Business Process Best Practice

Business Process Tangles can be kept at bay by ensuring that the following best practices are applied:

Common Business Language

It always surprises me how few organisations have a common business language.   Without it, there are multiple definitions and terms used for the same activities,  processes or products. This leads to duplication and re-creation when the term used to describe for a description is unknown to the person searching,   and that person then creates a new definition.

A common classification scheme for business processes is essential.   The best foundation for this is the  APQC Process Classification Framework  which defines a process taxonomy in the standard terms. This means that common terms are used to describe processes and activities within one same company and in different industries.   This common language provides a foundation for best practice benchmarking.   To learn more, I recommend this white paper The Power of a Common Business Language.

Business Process Modelling Standards

BPMN  process modelling tools are freely available but they can be used to produce over complex and unusable process maps unless modelling standards and guidelines are in place.   I have seen a BPMN map with over 100 symbols on it.   This took a lot of time to create but was totally unusable.

If you’re using BPMN,  use a restricted symbol set.    The guidance provided by Bruce Silvers book BPMN Method and Style should be followed.

Documented Management System

Despite some criticism of the ISO9001 standard for quality management systems (currently at version ISO9001:2015), it’s really a simple and effective approach to ensuring that everyone in an organisation knows what to do, when and how.  It goes wrong when people implement it just to get a certificate and work with a compliant external auditor who won’t challenge how things are done.

Basically the standard is as shown below.  If you would like to know more about how to use ISO9001 effectively, then please contact me.