Like most of your peers, you seek ways to distinguish yourself in your organization. Your plate at work might be full, but you may feel invisible at times, stuck within a tier of employees with similar experience and education. For every employee in a process-driven organization, few things will help you shed this "invisibility cloak" faster than learning the discipline of business process management (BPM).
Be ready for a sea change in the pace of your work results, and prepare to become highly visible!
Why We Need BPM
The public now demands a rapid response to change, accustomed as they are to clicking another button if an option doesn't materialize. Steve Stanton of BPM software firm FCB Partners echoed this sentiment in a blog post: "Despite the risks, Big Change Fast will increasingly be the tool of process professionals as they deploy new technologies to delight their customers and fend off disrupters. Better sameness will be yesterday's news."
Nathaniel Palmer, a recognized thought leader in the business process management field, says that a company's investment in BPM confers the "critical advantages of having a framework for rapid turnaround...of being able to release, on a 30-day window, new process-driven applications."
Businesses are moving from designing processes that solve static problems to ones that have built-in assumptions of constant change. These must, by nature, be agile to respond to that change.
A More Agile You
Business process management practices aim to promote agile organizational responsiveness. However, they also generate more fluid role definitions for each operator. Your thinking is no longer confined to your functional unit. You become more customer-driven, along with everyone else involved in the initiative.
"In a process-oriented organization, people always wonder how their work affects that of others. Employees do not just execute one activity, but they contribute to the overall process and its deliverables."
- Mathias Kirchmer, in High Performance Through Process Excellence.
You attain a bird's-eye view of the organization because your work ties in with every function in the chain, "end-to-end". What could be better for achieving more visible and impactful results than acquiring a broader perspective?
Business Process Management is not a new field. You could argue that its ancestry dates back to the Industrial Revolution, with its focus on streamlining operations and automating labor. Over the following decades, TQM, ISO 9000, Lean and Six Sigma were adopted by manufacturing companies to tighten the bolts and plug the holes in increasingly complex, automated operations. Soon, retail, banking, healthcare and other service industries began to employ these methodologies as well.
When you get down to it, it's all about process. Over time, business ventures, provided they have a good product, a viable market and sufficient capital, will end up rising and falling based on the strength of their processes. Manage them well and you will thrive; manage them sloppily, and you will inevitably fail.
CEG's Business Process Management training was developed to help teams embrace and embody the language, the concepts, and the architecture of BPM, and to use it to respond to continually changing customer demands.
Today, BPM competes with LEAN Six Sigma and other methods-oriented initiatives in many companies because it represents a more holistic approach to process improvement.
A Bright Career Future
As robots and computers now increasingly take over routine jobs, employers will be looking to hire more"knowledge workers."
At its narrowest definition, "knowledge worker" (coined by Peter Drucker) describes "employees such as data analysts, product developers, planners, programmers and researchers who are engaged primarily in acquisition, analysis and manipulation of information as opposed to the production of goods and services." More broadly, it encompasses everyone whose primary role involves applying BPM intelligence to their everyday roles. This means you!
With "the production of goods and services" essentially delegated to digital entities, most professionals of the future will be managers or knowledge workers or both.
Software robots and their progeny will take "routine" out of your job description to an increasing degree. The more sophisticated your employer, the more you will be expected to be a true knowledge worker, an internal consultant who employs the BPM framework, project-by-project, to ensure your company is more process-driven. The better you do this, the better you do.
There is no end to process improvement, and therefore no dead end to a career that embraces business process management. Ironically, what pulls you into a collective mission of business process improvement is the very thing that will distinguish you as an individual contributor.