Process Management Concepts

It is important that both the concept of business process management (BPM) and the technologies used in support of BPM are fully understood and properly applied in a BPM strategy. Key concepts are introduced below.

What Is A Workflow?

A workflow is a series of sequential tasks that need to be completed to reach a certain goal. Workflows occur across every kind of business and industry. Anytime data is passed between humans and/or systems, a workflow is created. Workflows are the paths that describe how something goes from being incomplete to complete, or from raw to processed. Workflows can be illustrated in a diagram as series of steps that need to be completed sequentially.

Download your own copy of our BPMN2 reference guide to get started or browse our blog if you’re looking for more guides on how to build great processes.

What Is A Business Process?

A business process is a series of tasks performed by a collection of participants to achieve a concrete goal. Participants can be humans, machines, systems, or sensors. A process involves clearly defined inputs and outputs, and each step in a business process denotes a task that is assigned to a participant. A process forms the lifeline for any business and helps it streamline individual activities, making sure that resources are put to optimal use.

Elements Of BPM

Understanding Business Process Management

Business Process Management (BPM) is a long-term strategy of analysing and improving your corporate processes in support of your business objectives.

The BPM discipline focuses on improving business processes from end-to-end by:

  • analysing existing processes and any supporting policies;
  • modelling the current business processes and workflows;
  • understanding how each process fits into the organisation;
  • making improvements (e.g. removing steps, adding more controls);
  • monitoring the improved processes;
  • continually optimising critical processes.

What Is Business Process Management Software?

Business process management software (BPMS) delivers a platform which developers use to design, implement and monitor process-based business applications which are built to accomplish specific business objectives.

Workflow software simply routes tasks from person to person whereas BPM software is a process automation tool that enables process professionals to:

  • model each process to measure the time, cost and resources needed to execute a process;
  • digitise and automate processes, allowing the company to dispense with manual paper-based processes and instead collect data through controlled electronic forms;
  • manage business processes to ensure that legislative and corporate controls are entrenched in each process;
  • gain insight into the effectiveness of the process and process participants;
  • optimise day-to-day business processes, making them more efficient and cost-effective.

Business process professionals, business analysts, developers and IT workers can all use the BPM software to improve organisational productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

How To Model A Business Process

  1. Identify the process you want to document.
  2. Gather information from process participants via interviews or observations.
  3. Gather the relevant forms and policies, make a note of any systems that are used during the process.
  4. Identify the start and end points of your process.
  5. Break up the process into distinct tasks and decision points.

Browse our blog if you’re looking for guides to help you build great processes.