As companies face greater pressure to increase the quality of products and services while reducing costs, the demand for business process management (BPM) is intensifying. Business process managers are in high demand because they can react quickly to rapidly changing market conditions and improve business processes by eliminating defects and enhancing quality while achieving and maintaining optimal levels of process performance.
In general, a business process manager evaluates, designs, executes, measures, monitors and controls business processes. Managers work to ensure that business process outcomes are in harmony with an organization’s strategic goals. They work collaboratively across all departments of the organization to help improve the management of a business process. They also tend to focus on the entire process from beginning to end, introducing innovation into the process that can impact results, enhance profitability and assist the organization to meet its business objectives and goals.
A business process manager should be able to identify and create a business process, which is a formalized set of tasks and activities that helps accomplish specific business objectives. They should also be able to discern between a business process and a series of steps captured on a flow chart. Because many organizations don’t have business processes in place to achieve their goals, the first responsibility of a business process manager might be to analyze the steps in question to determine if they consist of a simple series of activities or an actual business process.
Business process managers typically have a vision of the big picture. They understand that enhancing process effectiveness may not be a one-time endeavor, and that meaningful change typically requires continuous improvement. This holistic approach to process innovation also may require process managers who understand that changing one step in the process can impact other process activities.
Redesigning business processes typically involves more than just rearranging the steps on a flow chart. It can require the ability to change the hearts and minds of employees affected by the change. Evaluating, designing and controlling business processes alone would likely be incomplete if the employees who are impacted by it oppose and resist the change. Process managers engage employees to inspire and empower them to provide input into process change. They encourage employees to embrace the new process once it is implemented.
Generally, another quality of a process manager is tenacity. Consistently pursuing continued process innovation may require someone with exceptional determination, self-motivation and interpersonal skills. Promoting a new process innovation to achieve the cultural shift required to help the organization embrace a new innovation typically takes an individual with plenty of resolve.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the market for business process managers is projected to have a growing demand for their services as organizations seek ways to raise productivity, enhance efficiency and increase profitability. The BLS projected a 14% increase in jobs through 2024, faster than the national average for all other occupations.
The BLS indicated the 2016 median annual wage for this category was $81,330. The reported salary range and strong growth potential of this field may make it an extremely attractive and competitive profession for job seekers.
Today’s competitive global marketplace is creating a strong demand for those with the ability to innovate and optimize business processes. Individuals who understand processes, possess a holistic view, drive change and have the talent for innovation could be strong candidates to become business process managers.
*Prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research as salary potential and career opportunities may vary depending on location, experience, education, employer and other factors.