Business Process Management: A Lean Approach

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Business Process Management (BPM) in concept covers a very broad range of activities, including:

  • Visioning - strategizing functions and processes
  • Defining - baselining the process or the process improvement
  • Modeling - simulating the change to the process
  • Analyzing - comparing the various simulations to determine an optimal improvement
  • Improving - selecting and implementing the improvement
  • Controlling - deploying the implementation and monitoring the improvements, feeding the results back into the simulation model in preparation for the next improvement iteration
  • Reengineering - revamping the processes from scratch for better results

Under the above concept, Business Process Improvement (BPI) becomes a subset of the BPM paradigm.

In practice, BPM more often centers on implementing process handling and business rules into the underlying IT applications. This is usually accomplished in three ways. The first is to modify existing applications to include process handling and business rules via an integrated event management structure. The second approach is to reengineer/redevelop/replace the applications with those that have an integrated event management and business rules engines in place. The third (and most common) approach is to acquire third-party software that can be “bolted on” to existing applications to …

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