How to make better coffee – try BPM

By Katherine Gray

If you Google BPM you will find that there are many definitions of BPM but one of the most straight forward, I have found, is by Paul Harmon of Business Process Trends, he defined BPM as a management discipline focused on improving corporate performance by managing a company’s business processes.

For example: Imagine you have walked into the local coffee shop, to get your morning coffee. You walk in, place your order and wait for your coffee. This sounds like a simple process right? Next time try looking at the whole process from beginning to end.

From the time you place your order till your receive your coffee, likely more than 20 processes have occurred. This might seem like a lot, but consider the steps it takes to:

  • take your order
  • make the coffee
  • serve you

It is clear that a number of processes need to take place.

The process of making the coffee or tea (2) could require the beans to be ground, the water boiled, running the water through the coffee, the addition of cream and sugar, etc. This could require even more steps if you ordered a speciality coffee that includes flavoured syrup and whipped cream.

Essentially BPM looks at process to see if there is anywhere they can be improved, look at all the steps and identify ones that could be combined, or removed to speed up delivery time, reduce waste and cost.

BPM is a holistic management approach that aims to align business processes with changing needs by continuously improving them.

Everything we do in our lives has a process associated with it such as starting the car, making breakfast and doing the dishes. In a business context BPM is no different; each business activity has a process or set of processes to support its execution.

BPM is the science of building, identifying and managing processes so they can be improved for maximum efficiency. BPM is solely concerned with continuously improving the way work gets done, in order to make the process more efficient, less costly and more productive for the organization.

BPM and the Round Tables

How does BPM fit into the round tables, you ask, well I will tell you.

Many tools and methodologies that are part of the BPM discipline are widely used during the Round Table processes. These tools include;

  • process mapping
  • process modeling
  • change management
  • performance measurement and analytics.

For example the Policy Round table is mapping the current processes used for the development and management of policy across the organization, to inform the ideal state and the gap between them.

Want to know more? Want or need help to utilize BPM in your area? Who should you call?

Well in the City of Guelph you would call Katherine Gray, Business Performance Specialist. That’s me. I can assist you in applying the science and methodologies of BPM to the processes in your area to support your continuous improvement journey.