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What is business process management?

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2015-06-17_What-is-business-process-managementBusiness Process Management (BPM) forms a part of an organisation’s infrastructure management, focussed on improving workflow and making it more adaptable to change. The core goal of BPM is to ultimately reduce human error and improve efficiency of organisational processes, making it an effective methodology to use in times of crisis as well.

There is still much debate among industry professionals about BPM, but with awareness, knowledge and understanding of the topic maturing, most see BPM as a systematic approach to formalising processes that span organisational boundaries, linking together people, information, systems and other assets, to create and deliver value and in turn better future results.

How does business process management differ from business processes?

While a business process should be improved by everyone involved, a person completing an activity in the process is not doing business process management. A business process usually involves many people, while BPM is actually carried out by people concerned primarily with improvement of the process. The interpretation of ‘improvement’ is simply too broad for effective results from everyone involved in a process. BPM must rather be defined as a specific activity done by those assigned to the task of assessing and actively improving these processes.

The benefits of effective business process management

The primary benefit of BPM is simply better business and the advantages that it brings.

  • Improved processes improve the bottom line by reducing errors, speeding up turnaround, and increasing customer satisfaction
  • Allows for the effective implementation of larger systems
  • Reduces training time and expenses
  • Keeps ahead of compliance
  • Creates agility and flexibility
  • Increased accuracy and forecasting

Success factors

The success of BPM is linked to the following factors:

  • Alignment to business strategies and goals, and business processes
  • Focus on customer value
  • The ability to add value
  • The ability to track and measure results

Applying the BPM strategically involves a cohesive programme that requires specific assessment and processes:

  • Assessing processes and aligning them with the business strategy
  • Assessing, analysing and benchmarking processes
  • Modelling new processes and improving current processes
  • Creating policies and rules
  • Change and culture management
  • Deployment of technology to assist BPM

BPM and technology

There are many applications designed specifically to help organisations improve and better manage their business processes. These applications often involve tools that help managers to visually design and model business processes as well as to simulate and test these processes. Other features include automation and control of processes, as well as measurement, reporting and feedback on performance. These solutions aim to provide the tools to automate and orchestrate work across an entire organisation, ultimately creating improvement across the board.

If you would like to know more about Business Process Management and how it can help your organisation, please contact CoLAB.


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