Introduction to Business Process Management
Business process management (BPM) existed ever since businesses existed. Business is run by its processes, and efficient management of business processes translates to high ROIs. A BPM solution is a useful productivity tool for businesses. Companies are using BPM techniques to manage and organize their supply chain and deliver superior customer engagement.
A business process is a set of tasks that are executed in a pre-set sequence to achieve a specific business goal. A process must have well-defined inputs and a single, predictable output. The inputs to a process are directly or indirectly related to the final product or service. Business processes may be categorized as management, operational, and supporting business processes. BPM software aims at automating process management by integrating processes and technology. BPM techniques are based on continuous business improvement, but also enable ad-hoc actions. Processes can be long or short, the longer the process the greater the documentation and dependencies.
Different Business Process Management Approaches
Different types of BPM are practiced by organizations, based on the business type and scale. A good understanding of the types of BPM helps businesses to channelize their processes toward a clear goal and optimize their operations.
1) document-centric BPM: This type of BPM is suitable for organizations where documents play a crucial role in business operations. The sole purpose of document-centric BPM is to create a document after several inputs and approvals from stakeholders. The most common use case is the creation of a contract or a legal document. A document goes through multiple stages and stakeholders before reaching the final stage. Document-centric workflows take inputs from multiple people and automatically create a document that is approved by everyone. Some examples of document-centric BPM are e-signatures, image processing, approval workflows, reviews, and automatic report compilations.
2) Human-Centric BPM: Business processes that require human intervention would require a human-centric BPM. This type of BPM balances human intervention and automation accurately. There is flexibility to manage tasks and create workflows between people. This type of BPM has a visual user interface that helps humans interact, understand, and take action to keep the process running. The best example of human-centric workflow is the hiring process in HR.
3) Integration-Centric BPM: Integration-centric BPM focuses on integrating organization-wide business software with department-specific solutions. Integrating business software with department solutions enables seamless data exchange between networks of tools. Manual entries are reduced and hence work is executed faster and more accurately. Sales and marketing and finance workflows are examples of integration-centric workflows.