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Thanksgiving provides model for BPM's potential

Ben Farrell
November 21, 2012

There is a good opportunity to think about business process management as many people around the United States prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to a recent EbizQ report, the way that many people prepare for the feast provides an object lesson in which the benefits of BPM become clear.

Talking BPM turkey

The news source explained that if Thanksgiving preparation is listed in a process-by-process approach, the result is a long list of things that need to get done. To begin, the person heading the event makes a list of all of the things that need to be done and when. This represents many individual processes like inviting guests and organizing shopping trips. From there, the leader has to make a thorough list of everything that needs to happen to get ready for the meal, every dish being served, all of the ingredients that have to be purchased, where they can be found for the right quality and price, who is going to get them, where they will be stored and when they will be cooked.

This is just the beginning. The report includes an exhaustive list of processes pertaining to Thanksgiving, pointing out that when the feast is written out as a series of processes{,} its full complexity becomes clear. Another thing that is obvious when Thanksgiving is considered on the process level is that many tedious manual tasks are always the same{,} and could be handled more efficiently.

Applying Thanksgiving process analysis to organizations

While the Thanksgiving-based BPM illustration does not represent a remotely realistic approach to actually using BPM, it does point out just how complex life can become, even when doing something that is often taken for granted. As businesses consider their day-to-day processes, it is important to look past the obvious and genuinely analyze operations from a fresh lens. BPM ideals emphasize meaningful process evaluation and encourage organizations to identify places where they can either simplify or automation, ensuring that workers are not replaced by software, but are freed to put the most effort into the most important things.

This method of analyzing processes and encouraging a more lean and agile approach can create significant revenue opportunities, even if it is only because it enables workers to get the job done more effectively. When combined with advanced BPM software solutions, the entire procedure can lead to significant profits.