By Eric Dickmann

January 9, 2023

Business Process Management

Basic business processes are fundamental to the success of any organization, as they are the foundation upon which all business activities are built. Business Process Management (BPM) is a systematic approach to improving business processes that enables organizations to achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability. By identifying and addressing inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and redundancies in business processes, BPM can help organizations streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and increase revenue. In today's fast-paced business environment, where competition is fierce and customer expectations are high, the ability to manage and optimize business processes is critical for organizations to remain competitive and thrive in the long term.

All organizations have processes, whether formal or informal. A business process is a step-by-step approach to achieving a specific goal. Each team member plays a role in each step. Efficiency and effectiveness are key to a successful business. In this article, we will explore how to manage and regulate your company's business processes.

Why is Business Process Improvement Important?

Business process improvement is important for companies to become more efficient and profitable because it helps to identify and eliminate inefficiencies, redundancies, and waste in the business processes. By streamlining the processes, companies can reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. Business process improvement also helps to identify areas where automation or technology can be implemented to further improve efficiency and reduce errors. In addition, it promotes a culture of continuous improvement, where employees are encouraged to identify areas for improvement and suggest solutions. Ultimately, business process improvement can help companies to stay competitive in the market, adapt to changes, and achieve their business goals.

What is Business Process Management?

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to managing and improving the processes within an organization. BPM involves analyzing, designing, implementing, and monitoring business processes to optimize efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. BPM software is often used to automate and streamline processes, allowing for faster decision-making and better collaboration among employees. The goal of BPM is to create a culture of continuous improvement, where processes are regularly reviewed and refined to meet changing business needs and customer expectations. By implementing BPM, organizations can achieve greater transparency, accountability, and agility, leading to improved business performance and competitive advantage.

There are three categories of business processes:  

  • A primary process involves operations like production, marketing, and sales. These processes give direct value to the client through the delivery of products and services.
  • The secondary process does not give direct value to the customer. It is vital because it supports the primary process. It facilitates a smooth workflow in the business. Accounting, human resources, and technical support are some examples of a secondary process.
  • Lastly, a management process monitors and controls the activities of the business. Examples of these processes are internal communication, budgeting, and infrastructure.

Attributes of an ideal business process:

Before implementing your BPI or business process improvement, it is essential for you to recognize and take into consideration it’s essential attributes. KissFlow lists the 4 attributes of an ideal business process:

  • A business process is finite - Every business process methodology has a well-defined start and end point. It has a definite number of steps which every business should carefully follow and consider.
  • Business processes are repeatable - Even after implementation, the steps in the business process can be repeated when needed.
  • Each step in the business process improvement methodology improvement is essential - For the BPI to be truly effective, the business has to ensure the fulfillment of each step. Every step in the business process has a purpose and contributes value to the implementer. NO step was included just for the sake of it.
  • Business processes are flexible - There may be certain guidelines to a business process, but companies can model the business process to fit their business framework. When a particular step is not well-suited to the business, the step in the process can be revised and re-absorbed by the company without greatly affecting the implementers and the usual flow of business.

Business process categories

Documenting, tracking, and managing your processes allows you to:

  • Limit or entirely eliminate human error
  • Ensure that no shortcuts are taken
  • Have everyone performing their tasks correctly and reliably
  • Reduce the friction of tasks by ensuring everyone always knows what to do and how to do it
  • Reduce costs by improving on outdated or downright bad processes
  • Easily track the performance of your employees across their various tasks
  • Increase the accountability of your employees (both to motivate them and to see who is responsible for what)
  • Show managers, stakeholders, potential investors, or just your employees as a whole how your business is run, what goes into completing every task, and the due care taken to achieve the results you do.
Business Process Mapping Steps

Business Process Improvement in Marketing

Business process management (BPM) is essential for effective marketing because it helps to streamline and optimize the various marketing processes involved in creating and delivering products or services to customers. BPM involves mapping out a company's processes, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing strategies to increase efficiency and productivity. In marketing, this could include automating the lead generation process, improving the customer journey, or optimizing the sales funnel to increase conversions. By applying BPM principles to marketing, companies can better understand their customers' needs, improve communication and collaboration between different departments, and ultimately increase revenue and profitability. Additionally, BPM can help businesses adapt to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition.

Business process improvement can be implemented in a marketing organization to improve lead generation and efficiency by following these steps:

  1. Map out the Current Process: Start by identifying the current process for lead generation, including all the steps, stakeholders involved, and the tools used.
  2. Identify Bottlenecks: Analyze the current process to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas of improvement. This could include manual processes, duplication of effort, or outdated tools.
  3. Set Goals and Metrics: Establish clear goals and metrics for the process improvement initiative, such as increasing the number of leads generated, reducing the time required to generate leads, or improving conversion rates.
  4. Implement Changes: Based on the analysis and goals, implement changes to the process to address the identified bottlenecks and improve efficiency. This could include automating manual processes, upgrading tools, or changing the sequence of steps.
  5. Monitor and Measure: Continuously monitor and measure the new process to track progress and identify areas for further improvement. This could include tracking lead volume, lead quality, conversion rates, and time-to-lead metrics.
  6. Iterate and Optimize: Use the data and insights gathered from monitoring and measurement to iterate and optimize the process further. This could involve making additional changes to the process or adjusting goals and metrics based on actual results.

Overall, implementing business process improvement within a marketing organization requires a systematic approach that involves mapping out the current process, identifying bottlenecks, setting goals and metrics, implementing changes, monitoring and measuring progress, and iterating and optimizing over time.

Optimize Marketing with a Fractional CMO

A Fractional CMO can help a company optimize business process improvement by focusing on the strategies and objectives that will increase efficiency, reduce costs and maximize their return on investment in marketing. Through careful analysis of existing processes, they can develop new strategies to improve the effectiveness of campaigns. These may include developing customer segmentation methods, leveraging data-driven insights to create personalized content, testing different channels to maximize ROI, and measuring performance over time. They then monitor ongoing performance and adjust tactics as required to continue achieving better results.

Learn more about how a fractional CMO can help improve the effectiveness of your marketing.

How to Implement Business Process Improvement

As expectations change, demands to improve your business start to increase. New technologies offer opportunities for increased efficiencies and the need to counter competitive forces grows. Continual improvement within your organization therefore becomes important. One way to make sure your business stays competitive is to conduct regular business process improvements (BPI).

Business processes take many forms including: technology, product development, employee training, customer service, etc. They can be formal or informal and touch many company functions. Regardless of the process you are trying to improve, the procedure to improve business processes follows similar steps.

Map and Identify the Need for Change - The first is to identify the need for change. Conducting a process audit is one useful way to discover improvement opportunities. The audit will identify current issues or potential risks for your business. This audit report gives you an outline of areas to prioritize for business improvement. It's also important to review how each process affects your organization, resources, and key stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, partners, vendors, etc.).

Analyze Current Business Processes - To start, you need to analyze current processes and procedures. This way you can fully understand your processes from start to finish and create realistic improvement objectives. There are many tools to help in this process but regardless of the tool you choose for process mapping, operational surveys, cause/effect analysis, etc., you should consider the following questions:

  • What processes are broken?
  • What steps in the process are creating problems?
  • What steps require the most time to complete?
  • What steps cause the most delays?
  • Do specific steps utilize the most resource or result in the highest cost?
  • Do specific steps result in quality issues

Redesign, Create a Plan, and Obtain Buy-in - As you move forward, it's important to secure senior management commitment. This is possibly the single-most important factor in successfully implementing business process improvement. To gain acceptance, you need to clearly articulate the need for change and how it impacts the business. It's crucial that senior management understands the necessity for change to ensure they will support implementation of the recommendations. Business process improvement is time and resource intensive and to be successful, getting senior management support is a requirement. Finally, once your analysis is done and you have the buy-in of senior management, you need to develop your implementation plan. The plan should include what steps in the process are broken, why, and how they should be improved. It should also include any financial and resource implications. Answering how the process can be improved is a launching point to creating your improvement objectives.

Measure, Monitor and Optimize- It's equally important to measure and monitor the changes you implement. Make sure to set realistic and measurable objectives that align with your overall strategic goals. Take the time to tweak and optimize your processes as you start seeing data. You don't always get it right on the first pass so make sure you build in flexibility to incorporate feedback once you start getting real-world results.


A regular review and analysis of business processes is an important factor in making sure your organization is running efficiently and effectively. In business, things rarely stay static so it's important that processes are regularly reviewed and improved. When done correctly, the increases in efficiency and productivity can have a direct result on your bottom line.

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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