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The Solo Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Process Management

 

Business process management technology can provide a great return on investment, particularly for solo entrepreneurs. The resources of a solo run business are particularly valuable, since they are usually relied upon more heavily than in larger businesses, where there are more available people to handle the many tasks associated with running a business. Business process management systems can provide the kind of technology foundation that will support future business initiatives that can also foster growth.

1. Operational Efficiency

The following considerations suggest how business process management can provide better operational efficiency:

  • Automate manual data entry
  • Integrate work order and applications process
  • Manage variable defined processes
  • Accountable, traceable and auditable financial processes according to government mandates like Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA
  • Protection against contract liability and termination litigation

2. Evaluating Business Process Management Solutions

Finding the right business process management solutions involves determining the best solution that will address:

  • Reduce cost and improve work flow automation
  • Handle IT, Finance, HR, Marketing, Sales and other services

3. Integrate Work Flow and Automation

The best business process management solutions will integrate work flow along with automation, for the most effective system designed for a solo business person. To effectively manage and improve the business environment, the system should have the following components:

  • Ease of use with web interface for improving work flow
  • Ability to minimize data entry and eliminate confusion
  • Have an intuitive process with form creation, routing and tracking tools
  • Reduce manual request and approval process requirements
  • Be compatible with existing process infrastructure
  • Provide a fast return on investment of 3 months or less

4. Interoperability

The business process management solution for solo business people should include:

  • No need for special IT help or coding skills
  • An intuitive form creation device
  • Ease of use for process routing
  • The ability to access data from both desktop and mobile computer systems

5. Work Flow Portal

The work flow portal should integrate with the business process management solution and have the following attributes:

  • Web browser-based user work flow portal for task submission and completion
  • Easy web form submission
  • Simple work flow approval
  • Updates on status in real time for accuracy and tracking

The ideal business process management solution for small business and sole operators is designed for a limited budget and IT resources. Business process management should focus on the process and the user experience, as well as the type of data utilized to manage the system. Business process management vendors such as Lombardi/Siperian, Appian, and Polymita provide basic tools to define the necessary process variables.

The Forrester research firm highlighted process data management in its BPM Tech Radar report. The new category in the business process arena is designed to merge business and data process management to provide the most efficient version of office automation design. Forrester will further publish a body of research on the process data management challenge, with best practice advice for combining the data and management processes (which could be very beneficial for all businesses). The data will be designed to improve data management initiatives, presenting case studies detailing successful integration of business process and data management systems.

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