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Business Process Management explained

Business Process Management (BPM) is a term used by businesses for over a decade that describes a process for executing and improving any process. BPM is any process that would define a flow of business-type activities and then connecting the activities toward a business transaction. In other words, it is a systematic approach to making an organization’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment.

The official definition from bpm.com:

“Business Process Management (BPM) is a discipline involving any combination of modeling, automation, execution, control, measurement and optimization of business activity flows, in support of enterprise goals, spanning systems, employees, customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.”

Business Process Management is therefore defined as a specific planned process that is followed by the whole team. Websites are devoted to the process, its rules, and some even offer training and certification.

The goal of BPM is to reduce human error and miscommunication and focus stakeholders on the requirements of their roles. BPM is a subset of infrastructure management, an administrative area concerned with maintaining and optimizing an organization's equipment and core operations.

Successfully employing BPM usually involves the following:

  • Organizing around outcomes not tasks to ensure the proper focus is maintained
  • Correcting and improving processes before (potentially) automating them; otherwise all you’ve done is make the mess run faster
  • Establishing processes and assigning ownership lest the work and improvements simply drift away – and they will, as human nature takes over and the momentum peters out
  • Standardizing processes across the enterprise so they can be more readily understood and managed, errors reduced, and risks mitigated
  • Enabling continuous change so the improvements can be extended and propagated over time
  • Improving existing processes, rather than building radically new or “perfect” ones, because that can take so long as to erode or negate any gains achieved

BPM should not be a one-time exercise. It should involve a continuous evaluation of the processes and include taking actions to improve the total flow of processes. This all leads to a continuous cycle of evaluating and improving the organization.

Need help with business process management? To find out more about our business process management course/business process management training call London Training for Excellence on +44 20 7183 6657.

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