So just what is BPM or Business Process Management? It is a science of how business gets work done. In a nutshell, it is really how we examine, monitor, identify and manage workflow and process within an organization or business.
From AIIM, there are several steps in the BPM process:
Re-design and model
Although BPM is seen as a discipline, it is often associated with software systems or platforms (like K2 BPM Suite) that facilitate the above steps.
For more information on “What is BPM?”, below are some great links:
What will Business Process Management do for your organization?
Implementing a BPM solution requires quite a bit of effort from both business and IT resources. I think it is always wise to have some guiding principles/goals that become overarching for any project. Below are the primary goals/advantages of automating any process through the use of BPM tools:
Improve effectiveness – Just how will the implementation provide enhanced effectiveness of your workers. Will it increase success and ensure desired output? Does it provide the desired result?
Increase efficiency – Doing more with less is just the way of competitive business today. How do we make sure we are operating at max capacity, and being as efficient as possible? Ensuring that time and resources are used wisely is a core tenet of any BPM initiative.
Improve Productivity – Improving your organizations capability to produce high quality, sustainable services or products in a repeatable manner is essential to success. BPM can tune your processes and take productivity to new heights.
These three feed on each other, and are interdependent, and should be an overarching goal for the constant improvement a Business Process Management (BPM) framework can provide.
Ah, the age-old question (and misunderstanding): Just what is the difference between workflow and Business Process Management (BPM)? In tech circles, the terms are routinely used interchangeably, and often in error. So let’s have a go at it, and distinguish between the two.
Dictionary.com defines workflow as “the flow or amount of work to and from an office, department or employee.” In technical terms, it is an application that facilitates the interaction between people and/or systems. In essence, you can take any business “flow”, and from an application perspective, recreate it digitally. There are workflow applications that are standalone, and then there is workflow that can be embedded in an application that serves a specific purpose. Say an Account Payable approval embedded within an accounting system.
Business Process Management (BPM)
So, Business Process Management, or BPM, is an often misused term, and really encompasses a broad approach to the optimization of any business function or process. It is really the science of analyzing, building, refining and managing business at its core. From a technical perspective, workflow is a core component of any BPM suite of tools, but only one piece of the puzzle. Below is a fantastic image from Gartner, that shows all the core pieces of a BPM Platform.
I wanted this post to be a brief overview, if you want to go deeper on the difference, here are some great links: