Business process management (BPM) is a structured approach to improving the processes that organizations use to accomplish their work, serve their customers, and generate business value. A business process is an activity or set of activities that helps meet an organization’s goals, such as increasing profits or promoting workforce diversity. BPM uses various methods to improve a business process by analyzing it, modeling how it works in different scenarios, implementing changes, monitoring the new process and continuously improving its ability to generate the results that companies want.
Business process management is a broad discipline and, by definition, a dynamic one, given how the organizational roles, rules, tactics, business objectives and other elements it encompasses are constantly changing. Over the years, BPM has housed a variety of optimization methodologies, from Six Sigma and Lean Management .
As some companies’ business processes became too large and complex to manage without the help of automated tools, BPM software products were developed to support large-scale business change. These BPM technologies have in turn evolved, driven by advances in AI , machine learning, and other so-called intelligent technologies that provide new ways to discover, design, measure, improve, and automate workflows. With the rise of digital business, the traditional focus for business process management on back-end processes has shifted to now include optimizing customer and employee engagement systems.
If this topic piqued your interest, then you may also want to learn more about what business process automation is all about .
What are the different types of business process management?
This type of business process management system manages processes that primarily flow between your existing systems (eg HRMS, CRM , ERP) without much human involvement. Integration-centric business process management systems have extensive connectors and API access to be able to create fast-moving processes.
Bonus: Learn what an ERP is and why it’s useful for a business.
Human-centered business process management is for those processes that are primarily executed by humans. They often have a lot of approvals and tasks performed by people. These platforms excel at a friendly user interface, easy notifications and fast tracking.
These business process management solutions are needed when a document (for example, a contract or agreement) is at the heart of the process. They allow document routing, formatting, verification and signing as tasks move through the workflow.
Most business process management systems will be able to incorporate elements of each of these, but each will usually have a specialty.
Examples of business process management
HR (Human Resources)
Ever feel like your organization’s onboarding process is too complex and chaotic? Is your HR department asking candidates to fill out paper forms that are inconvenient? This is because your HR department lacks business process management (BPM). Applying BPM helps you automate your HR processes end-to-end, thereby reducing costs, time and paper forms. Here are some examples of how business process management can help your HR department improve its processes: Approve employee time sheets faster, and new employees will sign papers much more easily without hassle.
In most organizations, the sales team spends a significant amount of time coordinating with the Accounts Receivable (AR) team to get sales invoices approved. Even a small typo in invoices can be extremely important. This is where business process management comes in, as it automates the invoice approval process, thereby eliminating the chances of manual errors and back-and-forth clarifications between salespeople and the AR team. Here are some scenarios in the sales department where business process management can help them streamline their processes: shorten sales cycle workflows and keep you up to date with quotes and invoices.
A finance team is bombarded with paper forms and emails every day because anything involving money has to go through this department. For example, if the asset management team wants to purchase 50 laptops, they send the quote they received from the vendor to the finance team for approval. This is just one case. Imagine how many emails and paper forms I receive daily from various teams. Without a system in place, it is difficult for them to manage all of this. Business process management (BPM) software helps them manage all of this. Here are some scenarios in the finance department where business process management is a lifesaver: one-click approvals for leave requests,
Characteristics that business process management should have
• Visual process diagram tool
• Drag and drop form designer
• Role-based access control
• Mobile support
• Powerful admin features
• Single sign-on ( SSO )
• Integration with existing software systems
• Reports and analysis
• Performance for large user bases
• Process performance measurement
Now that you know why a BPM system is needed, here is a list of features that a good business process management system should have.
What are the benefits of incorporating business process management?
Here are some of the main benefits of using BPM in your business:
• Gain control over chaotic and cumbersome processes
• Create, analyze and improve business processes
• Run day-to-day operations more efficiently
• Achieve larger organizational goals
• Move to digital transformation
• Improve and optimize more difficult operations
Bonus: Find out what are the benefits of a customized software and how it can help you in the development of your company.