Is business process architecture just a picture? Can a visual representation really help increase your brand efficiency? I assure you that all your doubts about BPA will be resolved by the end of this article.
Identifying improvement opportunities, and managing risks is an important feature of an effective process architecture. It provides the blueprint of business rules and fulfils digitization requirements of the organization.
In the world of full of disruptions through digitization and innovation, the only way an organization can align is strategizing every step properly. BPA helps to restore organization’s vision, strategy, business goals and execution processes.
Business Process Architecture explains how an organization, create, accumulate and deliver values to its stakeholders. The visual, hierarchical model explains, ‘Where?’, ‘Why?’, and, ’How?’ an organization must focus on.
Let us first understand what BPA actually is!
Creating BPA is not a one-time step, it needs to be changed frequently over time. So, is BPA a buzzkill? Is it worth all the time and focus?
Well, yes! In spite of all the time and efforts required, it is important. Don’t just trust me read its benefits mentioned below and you will know by yourself.
Other Benefits: —
The flowchart is created in chronological order and sorting and categorising the processes. It helps us understand the amount of flexibility of the project. What are the boundaries? How much amends can be made?
This in turn, helps in quicker scale assessment of the number of processes it will affect. It clarifies scope reference points to bring stable decisions.
Projects are judged on both cost and efforts. The main function of process architecture is identifying the extent of effect it will have on the processes.
And this insight helps project portfolio managers and decision-makers to easily identify impacts of a project on the people, activity, and technology.
When all the critical information is laid out in well-structured way then, it is very easy to design projects accordingly. It provides a valuable contribution to design framework.
An efficient process architecture is the one which includes all the performance-related assessment of the processes. This data helps in analysing what processes will deliver more if the changes are applied.
Process architecture is best for project proposals. It makes visualization easier and loopholes are identified faster. Potential duplications and conflicts that may arise in future can be predicted. It gives the complete insight on the cost-effectiveness as well.
These features are useful to prioritize the projects and for portfolio analysis.
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Business Process Architecture Design Models.
Why am I explaining to you the design models? It is important to understand the business process architecture model approach. If it is not planned correctly or appropriately, it will certainly impact business and its stability within the organization.
You can compare this scenario with a situation where you would like to build a house but without an architecture. So, end of the day, it will be extremely difficult to build a stabilizing the structure as well as you will never know how much is built and how good it is!
There are various approaches available to design business process architecture. Let us understand how to create a business process architecture model? Here is a brief description about a few of the architecture design models:
In the Goal-Based Approach, the business architecture is designed to establish essentials of business goals and relationships between business goals. This approach identifies all critical business processes which are essential to achieve business goals.
In this approach, business goals are mapped with the critical business process Key Process Indicators (KPIs) and further assigned KPIs within the business processes.
This approach gives an advantage as it helps to find the critical business processes over the other available in the organization. Hoshin Kanri X Matrix is one of the good tools to plan and design a goal-based approach.
There are various industry-specific as well as management-related reference models are available. Some of these are APQC process frameworks for specific industries, Malcolm Baldridge Industry-specific Frameworks (like Healthcare, Education, etc), European Framework for Quality Management System (EFQM), or standards like ISO 27001 for Information Security, etc.
These reference models can be re-used and adapted by the organization, as per their requirement to design their business process architecture.
Many reference-models based approaches are organized functionally. The major benefit of reference model-based approaches is that much time can be saved by starting from an existing model.
A customer journey map explains how business values are experienced by customers. It connects all the phases starting from customer awareness to customer post-sales service. All these phases are supported by internal business processes.
Each process is owned by process owners who measure the process performance as per the process KPI’s. This approach helps the organization to identify those critical business processes which interact with the customers.
This enables an organization to analyse and evaluate the “touchpoints” which are served by business processes and require immediate attention. Along with internal business processes, people and technologies are mapped within the business architecture to find the “Value” to the customer.
A function-based approach is a hierarchy of functions that represents the decomposition of business functions into more detailed business functions. These business functions are also known as business capabilities. For ex: “Production”, or “Procurement” are two of the business functions aka capabilities.
This approach is comparatively simpler as an organization understands its capabilities. It helps to identify “What” are the capabilities of an organization and map it with the business processes. For Ex: a Production Function can be decomposed into Production Planning, Material Planning and Receipt of Goods, Production Execution, Finished Goods Delivery.
Similarly, Production Planning can be further decomposed into Order Creation, Block Raw Material, Plan Batch Size, etc.
The advantage of this approach is to find the End-to-End value chain associated with a function and assign a process owner along with the process measurement system.
Risks and Compliance are two of the critical areas which every organization is more concerned about. Most of the industries are completely driven as per industry specific compliances. For ex: Healthcare, Aviation, Insurance, etc.
Organizations in all these industries, most of the time, have to keep compliances as much more critical objectives over revenue as they can afford with a marginal decline in revenue % but cannot afford any noncompliance issues.
In most of the organizations, there is a risk and governance committee that constantly looks for any risk or compliance change. Once they identify any need, they need to immediately need to do an impact/change assessment to find how it would impact the business.
Organize business architecture to keep risks and compliance in the centre helps an organization to keep track of all those business processes which require comparatively frequent reviews.
There are few more models to design a business architecture like Object-Based Approach, Action-Based Approach, etc.
Business process management gives the framework, understanding, and system of measurement. While business process architecture is the way of strategizing and building goals and visions of the business.
Know more about business process management.
Can we align Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Architecture (BPA) together?
Incorporating business process management (BPM) and business process architecture (BPA) together is definitely the way forward. It can be rightly said that BPA is the one of the cores of BPM. BPA allows you to manage your processes much more efficiently.
For BPM to work effectively, it needs appropriate and structured methodologies. Business process architecture model provides that structure.
Business Process Architecture (BPA) Examples.
Let us try to understand business process architecture examples in simpler words. With this you will know how the business process architecture framework actually works.
Here is a simple example of hierarchy of authority in a university. This is perfect to explain business process architecture levels.
If you observe the pictorial representation carefully, you will notice that along with the hierarchy, each everyone’s individual roles are laid perfectly. This is how easy it makes the process of analysis of change within the system.
Now, for instance, if any changes are made in the tailor program it will only affect those which lie in that category. In this case, it is the ongoing research graduates and the faculty involved. These changes won’t affect those in the ‘support the university’ category.
Another example is of medical college. From this, we can take another insight that BPA also promotes the core values of the whole system.
In this scenario, the values are: ‘care for patients’, ‘develop healthcare professionals’, ’create & apply knowledge’ and ‘develop wellness awareness’. If you notice, then you’ll see even these values are arranged chronologically. So, the one on the top is of the most importance.
I tried to cover all about business process architecture in this article. If you still have any queries regarding it, then please let us know.
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Problems We Solve: –
If you relate to any of the above problems, then it’s time you build your own business process architecture model. Let Q3Edge do the job, while you get ready to conquer.
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