Business Process Management | The Process Consultant

The latest insights into business process discovery, business process documentation and improvement. Useful resources for the professionals and executive looking to expand their process education and knowledge. Covering the practical aspects of running process mapping efforts for businesses and organization of all sizes. Thought provoking, stimulating and quietly humorous. From The Process Consultant, Ian James.

A video explaining the value and pitfalls of process mapping
So, you are looking to improve your process. Great! Process mapping will help you with that. Check our guide & watch the step-by-step video to get started.
Sketch of figure looking at piles of paper process maps scattered around floor of office
Organizations, large and small, need appropriate and up-to-date business process documentation. Without it, all sorts of problems crop up.
Two running figures in a relay race handing a bation beween eachother
Successfully handling a business process handoff challenge can go a long way to improving department efficiency and success.
Video introducing concept of buyers journey part 4 of 4
This video, the last in the series is the crucial moment when a buyer approaches a vendor looking for details about a product and then getting bombarded with a heavy sales pitch at exactly the wrong moment.
Video introducing concept of buyers journey part 3 of 4
This video, third in the series of four, is about an often overlooked overlap in the buyer's journey and the sales process.
Video introducing the concept of a buyers journey part 2 of 4
Cold calling is a good example of the misalignment between the buyer's journey and the sales process in a lot of companies. This short video explains why.
Video the introducing concept of the buyers journey part 1 of 4
A video, first of a series of four, about getting the alignment between the buyer's journey and the sales process right to improve sales process efficiency.
thought bubble with words wait a minute
The majority of 'knowledge work' is not done by rote. Standard business process management will not work with unstructured processes
A group of seated business people with a large question mark covering their heads
Your process management questions may already have been answered by The Process Consulatant. Look here. If not... then send in your question.
Manager refuses to let six-sigma ninja into her office building
While I use some elements from the Six Sigma tool kit, I don't 'do' Six Sigma. Here is why
Sketch of martial arts perfomer being warned off approaching by office building
Six Sigma is not the answer to every process problem and gets more unsuitable the further away you get from manufacturing. 
A cartoon image showing a 5 stop signs
These 5 warning signs are telling you it may be time to improve your business processes.
Building festooned with banners saying each is the best or similar wording
When the sales process is not flowing smoothly as expected, consult with the sales team. They will have the best insight into where the roadblocks are.
A sketch of a ladder with rungs labeled awareness through sale
Here is a story on how I improved my sales processes and, chances are, you can too. Don't miss this crucial step in the sales funnel. 
As Benjamin Franklin might have said, failing to prepare for a process improvement initiative is preparing to fail.
A sketch showing a stick figure unable to tall the differnce prween a process diagram and a project gnatt chart
Is it a process or project and what is the difference between the two?
Sketch of man scratching head while asking question of a confused looking question mark
Knowing which process discovery questions to ask can ensure you get actionable and efficient answers.
A process diagram is a useful tool but this infographic shows you the seven things it won't tell you.
Sketch of hand passing batton to runner in relay race
Selecting the right productivity apps can make a huge difference to workflow. Trello, Asana and Podio are three of the best for process improvement
An sketch of a process diagram with an arrow pointing to things it does not show you


A process diagram is an essential part every process consultant's tool box but here are 7 problems that a process diagram will not show you.
There can be so many process exceptions, that they become the rule
Sometimes there are so many process exceptions that they become the rule rather than, well... the exception. Here are a few tips on handling them.
Text banner showing the title Classifying Different Processes Part 3
Classifying processes. Here we look at a type of process that is often most valuable - low frequency, low predictability processes.
Text banner showing the title Classifying Different Processes Part 2
Part 2 of Classifying Business Process Types looks at High Frequency - Low Predictability and High Predictability - Low Frequency processes
Sketch of banner showing series title
Different process types have different characteristics. Let’s look at how to classify processes to help you choose the right approach to improving them.
Man with folded arms and negative body language
Change is notoriously stressful. So stressful, it can cause your brilliant improvement to fail. The key to success lies in finding ways to reassure those who are threatened most by the change. Here are some simple steps to take to achieve this.
One red apple among many green ones
Use the same criteria to choose a process consultant that you would to hire a regular employee - competence, fit and cost.
Click to see video three of three about how successful that manage their processes differently
This video is the last in a series of three to look at what companies that are successful with process do differently from the rest of us. In this one, we will look at the requirement to build flexibility into process management.
Click to see a video about making process improvement sustainable in a company
Continuous Process Improvement depends on whether BPM is seen as a quick fix or an ongoing discipline
explainer style drawing summarizing video
This is the second video that looking at what those companies are doing that are successful with process improvement
Whiteboard video explaining why less than half of all process improvement initiatives are successful.
Planning process improvement will greatly increase your chances of success. Here are the steps to follow.
Sketch of stick figure on top of mountain with binoculars
Improving business process visibility is the first step to a more efficient workflow and a more effective team.
WW2 bomber on assembly line circa 1945
Kaizen process improvement is actually based on process methodology from the US.
Simple whiteboard video with stick figures explaining the concept of cycle time at a beginner level.
The best way to improve process cycle time is to ask the right questions to pinpoint areas for improvement.
A process diagram  that has a branches in many directions with a question mark in each one.
When considering a business process redesign it is necessary to identify and take unstructured business processes into consideration.
Book with title of Joy of Process
Books on BPM are not hard to find. Finding unstructured process management books is a bit harder. Here are two.
Whiteboard video with explaining the place of IT in business processes.
Business Process and IT - before spending a fortune on new IT consider if your business processes need improvement.
Headshot of Jim Sinur
Jim Sinur, an influential business process thinker.
Image of fijitsu

Creating Agile BPM


A comment on a piece by from Fujitsu concerning unstructured process and the Interstage Business Process Manager software application.
Simple whiteboard video with stick figures explaining the concept of process at a beginner level.
So, what is a business process? Every process has a start, an end and steps 'adding value' in between. This short video gives a concise and easily understood definition.
Software boxes and monitor with process diagrams
Most available business software for process management tends to focus on standard BPM and there very few options which handle unstructured processes.
Banner with words Origins Of Flexible Process Management
Flexible Process Management - tailored business process solutions improve team communication, save time and facilitate prioritization.
Group of men covered in mud struggling to cooperate.
Teamwork and process - communication, coordination and workflow of teams can be greatly enhanced by treating teamwork as a process.
Black and white image of manufacturing assembly line in 1950's
With the BPM industry beginning to recognize unstructured process, will we see any relevant software applications any time soon?
A toolbox marked structured and a toolbox with tools marked as structured
Given the importance of managing unstructured processes, there is a surprising dearth of support tools like software applications to help us do so.
toolbox marked process with various tools
Why do project management tools - even 'best of breed' ones like Basecamp, not work well for business process management?
woman using MacBook in front of people inside room
Email is an ancient technology but it will probably be with us for longer yet. It's Ok for handling excepts to a process, but all too often it is the default workflow tool for a lot of businesses. That's far from ideal but the best we have got for now.
Magnifying glass hovering over the word accountability with part of word enlarged
Unstructured tasks lack clarity but the key to accountability is visibility. Measurement is one thing is accountability another.
Three joggers representing FPM run past a chain gang of three convicts representing BPM


Flexible Process Management (FPM) is a way to manage highly unpredictble and variable processes. FPM is very different from traditional Business Process Management (BPM). Here are the key differences.