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A process management system is a methodology typically used to plan, monitor, and manage a business process. The term process management is used to explain all the steps followed to gain a better understanding of client requirements, and determine the most cost-effective way to meet these needs. It is important to note that a process management system can be either a series of steps and tasks, or a computer software system. Regardless of the type of system, there are a series of specific tasks and steps that usually must be completed.
Each process management system typically involves six tasks, all of which must be completed in order. The first task is to define the process, understand the needs of the client, as well as the risks and challenges to the organization in meeting those needs. A clearly defined process usually is essential as the team of business analysts will return to this item continually during the length of the project.
Visualizing the ideal process is the next task. This process requires a clear understanding of the process, industry standards, government regulations and any other rules that govern the business process. In addition to understanding third-party requirements, the current structure of the organization, and any systems already in place also must be taken into consideration.
Metrics are the best way to develop a baseline of the current business process and determine how the application of a process management system will aid in business operations. Specifically, information on turnover rate, processing time, customer response time, and any delays or bottlenecks must be documented. These values will be referred to through the implementation of the process management system and should be used after any changes are implemented to evaluate the success of the process.
Internal controls are required in any process, and the current controls typically must be documented. When using a process management system, it is essential to include the development and implementation of internal controls into the system. These controls are required to manage access, provide audit trails, and to support the organization.
During the implementation of a process management system, there are two types of reports that are developed. Activity reports are provided at every stage and distributed to stakeholders and business process owners. The purpose of these reports is to keep everyone informed of the status of the project and to document all the information learned in the process. The second type of report is based on the transactions occurring, identified issues, turnover rates, and other values typically used to measure performance.
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