There seems to be much confusion in the world of Business Process Management (BPM). If you run a web search on “definition: BPM”, you will probably come across more than 50 different definitions. Sure, all those definitions may have important points to them, but they may very well end up confusing people as well. Confusion is the way of the analysts, the way to protect what they do and make their knowledge sound important and out of reach.
I have been working in this industry for the past ten years, first implementing and supporting BPM, and later helping to evolve a BPM platform. My two cents on the definitions would be that BPM is essentially a productivity tool. It’s a way to help companies to do things better, cheaper and faster.
By better, or more efficiently and effectively, I mean to streamline processes by removing redundancies, automating where things are done manually, and eliminating the guesswork from the many exceptions to the rules people encounter while working.
By faster I mean to pre-fill and calculate things automatically, to notify people that they need to attend to urgent work, to keep things visible and easy to track, to avoid loss of paperwork. Business Process Management allows people to report on processes in whatever way makes the most sense to their daily routine.
All of these combined should result in “cheaper”. The steps are very clear:
- Streamline while discovering and implementing processes.
- Automate wherever it’s possible by pre-filling, calculating and integrating in the back end.
- Track and measure so further efficiencies can be gained.
- Adapt. Because processes aren’t static. They change. In fact, the only constant in life is change.
So, in my opinion BPM is a very complex productivity tool. For more information on the Ultimus definition, check out What is Business Process Management (BPM Software)?
Director, North America Product Management