In this article, we take a brief look at Business Process Management (BPM), how it works, and how it can add value.
What Is Business Process Management (BPM)?
BPM is also referred to as business process improvement (BPI), business process re-engineering, continual improvement process (CIP), and process improvement. BPM is the ongoing, continuous practice or discipline of improving and controlling the processes of the business using analysis and modelling.
There are different types of BPM including document-centric (built-around a core, particular document), human-centric BPM (humans decide what happens after each step in the process), and Integration-centric BPM (based around the integration of different software systems).
The goals of BPM should be to keep improving business processes to keep them in alignment with the goals of the business as the business and the business environment evolve. This will help to:
- Enable strategic clarity.
- Keep alignment of the firm’s resources and help executives to determine how to deploy, monitor, and measure those resources.
- Increase discipline in daily operations.
- Remove bottlenecks.
- Align business functions with customer needs, thereby improving marketing.
- Reduce costs and minimise errors and risk.
BPM and RPA
Whereas Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools let companies configure software bots to capture and interpret applications and are a way to help automate monotonous, routine, and time-consuming tasks, BPM is the overall holistic approach to optimising and automating business processes. RPA is another tool that can be used as part of a company’s BPM strategy and, therefore, BPM and RPA could be thought of as being complementary.
How To Apply BPM
BPM should be based around outcomes and the process is based around 5 steps of the BPM lifecycle which are:
1. Design. This involves a review of current business rules and arriving at desired outcomes by taking account of the views of key stakeholders and management.
BPM tools, such as BPM software enable businesses and organisations to use a proven, systematic approach to managing and optimising their business processes. Well-designed BPM software can also help IT specialists to construct business workflows and connect different systems.
Popular BPM Software Tools
Examples of popular BPM software include:
Kissflow – A platform to optimise, manage, and track all company work.
Nintex – The Nintex Process Platform enables standardising of workflows and automation of business processes.
Processmake – Low-Code BPM Software.
Busagi – Enterprise software for Business Process Automation on a low-code development platform.
Monday.com – Enterprise BPM platform.
Process Bliss – BPM software with a drag & drop process flowchart builder.
Other examples include Wrike, Forecast.app, Quixy, Orchestly, Process Street, ProWorkflow, Studio Creatio (free), Trisotech, IBM Blueworks Live, iGrafx, K2 Platform, Kintone (good for non-proftit organisations), Novacura, OnBase by Hyland, Pipefy, and Zoho Creator.
Real examples of how BPM has been used (from Kissflow and Nintex) include:
- Softbank Telecom using BPM software to create apps to enable authorities to quickly approve requests on their mobile phones, thereby improving upon the old, slow, and disjointed process of using spreadsheets and email for all processes.
- Davenport University (in the US) using BPM to automate the three processes of student course requisitions, academic scheduling, and transport coordination, thereby improving cross-departmental coordination, and operating more efficiently than the old processes which were reliant upon paper and manual intervention.
- New Belgium Brewing Co. using BPM to help it comply with new legislation by standardising and automating how it handled privacy requests from its California customers, thereby freeing up staff time to concentrate on brewing beer.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Using BPM (software and tools) can provide businesses with a systematic approach to managing and optimising their business processes which essentially helps businesses to be more efficient, work smarter, save costs, reduce risk and errors, become better at what they do, and eliminate many of the problems and bottlenecks that may have been preventing them reaching their goals and unlocking their true potential. Investing in BMP can deliver real benefits, add value, and improve competitiveness while giving managers more fuel to make better decisions.
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