So many processes must intertwine to create the fabric of your business. If you change one thing without a proper management and planning strategy, it can impact your entire organization.
Despite this, many businesses (especially small ones) still do everything on the fly.
Business process management (BPM) is a method of analyzing and modeling your business processes so that you can continually improve them. Companies that implement BPM benefit from as much as a 41% increase in ROI within one year.
If you’re saying to yourself, “ROI is great, but what is BPM?”, you’ll find out the answers below.
What is BPM?
If you ask any professional, “What is business process management?”, you’ll get a wide range of answers.
To understand business process management, you need to know what a business process is. A business process is a collection of regulated and structured activities that produce a product or service.
Your company may have several business processes. Some small companies have only one or two. If you need more reference, one of the best examples of a business process comes from the manufacturing industry.
Imagine an assembly line. The entire assembly line is a product assembly process. However, within that process are other processes.
There is a process for sourcing materials for the product. There is a process for assembling the product and checking the quality of the product. And finally, there is a process for shipping and selling the product.
BPM is a systematic approach to improve your business processes. It involves the management of people and information within your business. These days, BPM is often facilitated by software.
BPM is not to be confused with project management. Instead, it works around project management to create automatic processes that become routine and self-improving. And that is perhaps the most important part of the discipline of BPM: analysis, adaptability, and improvement.
Business process management can help you create and manage a sustained business architecture. Once you have a business architecture, you can create an enterprise architecture. An enterprise architecture is a consistently-used, defined practice for the successful execution of an enterprise strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about enterprise architecture, you can read more now.
What is BPM Software?
BPM software is a tool for creating workflows within your organization that minimize inefficiencies, human errors, and miscommunication. This software reviews business performance and helps everyone within the company follow best practices to achieve company goals.
BPM software allows businesses to organize and automate business operations easily. Instead of documenting high-level information on spreadsheets, computer files, and paper files, everything is managed in a single space.
Naturally, the main benefit of BPM software is to improve business performance.
BPM software may include several features. Some common ones are:
- Integration with project management solutions
- Enterprise architecture modeling
- Data management and analysis tools
- Collaboration tools
- KPI monitoring and measurement interfaces
- Document management tools
- Business activity tracking
- Data visualization tools and workflow maps
BPM software is often chosen and used in concert with an IT department. This could be an internal or outsourced IT department.
There are two key types of BPM software:
- On-premise BPM software
- Software as a Service (SaaS) BPM software
On-premise software is exactly what it sounds like. A business or enterprise downloads and installs the software on their own computers and runs it internally. There may be updates to the software, but specific iterations must be installed by the business.
SaaS, or cloud-based software, is becoming more popular. Instead of hosting the software on their own machines, businesses can simply log in and run the software in the cloud. Software updates are automatic and there is no need for the business to maintain the software itself.
Until recently, on-premise BPM software was the only type of BPM software available. But given the accelerating state of the cloud computing industry, SaaS BPM software is likely to be the most common form in the coming years.
The Evolution of BPM
The priorities surrounding business project management have changed. Cutting costs and increasing productivity were once primary. Today, more companies are focused on their customers.
According to a report by Forrester, 64% of BPM users are re-engineering their processes for customer servicing and 52% are re-engineering them for customer onboarding.
Furthermore, proponents of BPM are arguing that BPM should be a top-down initiative. In other words, executives and decision-makers should facilitate buy-in of BPM and BPM software across an entire organization. This divorces BPM from being strictly the purview of managers and IT departments.
As the business environment changes, processes are bound to change with it. It’s up to you and your business to decide what goals you intend to reach with BPM.
Do You Need BPM?
So, what is BPM?
If you’re a small business, it’s your first step toward a successful growth and revenue strategy.
Inefficiency is one of the most common challenges for businesses, both large and small. Many startups have a tough time nailing down their processes. Often, it’s because they don’t have the tools they need to document, analyze, and improve those processes.
Of course, another issue is that many small businesses try to do everything from scratch.
If you have a small or medium-sized business, you need BPM to reduce waste. This, in turn, will save you time and money. You should be focused on growth, not playing catch-up.
But the most important thing BPM can give you is continuous improvement. It allows you to break down and analyze all your processes, so you can make small, data-driven improvements over time. This is crucial for growing businesses.
BPM can make it easier to facilitate major changes at your business, such as the installation of a new IT system. It can also help your employees better understand their role in reaching core objectives.
Optimize Your Business
Now that you know what bpm is you can use it to your advantage and optimize your business for success.
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