Business process management (BPM) is a people-driven discipline that organizations use to create and manage processes that continually improve business results. It focuses on the entire process rather than individual tasks, which helps strengthen performance, KPIs, and outcomes—and results in fewer errors, happier customers, and lower costs. It’s a methodology for discovering, designing, executing, measuring, and optimizing an organization’s processes. BPM assumes three things:
- Business processes are ever-changing and developing.
- Processes cross-cut each other.
- Processes must flow between multiple organizations and interested parties.
BPM covers the entire process management lifecycle, including the documentation, optimization, implementation, execution, and control of business processes, along with aligning process strategy.
Why is business process management important?
As the complexity of doing business increases, staying competitive requires agility, responsiveness, and the ability to quickly and easily analyze and optimize core business processes for compliance, quality, and speed. BPM enables this, providing the roadmap and guardrails for success.
How does business process management work?
BPM works alongside the process lifecycle, typically following these steps:
- A process strategy is defined and existing processes are documented and optimized accordingly.
- The optimized processes are introduced into the company’s existing process landscape and implemented.
- Processes are carried out and performance is recorded and measured.
- Any recorded performance data and key metrics are used to identify bottlenecks and optimization potential.
How is process mining related to business process management?
In this digitally driven business world, BPM technologies play a big role in workflow automation. They bring processes, data, and software together to orchestrate and coordinate actions across enterprises, whether those actions are steered by onsite or remote employees, virtual workers, or smart technologies, such as process mining, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA). This allows work to be done quickly, with precision and effectiveness, while decreasing errors and costs.
Process mining is a great complement to BPM. It provides insights you can rapidly translate into action to achieve positive business outcomes much faster. Process mining uses data science and machine learning to analyze operational system log files and create clear and concise maps of your processes. It replaces subjective and costly interviews with a data-led and fact-based approach to documenting how work actually happens. This data-driven approach provides insight into what people, systems, and organizations are actually doing, as opposed to what anyone thinks they’re doing.
An effective BPM discipline requires continuous monitoring. This is the phase where data is gathered and analyzed so you can assess how your process is performing. Process mining is a valuable asset during this phase. By mapping the new “as-is” process against the analysis conducted during the discovery phase, you’ll have a one-to-one comparison of the “before” and “after” states. If you find certain areas of your process are not performing as well as hoped, you can dig deeper to get at the heart of the issue.
More information on the individual phases can be found here: Process Management Lifecycle