Business Process Management (BPM) is the name given to a methodology and class of software that can help manage and improve the way in which core business processes are orchestrated within a company, helping organisations to become more efficient.
Business processes are a defining characteristic of a particular organisation: they control and describe precisely how business is conducted internally and externally in terms of data and information flow, and the interactions between individuals, systems and the organisation.
BPM software is the enabling tool for enacting business processes in the optimum way. It works by separating and abstracting the control of a business process to a free-standing layer that enables processes to be remodelled and deployed independently, without requiring changes to existing applications.
The four main elements of a BPM implementation are widely recognised as:
- Modelling - analysing and capturing the business process in a repository
- Managing - administering the means by which the process relates to the people and systems involved
- Execution - executing the defined process flow via the execution engine, and
- Reporting - providing a feedback loop to enable a process of continual process improvement to become best practice
These elements should form a continual cycle of optimisation and improvement, and are not one-time-only activities.
When implemented in the correct way using suitable tools, the key benefits of BPM are:
- Reduced process cycle times
- Resource optimisation
- Reduced errors
- Workflow automation
- Assured compliance
- Operational visibility and agility
- Improved risk management
And to achieve these outcomes a comprehensive BPM solution will enable an organisation to:
- Integrate existing operational systems, such as ERP, CRM, Practice/Financial Management systems and other databases
- Integrate business processes with those of a company's suppliers and partners
- Incorporate the business rules and escalation procedures that guide a business/organisation to achieve best practice
- Provide managers with visibility into automated processes to monitor operations in real-time
- Offer managers the ability to deal with exceptions when they occur by changing business rules or entire processes to respond to business conditions in real-time
So the benefits of BPM software are highly strategic and far-reaching, which is why it is a solution class that has gained so much traction in recent years, and the market for products under this banner continues to grow.
It is worth remembering, however, that BPM is not all just about technology. At the heart of any BPM project's success is a clear understanding of the business and of the role of the processes within it. Selecting the right implementation team is therefore as important as the technology selection itself.
Visit the FloSuite website to learn more about our FloSuite BPM solution