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Business Process Analysis: The Key to Great Automation Projects

Organizations across industries are automating processes to make their operations more cost-effective, flexible, and productive. But the truth is, some are doing it better than others. We are big proponents that you should never automate a bad process, because when you automate a process that is not efficient, you amplify the inefficiency. 

Another trap that’s easy to fall into is to map out what you think the process is and then automate it. The real process that’s happening in your organization might differ from what it is supposed to be, and automating a version of that process that doesn’t fit with reality will cause unforeseen problems including missed steps or resistance from those involved. By working with the right subject matter experts and analyzing your existing data you can get a clearer picture. 

Through effective business process analysis you can steer clear of these pitfalls. But another common mistake is to get stuck in the analysis stage. We’ve seen many companies over the years run into this, and that’s why we recommend that you take a more agile approach. You should run the analysis, but you need to have a clear goal to automate the process, then learn from the data and user feedback it gives you. This information will tell you which further iterative improvements to make.


What is business process analysis?

Business process analysis is the practice of evaluating your business’s current processes and finding ways to improve how your organization works. For example, you could analyze your inventory management process to see if there are any bottlenecks, siloes, or inefficiencies preventing you from meeting orders on time and determine how to eliminate these using automation. By skipping this step you’re likely to be automating a bad process.

By analyzing the process you want to improve before introducing automation, you’ll be able to identify what the process needs and invest in the right solutions. This way, you’ll extract maximum value from your automation projects. 

 

What does business process analysis look like?

Process modeling

By creating a model of a business process, you’ll be able to see a clear visual representation of all steps involved. This model should be easily understood by technical and non-technical stakeholders and help you to communicate, plan, and execute automation projects. A visual diagram helps to drive a better conversation about the steps and business rules that should apply.

Process mining

You can think of process mining as an x-ray view into how your business is operating. Using a software application, you can monitor processes, analyze transactions, and capture performance insights. This step highlights any issues and lets you prioritize where to implement improvements. To see a step-by-step breakdown of process mining, check out our blog on it. 

Process simulation

Once you’ve redesigned a process to include automation and remove issues, you can run a process simulation. This will demonstrate the value of the improvements and shows you how efficient the new process would be. You’ll get the opportunity to show stakeholders how the process will work, and you can identify any opportunities to adjust before using resources to implement automation. 

Process automation

After turning a process into an automated application and running it live in your organization, you still have opportunities to analyze performance. The right process automation platform will provide performance reports, giving you additional opportunities to analyze the process and find ways to make improvements.

 

7 benefits of business process analysis  

1. More efficiency

By breaking down and thoroughly analyzing your business processes before introducing an automation solution, you’ll give it the best chance of having a positive impact from day one. You’ll also know that the process is truly optimized, leading to more efficient business processes, reduced running costs, and better customer service. We never recommend automation for its own sake, it's all about making the business better.

2. Satisfied employees

Nearly half of employees will quit their job because they’re unhappy or frustrated with workplace technology. Having streamlined, optimized processes in modern apps will create a happier, more productive workforce. And, by making their experiences smoother, you can also increase employee retention.

3. Better compliance

Taking the time to identify points in your processes that require compliance checks will enable you to build these checks into the automated workflow. Through this, those executing the process can be in no doubt of how to remain compliant with all regulations. Importantly, this reduces the risk of fines or reputational damage to your business. 
 
4. Deeper process understanding

Business process analysis gives you a clear picture of each step in your processes. For instance, by automating order management, you’ll be able to see each step of the order fulfillment journey and be able to identify any redundancies or inefficiencies causing delays and costing you money. This understanding will also aid in troubleshooting if anything were to go wrong with a supplier or an individual order.

5. Performance data

Are your processes performing as well as they should? Knowing that answer will help you determine how urgently automation is needed as well as the most appropriate way to implement it. From there, you’ll be able to prioritize resource allocation to address process inefficiencies in the most productive order to deliver the best results as quickly as possible.

6. Fewer bottlenecks

By breaking down your processes, you’ll be able to uncover where inefficiencies and bottlenecks occur, giving you the power to adjust and optimize. Fixing these efficiencies prior to automation will lead to a more cost-effective business and happier customers.

7. Business-wide standardization

Business process analysis is an opportunity to review how processes work across your entire organization. You can document the correct ways of working and use this to communicate processes to employees, ensuring that tasks are executed consistently across the business.

 

How to get started

The best way to perform comprehensive business process analysis is with a powerful automation platform. Bizagi’s platform provides leading businesses across the globe with everything they need to analyze their processes and bring value to their organization through automation. 

Get your copy of our platform overview to discover how you can automate processes and create low-code apps with Bizagi. 
 

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