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I love gummy bears.

Those chewy, gelatinous, innocent looking candies. I started writing this blog with a pack of gummies by my side, trying to churn out some thoughts on a very important and relevant topic in today’s IT world: BPM. I was wondering how to start; I mean there is so much to talk about, even when trying to just scratch the surface of BPM. That is when I thought, why not talk about gummy bears?
Okay okay, enough drivels. I beckon you, my dear reader, to imagine yourself as the CEO of a large enterprise, world’s largest manufacturers of..err..Gummy Bears? ( no no wait! this time I am serious). thus your “B”usiness is to produce candies.
Like any other business then, yours too, has a certain set of “P”rocesses. Imagine a rudimentary (far from reality) process of creating candies..
1) every morning, the inventory would dispatch some raw materials to the production units (sugar, gelatine, preservatives, food grade pigments, those stuff..)
2)production unit will mix, boil, cool, dice them nicely into colored ( and incredibly delicious) candies.
3) Is this batch going for domestic sales (packaging and labelling for domestic market) ?
or
for overseas market (labelling, language etc. Specific to the overseas market)?
4) send the batch to dispatch department, to be sent off to respective destination.
Think now, about what we just talked about.
At step 1, someone has to physically record the amount of materials dispatched, based on demands or target production for that day.
At step 2, someone is involved in doing the numbers for units produced, percentage of defective units produced and discarded, and to ensure that finished units are sent for packaging.
At step 3, a real time decision has to be taken and accordingly the packaging and labeling has to be done.
At step 4, someone has to keep track of the goods dispatched and transmit the same to the accounts department for invoicing etc.
In real life though, the processes are way more complex and interlinked. More often than not, the processes are not even sequential. There might be innumerable branching, looping, approvals, special approvals, splits and parallelism. To “M”anage such a “B”usiness “P”rocess is no easy job, I must warn you! It is a combination of observing, analyzing, benchmarking, optimizing, if required automating and monitoring the processes.

10 points for guessing, then, what BPM stands for…anyone?

We find out more in our next installment. Till then, happy learning!

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