Basic Concepts: BPM for Startups

The first things that comes to mind when one thinks of business process management (or BPM, for those close enough) is: big, complicated, only for large companies, “it’s not for us yet”. Those are only a few of the thoughts that make BPM for startups a “difficult” theme to talk about. Let’s take a step back, however, and really think of it…is any of it really true?

Those perceptions aren’t by any chance true – all companies, independently of their size, should worry about managing their business processes in order to prioritize growth. Postponing BPM until the company is “big enough” may end up not giving the company the conditions it needs to get big enough in the first place.

Startups and small businesses that want to have any chance to actually grow up and thrive have to start by creating and managing their own business processes – by doing so, they make it possible to prioritize customer satisfaction and their own processes’ efficiency (crucial factors to growth).

First of all, before you can think of managing your business processes you have to grasp the actual concept of business process itself: any sequence of activities that happen repeatedly with the goal of achieving a set of objectives is a business process. Normally, a process involves a group of people contributing for the evolution of the task.

Any recurring activities in your company can be considered processes: Reimbursement requests, Purchase process, Task Management, Customer Helpdesk and so on.

Mapping a Process:

The first step for understanding how a process really works is mapping its steps. You could go the traditional way and draw a diagram of the actual workflow on actual paper or you could use a modern online workflow management tool such as…let’s say, Pipefy, that allows you, as the end user, to create your very own processes using one of our awesome process templates or create a brand new process from scratch.

Let’s assume you’ve decided to be bold and create a new process from scratch, everything starts with clicking on this button:

Then, give your brand new pipe a new name and…that’s it, it’s created, now the fun begins! Differently from traditional process mapping, when creating your process on Pipefy, it’ll be available for all your team members to access.

Also, you can create it with as much detail as you want, including instructions and help content for each of the fields and phases of your pipe, making absolutely sure no essential information will be left out and your process will be easily comprehended by all those involved in it.

Business Process Automation

Ok, once you’re done creating your process, let’s see how we can make it easier, faster and more effective. This is why automation exists, to use technology in your favor and automate your process stages that don’t demand “human” interaction.

When managing your processes on Pipefy, for example, you have a few different features that allow you to automate your process:

  • Email inbox – it allows you to create new cards on your process each time you get a new e-mail;
  • Email templates – allows you to send pre-written email templates manually or automatically from your processes phases.

These are only a few of the ways Pipefy allows you to automate your processes and make them easier to use and manage.

Business Process Analysis

We live in an information society so, “you are what you know” – for this reason, one of the most important part of BPM for startups (or any size of companies) is data analysis.

Let me simplify it, after going through the mapping and automating stages, it’ll be a lot easier for you to identify everything that’s going on in your process, how it’s going on and how you can improve it, let’s think of a few examples.

If you’re managing your sales pipeline on Pipefy, you’ll be able to manage its information using our reports and metrics and analyze how many leads are actually being converted into clients, the lead time of your process, etc.

You can also use our late and expired alerts to create deadlines for both the phases and the whole process allowing you to control the time it takes for each step to be processed as well as for the whole process.

The possibilities are almost endless, think of an aspect you’d like to analyze and just go with it. Once you have your process all written and ready to roll, it’s just a matter a time before you can optimize your operation.

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Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.