In business, process improvement is the systematic approach to achieving more efficient results within an organization. Essentially, this involves lowering production costs and speeding up turnover time by streamlining and automating various tasks, so that the desired outcome can be achieved with better utilization of resources.
This approach to improving business is not just about troubleshooting and guesswork. Instead, concrete steps are taken to define the organization’s goals, to define the organization’s customers and to align the business process to meet the defined goals.
In history, this approach to optimization has been seen as a reengineering process. Unfortunately, the term ‘reengineering’ was strongly associated with layoffs in the 1990’s, and continues to bear that stigma even today.
However, the optimization of a business process is more strongly associated with BPI (business process improvement) and BPM (business process management) software. These types of software have evolved over time, from tools that perform various tasks involving automation and integration, to entire software suites that deliver real-time analytics, process modeling and means for collaborative project efforts among other functions.
BPI and BPM software can be hosted within an organization’s IT infrastructure or provided as a service (SaaS). For example, Appian, a leader in Business Process Management Software, provides a SaaS BPM tool referred to as Cloud BPM.
Despite the radical evolution of the improvement process, the end goal of process improvement remains the same – the optimization of an organization’s business method. Today’s methods and tools serve simply to streamline this oft-immense and unwieldy process into one that requires only a few mouse clicks to monitor and improve.