Business Process Management Explained
In a digitized world of big data, large enterprises need every advantage they can get to, not only survive, but thrive and stay ahead of the competition. Digital transformations and the replacement of legacy systems are crucial components of a modern business strategy. Traditional methods for storing and analyzing data don’t cut it anymore, and businesses need to incorporate automation and software solutions to improve the workflow.
Business process management (BPM) is the process of looking at all of your business processes individually, as well as how they work together, to come up with improvements. There’s no denying that it’s a huge challenge for many businesses, and it’s easy to confuse with other forms of management.
Business Process Management Defined
Before going into detail about what business process management is, it’s also important to define what it is not. While often confused with project management, it’s not the same thing. Project management is used for one-time events or for activities that occur at irregular times. BPM also shouldn’t be confused with task management, which focuses on individual tasks.
BPM is primarily concerned with repeatable actions that occur at predictable times or in recognizable patterns. Business processes are ongoing, and they may contain many components that the average worker will never see. For example, moving products through the supply chain is a business process, but it’s unlikely that inventory management work in a warehouse will participate in the processes that occur after a product is moved from the warehouse and loaded onto a truck. Business process management takes a look at the big picture and seeks ways to automate, or otherwise improve, each step from the beginning to end business processes.
Types of Business Process Management
A BPM system can be categorized based on various methods and purposes. Here are the primary three types.
Integration-Centric BPM: These systems oversee business processes that require little to no human intervention anyway. Such processes tend to move through integrated systems and are executed automatically. An example of this could be a human resources management system (HRMS) communicating with an access control system to generate access keys during automated employee onboarding. Such business processes are made possible thanks to shared APIs that enable separate applications to communicate and share data.
Human-Centric BPM: No matter how many processes you’ve automated or how well optimization has gone, you’ll always have jobs that need to be performed by human workers. Instead of holding up the workflow by requiring human workers to report to a supervisor for every step in a process, you can set up an electronic reporting interface that lets employees record their job progress and supervisors monitor it on an ongoing basis.
Document-Centric BPM: This is meant to speed up processes that require a great deal of documentation. An example could be the process of signing up for a new insurance policy. Insurance companies need to optimize back-office processes to quickly analyze risks and get client paperwork taken care of.
While BPM used to be largely about speeding up physical systems, Industry 4.0 places machines, and advanced automation at the center of process management. In order to see a holistic view of all business processes and decide how best to optimize them, the modern enterprise needs a data analytics solution backed by machine learning that can continuously collect and analyze data in real-time in order to keep insights accurate and current.
Modern BPM solutions empower business leaders with advanced case management capabilities, so they can effectively deal with exceptions and unforeseen instances that occur in complex processes. The modern enterprise has to be adaptable at a moment’s notice to stay ahead of the competition.