What is Business Process Management: How to Organize a Business in 6 (Easy) Steps

“Want to learn how to organize a business? Easy! All you need is business process management!” Business, what now? 🤔

We know what you’re thinking–here we go again with the business jargon. But we’re not here to flaunt process terms and dip. 

Instead, we want to answer the age-old question: What is business process management? So you can standardize how your team works without:

👉 Blowing your budget on expensive consultants
👉 Opting for fancy schmancy software
👉 Miscommunicating and making mistakes
👉 Losing your team’s creative spirit

So, without further ado, let’s define business process management in simple terms and the 6 steps for implementing it in your organization! 

Check out the video or read through the recap below. 

What Is Business Process Management?

Business process management (BPM) includes developing steps to identify and improve a process.

A ton of legwork happens behind the scenes, especially in analyzing and monitoring new processes. Ultimately, the goal is to make your company so efficient that it runs like a well-oiled machine. ⚙️

A business process management framework typically involves a healthy balance of the following:

✅ Work culture
✅ Stakeholders input
✅ Technology and tools
✅ Best business practices 

While many confuse business process management with software or task management, it’s much more than that!

Think of it as an intentional strategy for achieving your ideal results. 📈 

What Are Some Business Process Management Examples?

Since we’ve answered your main question, let’s highlight a few examples where you may utilize BPM.

Imagine you want to update your employee onboarding process with automation. You can use business process management to assess the outdated steps and brainstorm ways to modernize them. After testing the waters, the results may reveal promising improvements, like:

✔ Fewer repetitive tasks for your team members
✔ A streamlined experience for your admin and new hires
✔ More focus on supporting new staff 

Besides onboarding, BPM can also benefit project managers. For example, if you want to focus more on leading your team with intention and less time on sending deadline reminders, you can review how things are going now and the changes you would like to see in the future.

From there, work through our business process management framework (which we’ll provide below 👇) to put down stepping stones toward your desired outcome. 

In this case, you may utilize features in your project management software, such as customized templates with assignees, dependencies, and automated reminders.

What Are the Five Phases of Business Process Management (BPM)?

  1. Design: This stage focuses on assessing the current state of your internal systems, aka your as-is. You may also check in with your team to discuss your aspirations for your business, aka your to-be
  2. Model: In this phase, you’ll define how to achieve your new process with a plan of action. Because how can you expect to reach your final destination without a roadmap? 🗺️
  3. Execute: Test your new process. If you want to extend a process to external users, like your customers, consider running a test trial with a smaller group first.
  4. Monitor: Determine your new process’ key performance indicators (KPIs) and review your data. What are the pros and cons? Are there any kinks you need to work out? 🔎
  5. Optimize: Use the data you retrieved to improve the new process. Doing so will help minimize trial and error.

There are plenty of sophisticated business process management frameworks out there. But in this post, we’ll show you a simple, step-by-step guide to help you implement it today! 

Ready to dig in? 

Step 1: Review What’s Not Working

Create a list to identify areas of improvement, aka the biggest fires in your business:

🔥 Frequent work mistakes
🔥 Confusion and miscommunication among the team
🔥 Wasted time 
🔥 Consistent bottlenecks and awkward workflows

Review your list and look for recurring patterns. Is there a common denominator? If so, make a note of what’s contributing to the issues.

As you reflect on the areas of improvement, explore the most costly mistakes.

📝 Note: The consequences may range from profits and reputation to energy, stress, and time.  

Circle the issues that affect your business the most and proceed to Step 2

Step 2: Capture the Status Quo 

With your list in mind, record the process where the costly mistake(s) typically occur.

Let’s say you have a trophy company, and your primary concern is printing the wrong names on them. You can use a paper to jot down the manufacturing process from start to finish:

Receive order form > Design trophy > Print name > Assemble > Client pick-up > Customer discovers an error 

It seems straightforward, but sometimes, business owners hit a wall because they overcomplicate this part. Our suggestion? Keep it simple! ✨ 

You don’t need fancy software or complex strategies to map out a process. Although, you can reference our workflows post and process maps article.

💡 Pro tip: Set a timer and document your entire process before it goes off. A general rule of thumb is 10 minutes per involved party. 

If you’re a perfectionist, don’t fret! You can revisit and refine your chart at a later date. For now, focus on getting the process out of your head. 

Step 3: Measure Areas in Your Business That You Hate

When creating an efficient process, numbers are your best friend because they reveal what’s working and what isn’t. In this case, quantify 1-2 metrics that frustrate you about your process.

For example, it may be the amount of client complaints or hours engaged in tedious tasks. We talk about key metrics in this post, but some examples of helpful measurements may include:

📈 Number of mistakes that occurred
📈 Number of customer support tickets
📈 Number of hours it takes to accomplish a task

In our field, we have a term called business process mining, which is similar to this step but with richer data sources, such as the number of tabs an employee has open during a work activity.

This observation level is intense for most small business owners, so we support our clients’ measuring process in other ways. 👇

📢 Program shoutout: In our signature program, ProcessDriven Foundations™, we help our clients set up a mistake monitoring system so they can track errors in real-time in their project management software. That’s right – no manual data entry in sight!      

Step 4: Gather Ideas and Apply Feedback From Your Team 

After creating a list of your issues, mapping out your process, and determining how you will measure changes to the problem, it’s time to explore the easiest way to solve it.  

More often than not, it’s as simple as making a small tweak to your process. For instance, in the trophy company example, quality assurance is the root of the problem, as customers find errors with their orders. 📦 

You can remedy the issue by adding extra steps to check for quality before a customer receives the final product.  

For example: 

Order form > Design > Proof > Review > Print > Assemble > Client pick-up > Happy camper 🏆

Have you ever overlooked small changes like this? If so, that’s okay! Rather than kicking yourself for not implementing it sooner, take this opportunity to modify your process. 🔨

If the issue is more complex, consider reaching out to people in your circle, like your employees, contractors, and mastermind groups. Although it may slow down your process, more brains = more valuable ideas. 🧠

Step 5: Prioritize Your Plan of Action

Your ideal future state is like the ❌ on a treasure map. You need to know where you’re going; otherwise, you’ll run in circles, and that’s not productive. 🙅‍♀️

If you have multiple areas you need to “fix,” prioritize the ideas from Step 4 that will make the most significant difference.

You can narrow your pool of ideas by using Layla’s ranking system, which is based on how impactful and easy an idea is to implement

🎬 Skip to timestamp (11:28) for a visual of the ranking chart.

For this exercise, you can use a whiteboard or a notebook:

✅ Draw a diagram with an x-axis and y-axis  
✅ Label the x-axis as impact and the y-axis as ease
✅ Then, place your ideas on the graph until everything is ranked

You’ll want to start with the ideas in the high-impact and high-ease zones.  

Step 6: Roll Your Sleeves Up and Take Action

After clarifying your priorities, turn off your decision-making brain and get to work. While you may feel the urge to attack all your process issues at once, we recommend working through each pain point one at a time.

An effective way to achieve your goal is to keep it small, impactful, and easy.

This approach is ideal, especially if you want to avoid burnout and unnecessary stress. Focus your energy and time on smaller, actionable steps that will reap rewards sooner. 🏆

It all comes down to establishing attainable goals that you can continue building on. Then, create a list of steps to help you reach your future state. 

💡 ProcessDriven tip: Celebrate satisfying payoffs as they come rather than upon completion. This allows you to acknowledge your progress, both big and small! 🎉  

Step 7: Rinse and Repeat Your Business Process Management Framework 

You’ve officially implemented the change. Yay! 🎉

Now what? Go back to Step 1 and repeat this process until you organize your business to a T and gain peace of mind.

Getting everything back on track can be overwhelming (trust us–we’ve been in your shoes!). However, this six-step strategy can provide direction as you update your business process.   

How to Organize a Business and Fix the Chaos

You asked a vital question: What is business process management? We delivered a simple definition with a roadmap to help you organize your business. Anyone can incorporate a business process management framework—yes, even you!

All you need is to ignite the fire and begin. But for many business owners, getting started can be the hardest part. Fortunately, we live and breathe process. 🤓 

If you’re struggling to piece your business systems together in a way that empowers you and your team, look no further than our signature program, ProcessDriven Foundations™

We teach a “from the bottom-up” approach to systemizing your business so you can finally ditch the confusion of digitizing your company. 

When you enroll, you’ll…

✅ Learn how to set up your digital workspace (in your PM tool of choice!)
✅ Have expert process support
✅ Receive guidance and feedback from your peers
✅ Gain access to events, live calls, customizable templates, actionable, bite-size lessons 

And so much more!

We’re opening our doors very soon, so sign up to join the waitlist today.

Thanks for tuning in, and enjoy the process!   

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ProcessDriven helps small teams turn chaos into process. The ProcessDriven Approach™️ combines software expertise with practical process-first strategies that have helped 1,600+ teams build a scalable foundation of business systems.