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Business process management, or BPM, is an organized method for improving the procedures that businesses employ to complete tasks, provide customer service, and create value. A business process is an action or series of actions that support the achievement of an organization’s objectives, such as boosting revenue or diversifying the workforce. Business Process Management (BPM) employs several techniques to enhance a business process. These techniques include process analysis, modelling, implementation, monitoring, and ongoing improvement to ensure the process continues to produce desired business outputs and results.
Since organizational roles, policies, strategies, business objectives, and other components it covers are always changing, business process management (BPM) is a broad and, by definition, dynamic field. Agile, lean management, Six Sigma, and other optimization methodologies have all been supported by BPM over the years.
BPM software products were created to enable significant business change, as some organizations’ business processes were too big and complicated to handle without the help of automated tools. As AI, machine learning, and other so-called intelligent technologies have advanced, so too have these supporting BPM technologies, offering new avenues for workflow discovery, design, measurement, optimization, and automation. BPM’s traditional emphasis on back-end processes has changed with the growth of digital business to also encompass the optimization of customer and employee systems of interaction.
Additionally, business process management as a discipline might be perplexing. Depending on their size, corporate culture, level of technological expertise, maturity of their processes, and resources, organizations differ greatly in how they implement it. The application of BPM’s concepts and approaches can range from managing a single process, like adding a new client, to managing a significant corporate change that necessitates the creation of entirely new processes. An organization’s ability to recognize the benefits of process improvement is a major factor in the success of a business process management (BPM) program.
This thorough guide to business process management (BPM) describes what it is, its advantages, the difficulties it presents, and best practices for utilizing it to help businesses of all sizes get more out of their business processes. A summary of the newest BPM tools, case studies of business process automation and process improvement initiatives, and projections for the field’s future are all included.
Why is business process management important?
These commercial operations may involve hundreds or even thousands of tasks, together with the necessary approvals to finish them. They usually involve personnel, IT infrastructure, and other company equipment, but they can also involve business process outsourcing companies. These duties are broken down into defined, repeatable phases by a well-designed business process, which employees may follow to provide consistent outcomes. Repetitive procedures reduce the possibility of under- or over-allocation of resources by assisting companies in forecasting their resource requirements. Steps can be taken to identify bottlenecks and weak points that could lead to improvements in the business process.
A company can suffer from a badly designed or poorly managed business process that hinders efficiency and production. Furthermore, automating an inefficient process in its current state might exacerbate subpar performance and undermine corporate objectives.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, business process management (BPM) employs systematic approaches for identifying, modeling, optimizing, automating, and continually monitoring business processes. When implemented properly, business process management (BPM) reduces costs and increases efficiency in the delivery of goods and services while coordinating processes with organizational objectives. Process experts claim that another reason a business process management (BPM) approach to process improvement and automation is still relevant today is that it enables organizations to adjust to changing needs.
As mentioned, BPM is very broad. The following five phases are frequently mentioned by BPM professionals when defining a BPM project:
Business process reengineering, or BPR, is a sixth phase that some practitioners include to describe what happens when modifications to an existing process no longer yield the desired business results and necessitate radical reinvention, which typically involves a strong reliance on automation. There are several stages in other BPM lifecycle models for managing, automating, and analyzing business processes.
The BPM lifecycle may appear simple enough, but each step might take several months and requires careful planning. Usually, business processes involve several departments and systems. When an employee is onboarded, for instance, the HR department might work with the IT department to provide computer equipment and security credentials, the finance department to set up tax paperwork, the training program for on-the-job training, and so forth.
Additionally, several groups of people are usually involved in improving a business process, such as the following:
Owners of the business process; workers completing the task; IT specialists putting the BPM-enabling tools into practice; executives in charge of coordinating business processes with organizational objectives.
Furthermore, hundreds of papers can be produced during the discovery and analysis of preexisting workflows, the creation and testing of new models, and the optimization of a business process. If BPM is not properly handled, there is a great chance of failure.
Best practices have developed as BPM has evolved to support the complicated process improvement work that has to be done. Realizing that BPM is a business initiative rather than a technical project is the first task on the to-do list.
What are the benefits of business process management?
The two main reasons businesses use business process management (BPM) are to increase work quality and operational efficiency. BPM offers an organized method to managing company operations. An effective BPM program can reduce waste, reduce errors, save time, enhance compliance, boost agility, promote digital transformation, and ultimately assist in providing customers with better goods and services.
BPM is a useful management tool for the following additional reasons:
The emphasis of BPM on standardizing procedures lowers the possibility of human mistake.
Managers can get more information about the performance of their processes and locate bottlenecks with the use of embedded analytics.
Automation technologies boost productivity and free up staff members to concentrate on jobs that call for human judgment and intervention.
Employees will have more time to find more process improvements and automations for ongoing business process improvement thanks to all the aforementioned benefits.
Any corporate project that entails altering the status quo is fraught with difficulties. This is particularly true for BPM, as various roles, systems, and working methods are all involved in the intricate task of process improvement.
According to a technology writer covering technology-enabled business transformation, George Lawton, firms need to have a plan in place for dealing with any obstacles they may face in order to fully benefit from BPM.
The most typical causes of BPM failures are the following barriers:
Different categories of business process management
BPM is such a large field that it usually includes the use of multiple tools, hence some BPM professionals describe it in terms of the following categories:
System-centric. This kind of business process management (BPM) concentrates on workflows in business systems that are integrated into corporate applications and run largely without the need for human interaction. Two instances of automated procedures are found in enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems.
Human-centric. Human-handled processes might also be the focus of BPM. These procedures include those found in business systems that incorporate elements like warnings, notifications, and a well-designed user interface that are intended for human interaction.
Document-centric. This method focuses on paperwork, including contract layout, signing, and verification procedures. Business process management solutions frequently focus on one particular document-centric task, such document signing.
BPM examples and applications
Applications for BPM are utilized by numerous departments of a company. Here are some examples of how it’s applied to meet business goals:
Human resources. HR organizations can become more productive by using BPM software to streamline processes like timesheet reviews. Onboarding new personnel is another HR area where BPM can improve and speed up numerous parts of the process. The use of paper forms in an organization is reduced when HR tasks that are document-centric are automated.
Finance: Documentation from both system-centric and human-centric processes is received by finance departments in several formats. About the internal and external financial procedures of the organization, they get a lot of emails and paper forms. Finance departments can expedite the processing of employee travel requests by utilizing a BPM platform. Moreover, it might simplify the purchasing procedure.
Sales. Additionally, sales teams deal with a combination of system- and human-centric processes. BPM solutions have the ability to streamline activities related to the sales cycle by coordinating the exchange of invoices and quotes.
Different types of BPM technologies
The purpose of business process management software (BPMS) is to automate process improvement. BPMS, often known as BPM systems or suites, is a grouping of many technologies, which may include the following:
What is the future of business process management?
The discipline of business process management, or BPM, is not new; rather, it is a developing field that is being propelled by the dynamic nature of work and business in the twenty-first century. The COVID-19 epidemic, the near-universal use of digital technology, and the necessity for businesses to function in a digital marketplace have forced companies of all sizes to reevaluate the procedures they employ to achieve their objectives.
BPM and the technologies that support it have evolved to meet these new needs.
Business Process Management (BPM) is a dynamic and transformative approach that has become integral to the modern business landscape. It is not merely a set of tools or processes; it is a philosophy that seeks to optimize, streamline, and innovate the way organizations operate.