groundwork for any business as it increases efficiency and productivity. Without a conclusive business process design, your teams will be lost and chase seemingly impossible objectives.
BPD removes the cloak and makes it easier for the workforce to view and understand what needs to be done and how it should be done.
BPD is not only for internal teams; businesses also believe it increases customer satisfaction. Companies can deliver services of consistent quality with a well-defined process design, which increases consumer satisfaction with your products.
Since most processes are repetitive tasks, a structured process design helps teams work consistently, increasing efficiency and productivity. 70% of businesses claim they create strategic process designs to save costs and increase productivity. This is why business process design is important for your business.
These two terms are commonly mistaken for the other due to their similarities. Both processes involve creating flowcharts and workflows and mapping the process.
But there is one major difference that sets them apart:
Business process design talks about the process as a whole, from identifying the scope and designing how the processes should move on to which processes should be interconnected.
On the contrary, business process mapping is a more targeted method; it involves mapping out each process in a business process design. The process is broken down into smaller tasks to make it easier for teams to complete it effectively.
Business process design shows organizations how to take a strategic approach toward achieving their goals. A business process will have multiple repetitive tasks that might overwhelm your workforce and hinder productivity. Automate these repetitive tasks using pre-built process templates and seamless integrations.
Platforms like Hubler can help you automate your business process. Hubler is a powerful, no-code, DIY platform that automatically lets you streamline and run business processes.
Hubler streamlines your business processes and does all of the heavy lifting. It makes business process management scalable and helps you take your business to the next level.