Every successful business has several key processes that enable them to operate and serve customers. Securely managing and maintaining these processes is challenging. Difficulty in doing so generally increases throughout the growth phase of your business’s life cycle.
What Is Business Process Management (BPM)?
BPM is the utilization of various methods to automate, streamline, and improve existing business processes. This often includes the use of technology to uncover information, measure, analyze, and optimize workflow.
The primary focus of BPM is to improve the overall performance of your organization by effectively managing processes. However, BPM isn’t a technology even though technologies are involved. Rather it is a means to establish and formalize better ways of carrying out day-to-day operations.
BPM drives business results in the following ways.
● Helps to achieve company-wide clarity with regards to business direction.
● Aligns your organization’s resources with important objectives.
● Improves efficiency in daily operations, which leads to a more productive workforce.
BPM Suite (BPMS) Explained
Quite often BPM is confused with BPMS. However, BPMS is a collection of software/tools that assist BPM practitioners to design, implement, and improve business operations.
BPM tools allow users to do any of the following.
● Visualize design and functions of processes.
● Measure data to determine the appropriate actions for success.
● Analyze and test several simulations of processes with real-world data not just assumed knowledge.
● Control deployment or implementation of apps and monitor improvements in real-time.
● Completely re-engineer or revamp processes to achieve better results.
BPM ensures your processes are continuously tuned to meet evolving market needs. Usually, activities consist of the following (not in any specific order).
This involves reviewing existing processes and developing future designs that are more effective, including efficient. Focus areas are process flow representation and any important factors such as alerts, notices, escalations, etc. For instance, any regulatory obligations and competitive challenges are addressed in new designs.
Modeling takes theoretical design and introduces a combination of real-world variables. This is to see how processes work under certain circumstances that may be difficult or otherwise (e.g. sudden change in resource availability).
Optimal business processes are enacted, which can be done automatically, manually or a combination of both. Automated process enactments are software-driven, while manual staging is human-driven.
Individual processes are tracked to gather performance information and ensure functionality. For example, making sure your systems are reporting the correct state of customer orders (e.g. order received, invoice paid).
This is the analysis of event logs or data that was extracted during monitoring. The information is then compared with any prior process models to detect discrepancies or bottlenecks.
Predictive Business Process Monitoring
Concerns the implementation of forecasting methods such as artificial intelligence, random forecasts, and data mining to predict outcomes. BPM can predict cycle time, compliance issues, and other potential debacles.
This involves the retrieval of any collected performance data in order to optimize business processes. That includes finding solutions for potential bottlenecks, identifying cost saving opportunities, and others.
Business Process Reengineering (BPR)
Sometimes top executives may recommend the re-engineering of business processes when things become too inefficient. Though optimization is carefully considered before a conclusion like that is made.
A Market For BPMS
The market for BPMS is growing fast because it improves workflow. Forrester Research Inc. provides three categories with regards to BPMS.
● Human-centric BPM
● Integration-centric BPM (Enterprise Service Bus)
● Document-centric BPM (Dynamic Case Management)
Both integration-centric and document-centric BPMS offerings have become considerable markets. They enable the development of applications using no-code or low-code. You can create, test, and deploy applications more quickly, including cost-effectively with these tools.
More Companies Rely on BPMS
Companies that embrace BPMS worry less about maintaining existing systems according to Gartner. That means more resources to invest in growth and transformation.
The following are four critical components of BPMS.
1. A process engine for modeling and executing process-based applications.
2. Business analytics feature that enables managers to identify issues, trends, and opportunities.
3. Content management system for storing and securing electronic documents (e.g. images, PDFs).
4. Collaboration tools that remove barriers to communication.
BPM Everywhere (BPME)
BPME is a strategy for coping and potentially exploiting the anticipated disruption by IoT (Internet of Things). IoT inevitably increases the number of devices connected to each other, which raises overall complexity (e.g. vast digital footprints).
However, devices that connect and communicate aren’t inherently useful unless they solve real problems. So the true benefit of IoT for organizations is the improvement of collaboration between systems, devices, and people. BPME seeks to ensure processes continue to be securely managed and streamlined in an era of IoT.