Project ManagementIntroduction to Business Process Management and Workflow

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Business Process Management (BPM) refers to the act of modeling, analyzing, observing, measuring, improving, and optimizing business processes. Business processes are a way for people, systems, information, and things in a business to interact to achieve business goals. Business process management allows businesses to gain greater efficiencies by constantly monitoring processes, spotting bottlenecks, identifying process improvements, and mitigating risks.

This tutorial talks about business process management and workflow and why they are important.

What is Business Process Management (BPM)

Business process management is the method of using technology to enable organizations to improve the efficiency of their operational processes. It encompasses both transactional or operational processes, as well as strategic or administrative ones.

A business process consists of all the activities required to fulfill a particular objective in an organization, such as fulfilling customer orders or managing employee responsibilities. BPM applies information technology and other resources such as people and materials to design, execute, and control these processes efficiently so that they meet specific organizational goals while maintaining high standards of quality.

BPM begins by mapping out your software using comprehensive data flow diagrams that include all your company’s systems: ERPs, CRMs, customer support channels, etc. Next, it handles all the heavy lifting for you—organizing workflows and automating processes so that managers don’t have to worry about it on a day-to-day basis and enables users to monitor progress in real time.

Read: Enterprise Resource Planning: What is ERP Software?

What are the Benefits of Business Process Management

There are many benefits of implementing BPM in an organization, including:

  • Improved process efficiency and effectiveness
  • Monitor and improve processes continuously
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved organizational agility
  • Improved decision making

Business Process Management Use Cases

Business process management involves the identification, analysis, and redesign of business processes to achieve specific objectives such as cost reduction, time savings, improved quality, or improved customer service.

There are many different types of business processes that can be managed using BPM. Some of the most common include:

  • Sales and marketing processes: These processes involve the planning and execution of activities to generate leads, convert prospects into customers, and upsell and cross-sell to existing customers.
  • Customer service processes: These processes involve the handling of customer requests, customer inquiries, and complaints.
  • Human resources processes: These processes involve the acquisition, development, and management of an organization’s workforce.
  • Financial and accounting processes: These processes involve the reporting of financial transactions.
  • Manufacturing and production processes: These processes involve the planning and execution of activities to produce goods and services.

What is Workflow?

The term workflow denotes a sequence of steps you should follow to complete a task or process. A workflow can be as simple as a single step repeatedly or a complex series of steps involving multiple people and departments.

Simple workflows can be depicted using flowcharts, which show the steps in a process and the order in which they must be completed. However, for complex workflows, you should use a workflow management system to automate your workflows.

There are many benefits to automating workflows. Automation can increase efficiency by reducing the need for manual tasks and errors. In addition, automated workflows can provide better visibility into process performance and make it easier to track and improve quality.

BPM versus Workflow

Workflow refers to the sequence of linear or non-linear steps required to complete a task. For example, if you are creating a new product, the workflow might involve steps like market research, product development, testing, and launch. Workflow provides insights into your processes and a sense of how well you meet deadlines.

BPM, on the other hand, is a more holistic approach to managing business processes. It takes into account not only the individual steps involved in completing a task, but also the people and systems involved. For example, BPM software can help you map out the entire process from start to finish, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and track progress over time.

Read: Top BPM Tools

Why is BPM Important for Business?

Business process management helps you to better understand your business and identify inefficiencies, optimize processes, manage resources, improve quality and reduce costs. BPM allows organizations to identify and evaluate their processes, and make improvements if needed.

BPM is important for a business, regardless of its size because it helps you to better understand your business. It helps reduce the costs associated with running a business by optimizing existing processes. BPM also helps manage resources more efficiently, giving you an improved ability to respond quickly to market changes and customer demands.

What is BPMN?

BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) is a graphical notation used to model manual processes, automated processes, or a mix of both. It is the successor to the Unified Modeling Language (UML) activity diagram and provides a number of enhancements over UML activity diagrams. One of the key benefits of BPMN is that it is designed to be understandable by both business users and technical users. As a result, it can serve as a common language between business analysts and software developers.

The goal of BPMN is to improve communication and collaboration around business process design. By providing a standard notation that can be understood by all stakeholders, BPMN enhances the clarity and accuracy of process models. Consequently, businesses are able to identify opportunities for process improvement more effectively and implement process changes with more confidence.

Strategies for Implementing BPM

Here are some of the key strategies you should follow to implement BPM in your organization:

  • Define your business processes. The first step is to identify which processes you want to optimize. This will vary from business to business, but some common examples include order processing, invoicing, customer service, and employee onboarding.
  • Document your business processes. Once you’ve identified which processes you want to improve, you should document how these processes currently work. This will help you identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement.
  • Automate, automate, and automate. One of the main goals of BPM is to automate repetitive tasks so that employees can focus on more value-added activities. There are many different ways to automate processes, so talk to your IT team about what would be best for your business.
  • Monitor, track and analyze the results. Once you’ve implemented your BPM strategy, it’s important to monitor the results and make adjustments as necessary.

Final Thoughts on Business Process Management

The choice between BPM and Workflow depends on several factors. If you are looking for a more comprehensive approach to managing business processes in your organization, BPM is a good choice.

Read more project management tutorials, best practices, and PM tool reviews.

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