BPM (Business Process Management) – Definition, Steps and Benefits

Manish Nepal

August 30th, 2017 BPM  

What is BPM?

BPM (Business Process Management) is the process of analyzing and improving business processes to create a more efficient and effective organization. Business process management is neither task management or project management (although it can occur within the context of a project). BPM is focused more on repetitive and ongoing processes that follow a predictable pattern.

Okay, so what is a business process?

A business process is any sequence of events or tasks that must be performed for a business to operate. For example, a customer’s purchase resulting in a delivery is a key business process that exists in all for-profit organizations.

So, wait, is this like task management with Trello and Asana?

Not really. Task management is about handling or organizing a set of activities that arise out of a project. These projects are often one-time and non-repeatable. When these projects are well-organized like in a construction work, a project management software like ‘Microsoft Project’ is used. Trello and Asana are good tools for managing tasks in ad-hoc projects.

Learn more about Project vs. Process vs. Task Management

Isn’t that what checklists are for business process management?

Some business processes are simple enough to use a checklist, but business process management (BPM) comes in when things get a little more complex. Checklists are about not forgetting certain tasks; BPM is about doing a step in a process at the right time.

Business process management (BPM) is often used when:

  • Business processes need to be updated frequently (i.e. regulatory compliance changes)
  • Certain business processes span across multiple people, regions and business units
  • Processes involve the use of different software (i.e. Accounting, CRM, and HR)
  • Processes need the capability of being overridden manually from time-to-time
  • Some business processes involve exceptions

Okay, that sounds a little more complex.

No kidding.Business Process Management (BPM) provides a lot of value to companies. It reduces human error, decreases miscommunication, digitizes manual processes, and moves the responsibility of completing a process from humans to a program.

Business Process Management (BPM) Life cycle:

bpm (business process management) life cycle

Step 1: Design the process in its ideal state and examine all the conditions that need to be built.

Step 2: Model the process using a BPM software.

Step 3: Execute the process, or put a system in place.

Step 4: Monitor the system and gather data about how it is functioning.

Step 5: Optimize and make changes to the process to improve it.

What are the benefits of incorporating BPM into a business?

The application of business process management (BPM) has helped millions of businesses around the world take control of chaotic processes and streamline their workflows in a very time-effective way. For instance, leaders in worldwide logistics can benefit from BPM to track shipments, manage customer feedback, handle transit red-tapism, and ensure timely deliveries.

The mapping of a business process management (BPM) typically flows through a five-step process, i.e. designing, modeling, executing, monitoring, and optimizing. A BPM software helps businesses create, map, analyze, and improve their business processes.

Implemented well, business process management (BPM) can take care of an entire business process lifecycle. Not only does this help enterprises run their everyday operations more efficiently, but it helps them realize their bigger organizational goals over a desired period of time.

Simply put, BPM is a method to improve tangled operations and optimize them so that they can focus more on their deliverables and less on the hurdles along the way. This is the reason why business process management is hailed as a booming market in both the technology and service sectors.

What are the various types of BPM?

BPM systems can be categorized based on the purpose that they serve. Here are the 3 types of BPM:

Integration-centric BPM:

This type of BPM system mainly focuses on integrating with the existing systems you have like HRMS, CRM and ERP. A smooth integration is something which every BPM software in the market is faced with and this kind of BPM solves it, as it’s primary focus lies on the same.

Human-Centric BPM:

There are few BPM software out there whose primary purpose is to route the tasks in a business process via every person who is involved in completing the process. Their focus lies on getting the tasks done by the stakeholders at the right time. A typical use case of this type of BPM tool would be an approval process.

Document-Centric BPM:

Such BPM solutions are required when document is the heart of the process. They enable routing, formatting, verifying and getting the document signed, as the tasks pass along the workflow.

An ideal BPM (Business Process Management) system should incorporate each of these aspects.

So it’s a lot of technology and software, right?

Usually, yes. Business process management (BPM) system can get quite complex. There are many options, but the most sophisticated ones often require special certification to implement and manage. The software can help in mapping, creating, analyzing, monitoring, and improving business processes.

Sounds like it’s going to cost a lot of money.

Yup. A typical project requires licensing the BPM software, hiring a consultant to set it up for you, and training your staff. Costs can easily range from $250,000 to $500,000, and that isn’t including the amount of time your internal team needs to spend to create and modify the processes.

Okay, see you later.

Wait! KiSSFLOW is a Business Process Management (BPM) Software that is priced at just $9/user/month.

That’s ridiculous. How are you making any money? What’s the catch?

We did three things. First, KiSSFLOW is designed for the 99% of business processes that are straightforward and easy to draw out on a napkin. The software platform you need for these processes doesn’t have to be so heavy-duty.

Second, we made the process design so stinking easy that you would never need to pay for a high-priced consultant to set it up for you. We’re always just a simple call away, but most users are able to create their own workflows without any help.

Third, we made it try-and-buy. This means we removed a ton of costs related to selling that is often loaded into the price. We make good software. You try it. If you like it, you buy it. All the money we save reduces sales costs that are passed on to you.

…and, just for kicks, we still put in all the awesome data-tracking features the high-priced options have.

Well, that’s nice!

Glad you thought so. Why don’t you give it a try? There’s a free 7-day trial. Pick a process that has been hard to automate in your company and see how easy it can be.