What Is Business Process Analysis

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: October 7, 2022

Business process analysis (BPA) is the methodology used to analyze business processes in order to improve them. It’s a systematic approach that can be used to understand how a business works, identify inefficiencies and potential improvements, and redesign processes to optimize them. Evaluating and understanding business processes is a critical step within a digital transformation project.

The goal of BPA is to make business processes more efficient. By understanding how a process works, and what factors contribute to its inefficiency, businesses can make changes to improve it. This can involve streamlining steps, automating tasks, or redesigning the process altogether.

BPA can be used for any type of business process, from simple ones like customer order fulfillment to complex ones like supply chain management. It can also be applied to processes that span multiple departments or business units.

When done correctly, BPA can lead to significant improvements in productivity and efficiency. It can also help businesses save money by reducing waste and eliminating errors. It also is a pivot component of any digital transformation.

If you’re looking to improve your business processes, BPA is a good place to start. It can help you identify areas that need improvement and find ways to streamline your processes.

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Why is it important to do business analysis?

Business analysis is important because it helps companies to improve their processes and to make better decisions. By understanding how a company works, business analysts can identify areas where improvements can be made. This can result in increased efficiency and effectiveness, which can save the company money and help it to compete more effectively.

Business analysis is also important because it helps companies to understand their customers better. By understanding the needs and wants of customers, companies can develop products and services that meet those needs. This can help to increase sales and to improve customer satisfaction.

This evaluation will help identify the requirements of a digital transformation and optimization opportunities for new software, hardware, and processes. It is the first step of digital transformation and should not be confused with a business process improvement (BPI) initiative, which seeks to make changes to existing processes.

What are some common business analysis techniques?

There are many different business analysis techniques, but some of the most common ones include process mapping, gap analysis, business process modeling, and data analysis.

Process mapping

Process mapping is a technique used to visualize and document a business process. It can be helpful in understanding how a process works and identifying areas where improvements can be made.

Gap analysis

Gap analysis is a technique used to identify the difference between where a company is currently and where it wants to be. It can be used to identify areas of improvement and to develop plans for how to close the gap.

Business Process Modeling

Business process modeling is a technique used to create a model of a business process. This can be helpful in understanding a process and in identifying potential improvements.

Data analysis

Data analysis is a technique used to examine data in order to identify trends or patterns. It can be used to understand how a process is working and to identify areas where changes could be made.

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How do you perform a business process analysis ?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the approach that you take will depend on the specific process that you are analyzing. However, there are some general steps that you can follow when performing a business process analysis:

1. Define the scope of the analysis.

When conducting a business process analysis, it is important to first define the scope of the project. This will involve determining who will be involved in the project, what needs to be done, and why each step is critical to the success of the project. By clearly defining the scope of the project, you will be able to ensure that everyone involved understands the goals and objectives of the project. This is also helpful if you are targeting one area of the business for improvement.

2. Identify the stakeholders who will be involved in the analysis.

Direct Supervisor/Superior

Stakeholders like your direct manager/supervisor can also have a lot riding on how productive their team members are—which means that communicating often with these individuals will be necessary to ensure a holistic view of the full process.

Senior executives

Keeping your executive team happy is a key part of ensuring that the project outcomes meet their expectations. Senior executives have high influence but limited bandwidth, so you should communicate regularly and consult with them when necessary to ensure satisfaction on both sides.

Frontlines Workforce

The frontlines workforce is the group of people who actually do the work that makes up the process being analyzed. They are an essential part of any business process analysis and their input should be considered when making decisions about changes to the process.

Experts

Engaging BPA experts will bring experience and insight to your project that can be invaluable in ensuring its success. These experts can provide guidance on best practices, tools, and techniques that can be used to improve the process being analyzed.

3. Collect data about the process.

The next step in business process analysis is data collection. This can be done through observations, interviews, and document analysis. The data collected should be used to understand the current state of the process.

Once the current state is understood, the next step is to model the process. This can be done using a variety of techniques, such as flow charts or UML diagrams. The goal of this step is to create a model that can be used to understand the process and identify potential improvements.

4. Create a model of the process.

A business process model is a graphic representation of all the processes under consideration. It shows how each step is initiated and completed, which teams are responsible for certain tasks along with any handoffs between them; it also displays rules set by management as well. This current state model will lay the foundation for the target operating model that is required for any digital transformation.

5. Analyze the data and identify areas for improvement.

Good data is like a compass that keeps you heading in the right direction. It’s also necessary for establishing baselines, benchmarks and goals so your organization can keep moving forward with its performance measurement system. After you’ve collected data, the next step is to analyze it. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement. Once you’ve identified these areas, you can create action plans to address them.

6. Make recommendations for how to improve the process.

In order to improve your business process, you may need to change existing systems and teams. Leverage the data discoveries you made to craft recommendations. Process experts can help advise on the options to make the current process more efficient or the software needed to enhance operations.

7. Implement the changes and monitor the results.

After you have implemented each of the previous steps, you will need to properly track how your implementations are performing. This process will often be an ongoing process of refinement and checking the health of the new processes. Efficiency is a journey, not a destination.

What are some common benefits of business process analysis?

There are many benefits that can be gained from performing business process analysis, but some of the most common ones include improved efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. Greater efficiency can be achieved by identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in a process. This can help to reduce costs and improve productivity.

Enhanced customer satisfaction can be achieved by understanding the needs and wants of customers and designing processes that meet those needs. This can help to increase sales and to build customer loyalty.

In conclusion, business process analysis is a technique that can be used to understand and improve business processes. It can be used to identify areas of improvement and to develop plans for how to make changes. There are many different solutions that can be used for business process analysis, but some of the most common ones include process mapping tools, data analysis tools, and business process modeling tools. There are many benefits that can be gained from performing business process analysis, but some of the most common ones include improved efficiency, improved effectiveness, and improved customer satisfaction.

If you have questions or would like to brainstorm on how you can implement your own Business Process Analysis, please feel free to contact me directly. I’m happy to offer my informal support as a sounding board @ ryan.glisan@thirdstage-consulting.com

I also highly recommend downloading our newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report. It provides valuable insights into how businesses are using technology to drive growth and efficiency.

Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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