How to Perform a Business Process Analysis (+Benefits)


As your organization scales, you’ll notice your business processes growing exponentially across:

  • HR, recruitment, onboarding new hires, managing payroll, benefits, training and development
  • Finance and accounting processing, i.e., AP, AR, e-invoicing, auditing, etc.
  • Marketing and sales, including implementing a CRM, prospecting, market research, sales forecasting
  • Customer support, customer onboarding, digital adoption, warranty, and returns processing, etc.

As a result, there’s little thought given to clearly designing processes to ensure they can scale. New steps and tasks simply get tacked on top of others, and as long as the result is manageable, there’s no thought given to efficiency.

Very quickly, you end up with processes that include redundant steps, inefficiencies, and disorderly feedback loops that can lead to quality assurance issues, incessant delays, single-person dependencies (that become fantastic points of failure), and inconsistent as-you-like-it procedures for business-critical tasks.

That’s why analysis matters in business process management. It enables organizations to audit their day-to-day processes, determine whether they’re operating inefficiently, and eliminate any bottlenecks that might keep an organization from operating at peak capacity.

What Is Business Process Analysis?

Business process analysis refers to analyzing your internal processes to identify and eliminate redundant steps, remap workflows, find areas of friction, automate repetitive tasks, and find opportunities to complete your tasks more efficiently. A process analysis is critical for operational teams tasked with improving efficiencies across departments.

Benefits of Business Process Analysis

Analyzing your internal processes highlights opportunities to eliminate redundancies, automate repetitive tasks, define SOPs, and reduce human error by standardizing how tasks are completed.

1. More efficient and optimized business processes

Process analysis involves breaking down your internal workflows into bits to discover opportunities for business process optimization. In the process, you ask questions such as:

  • What’s the essence of this process? What problem does it solve, and how does it align with the rest of our organization’s big-picture goals? Does it even need to exist (any longer)?
  • Are there redundant steps in this workflow that can be eliminated without hurting productivity?
  • Can we merge any of the key steps of this workflow without losing functionality?
  • Are there any manual or repetitive tasks we can automate? Does every human touchpoint in this workflow add value that we can’t solve with an if-then sequence or process automation?

This discovery exercise examines each component of your business processes to understand if (and how) they’re still helpful to your organization’s changing needs, and whether they can be eliminated or merged with adjacent stages without losing effectiveness. 

2. Identify areas of friction and needs for improvement

Analyzing your business processes helps you pinpoint bottlenecks where issues are exacerbated, such as:

  • Approval delays—e.g., Why does AP take six weeks to approve invoices after they’re matched with POs?
  • Manual data entry and repetitive tasks—e.g., Why does accounting manually copy invoice details into our AP software when we could use OCR to do it faster and more accurately?
  • External factors—Our suppliers always raise prices during peak season. Why not restock two months in advance before demand increases?

Whether it’s an unreliable supplier causing delays, or quarterly privacy audits that make your operations grind to a halt, breaking your business processes into bits helps you identify user friction that you can prepare for or leapfrog completely to build a more agile organization and improve business process adoption.

3. Better process governance and reduced human error

Process governance simply means setting rules for creating and managing processes—it helps you lay down best practices administrators need to follow when designing new processes, as well as for the rest of your organization that’ll be involved in executing them.

That’s another place where process analysis comes in: that is, you break down your existing processes, identify and fix issues within them, and turn those new conventions into repeatable guidelines for the rest of your organization to adhere to to avoid human error. This will enable you to create business process standards that scale alongside your growing enterprise.

4. Defines standard operating procedures and process rules

Without documented standard operating procedures (SOPs), stakeholders always have to improvise on the fly and jump hoops to complete tasks like sourcing for contractors, paying suppliers, sending out a quote, onboarding new hires, responding to emergencies, etc. This approach leaves no residual guidance for employees who might try completing the same task down the line and are prone to errors.

As an alternative, business process analysis helps teams define whether they have scalable processes and then converts those undocumented, loosely-held best practices into reliable standard operating procedures and process documentation the rest of the organization can adopt.

5 Steps to Perform a Business Process Analysis

Depending on your organization’s size, your challenge might be to refine existing, step-by-step processes that have a few redundant steps here and there, while smaller companies (startups, cooperatives, etc.) who are starting to add more employees might need to start with documenting best practices shared via word-of-mouth that have never been documented.

Regardless of size, industry, or any other business factor, organizations can follow these foundational steps to performing a business process analysis:

1. Identify your processes and define their goals

The first step of performing a business process analysis is documenting your existing process, its steps, unspoken rules, etc. These business processes you might be looking to analyze include:

  • Employee onboarding.
  • HR workflows like time-off requests, expense management, performance reviews, and benefits enrollment.
  • Vendor onboarding and management.
  • Purchasing orders.
  • Sales processes and playbooks.
  • Technology adoption processes for new software tools.

If they’re documented and your organization just relies on best practices tips shared by Slack or word-of-mouth, here’s where you make a rough first draft of what your process should look like.


Above: In-app employee guidance created with the Whatfix Digital Adoption Platform

Whatfix’s DAP empowers organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guided flows, onboarding tasklists, pop-ups, tooltips, alerts, reminders, self-help wikis, and more to enable employees to use software better. Enable your employees to become proficient in new applications faster, create interactive process documentation, guide users through process changes, assist employees through infrequent tasks, and provide self-help performance support on your CRM, ERP, HCM, or any desktop, web, or mobile application.

2. Collect feedback and measure process performance

The next step is to engage the stakeholders who use these processes, to understand what works, what doesn’t, and what you need to change to make the processes in question more efficient.

  • Under what circumstances was this process designed? Has it changed significantly (or at all) since then?
  • How fast does this process run from start to finish? How does it compare to industry benchmarks (if any)?
  • Are there key performance indicators (KPIs) you think should be tracked for this process?
  • How do you think this process impacts customer or stakeholder satisfaction?
  • Does this process contribute to high workload or stress levels?
  • Have you gathered any insights or suggestions from customers that could improve the process?
  • How do customers perceive the process’s performance?

With a digital adoption platform like Whatfix, organizations can create in-app feedback surveys for customers and employees – allowing them to collect general NPS and sentiment data, as well as feedback on specific processes and related performance support materials.


3. Analyze your processes for areas of friction and bottlenecks

The analyze stage requires equal parts of experimenting and stakeholder interviews to identify changes you can make to reduce complexity, increase productivity, or ensure your end-users have a delightful experience engaging the process. 

Discovery questions that can help you include:

  • Are there any parts of this process that can be eliminated without reducing productivity or efficiency?
  • Can different stages of this process be merged to save time?
  • Did you receive adequate training and resources to perform your role in this process?
  • Is the process documentation straightforward to follow?
  • Have you considered using process documentation tools?
  • Are there any communication breakdowns or misunderstandings during the process?
  • What challenges do you face whenever you run this process? Which parts serve as a bottleneck you struggle to surmount?
  • Have you considered making any changes to this process’s workflow?

Modern organizations rely on enterprise software and digital workflows to meet demand, drive revenue, and optimize processes. To comprehensively analyze and optimize your business processes, you’ll need to incorporate product analytics into your enterprise software tools to identify areas of user friction, create optimal user paths and workflows, and optimize your digital processes that maximize efficiency and drive business outcomes.

Whatfix enables organizations to capture custom events and track user behavior with a codeless implementation analytics tool. This empowers CIOs and IT leaders to analyze user friction in processes and poorly adopted workflows, improve inefficient processes, map optimal user paths, and more.


4. Implement process improvements

Once you’ve uncovered redundant steps, areas of friction, and poorly designed flows in your business processes, it’s time to make improvements. First, conduct a business process mapping exercise to provide you with a visualization of the steps and flows of your processes.

Next, it’s time to make adjustments and implement improvements. Here are a few tips to help you make the required changes you’ve highlighted in your processes:

  • Switch to a different product or a more powerful version, if you realize your technology is the bottleneck
  • Consider leveraging business process management software to improve efficiency
  • Create a feedback mechanism so that users can rate or leave comments on your redesigned process going forward
  • Simplify unclear instructions with visual job aids (animations, images, how-to videos)
  • Eliminate redundancies—validate data with software (not manually), merge repetitive steps and parallel approval processes.
  • Educate employees and stakeholders on how your updated processes work, using guided product tours, interactive walkthroughs, internal wikis, and searchable documentation libraries.

Whatfix’s digital adoption platform enables CIOs, leaders, and IT teams with a no-code editor to create in-app guided experiences and self-help support, contextual to the specific tasks and workflows for different end-users.


With Whatfix, you can analyze processes, create optimal journeys, and engage users with contextual in-app experiences. 

Software clicks better with Whatfix's digital adoption platform

Enable your employees with in-app guidance, self-help support, process changes alerts, pop-ups for department announcements, and field validations to improve data accuracy.

5. Monitor the new process enhancements against previous benchmarks

The most direct way to determine whether your process enhancement efforts have aided your stakeholders in their quest for efficiency is to look at the numbers: how much faster and more efficiently does your updated process help them complete their routine tasks? 

With that data, you can benchmark against your pre-analysis performance to see if (and what) changed for the better.

Here are a few metrics and KPIs you should focus on:

  • Throughput: Refers to the number of tasks completed within a specific timeframe (minutes, hours, days, week, etc.)
  • Error rate: How many defects or errors does your new process produce per unit of work?
  • User satisfaction: Surveys and feedback scores can help you understand how your process improvements have influenced sentiment, within your organization, and from customers.
  • Cost per unit/transaction: How much does each cycle of the process cost?
  • Lead time: How long does it take to get a single task or deliverable from start to finish?

Most of these KPIs apply whether you’re improving your financial risk management, CSR, marketing, sales, or quality assurance processes.

Analyze, build, and deliver better business processes with Whatfix’s in-app guidance and analytics

In summary, you need insight into how your stakeholders engage with your business to optimize and make them more efficient.

Likewise, process mapping and analysis is just half the job done: you need to promote your new, improved processes, guide users through how they work, and resolve potential issues with self-help resources your employees and customers can access on-demand.

That’s where Whatfix comes in: Whatfix is a digital experience platform that helps enterprises design better processes.

“By 2025, 70% of organizations will use digital adoption platforms across the entire technology stack to overcome still insufficient application user experiences.”

Whether you’re trying to discover friction points in your processes, compare performance between different processes, or help users navigate updated processes, Whatfix can help you:

  • Learn how end-users interact with your applications and digital processes, down to their UI interactions, such as mouse clicks and hovers using Whatfix Analytics
  • Simplify adoption with guided walkthroughs that explain processes step-by-step 
  • Offer contextual support with UX hotspots and UI tooltips that expand when users interact with them
  • Put on-demand support within reach with embedded self-help widgets inside the applications your staff and customers already use
What Is Whatfix?
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guidance on any application that looks 100% native. With Whatfix, create interactive walkthroughs, product tours, task lists, smart tips, field validation, self-help wikis, hotspots, and more. Understand how users are engaging with your applications with advanced product analytics.
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Whatfix's digital adoption platform empowers your employees, customers, and end-users with in-app guidance, reinforcement learning, and contextual self-help support to find maximum value from software.

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