Business process management (BPM) is a systemic approach for capturing, designing, executing, documenting, measuring, monitoring and controlling both automated and non-automated processes to meet the objectives and business strategies of a company.
BPM embraces the conscious, comprehensive, and increasingly technology-enabled definition, improvement, innovation, and maintenance of end-to-end processes. Through this systemic and conscious management of processes,
companies achieve better results faster and more flexibly.
Through BPM, processes can be aligned with the business strategy, and so help to improve company performance as a whole thanks to the optimization of processes within business divisions or even beyond company borders. What end-to-end process really means is from start to finish. The goal is to understand and thus assess and improve an entire process not just its components.
New projects almost always involve one of the 3 options :
1. The client wants to improve a process using Information Technology (IT).
2. The client wants current processes documented.
3. The client wants to introduce entirely new processes.
A vast majority of the time, we encounter the first scenario: the client seeks to improve a process with IT. The motivation often is a desire to improve efficiency, for example, to use software to eliminate manual keying or rekeying of data. A client may want to implement IT-based monitoring and analysis of routine processes based on key performance indicators (KPIs).
The second scenario, documenting processes, usually comes about because the client needs documentation to guide the work of the people involved. Another rationale is that the documentation is mandated by regulation or required to obtain certification such as ISO 9000.
The third scenario happens least often. We find that when companies want to introduce entirely new processes, it is usually because they are being forced to adapt to changed market conditions, develop new channels of distribution, or introduce new products.
BPM, process management, or whatever you want to call it, is not an end in itself.
We always recommend introducing BPM in steps. Each step should yield a practical, measurable benefit that justifies the time and effort that it took to accomplish. Once the justification of the first step is established, take the next step. You may think that this approach produces solutions isolated from each other, but what we mean to emphasize here is the controlled nature of the approach. Each step contributes to the big picture.