What is Business Process Management (BPM)?

BPM is a methodology aiming to maximise the results of business processes.

BPM is driven by the need to maximise the results of business processes consistent with well-defined business strategies and functional goals based on these strategies. Process portfolio management ensures that the process portfolio supports corporate or business unit strategies and provides a method to manage and evaluate initiatives. The Business Process Management Knowledge Area identifies tools and methods to assess process management maturity levels, along with the required BPM practice areas which can improve their BPM organisation state. A number of Business Process Frameworks are discussed, along with the notion of process integration, i.e., the interaction of various processes with each other and models which tie performance, goals, technologies, people, and controls (both financial and operational) to business strategy and performance objectives. The topics of process architecture and enterprise process management best practices are explored.

The 12 business process management disciplines

Business process management is a bit of a “suitcase word” that contains quite a lot of sub-disciplines. Larger companies need to manage the following sub-disciplines:

    1. Process architecture
      A hierarchy that shows how your processes relate to your business strategy (and to each other).
    2. Process governance
      You need to manage your processes as a portfolio and be able to delegate ownership to the right people.
    3. Process discovery
      You need to map processes and understand how they are executed.
    4. Process engagement
      Everybody should be able to find and engage with the right processes at the right time. Otherwise, it’s just a paper tiger.
    5. Process execution
      The right people need to be able to actually run and execute your processes.
    6. Process measurement
      Managers need to be able to track that processes are completed when activities were done and by whom. You may also need to record resource usage and errors.
    7. Process automation
      IT should be able to automate certain stable and high-frequency processes to avoid manual handling.
    8. Process simulation
      It may be nice to be able to simulate processes to see the impact of changes in e.g. factory layout.
    9. Process improvement
      You need to be able to capture issues and ideas and analyse them in the right context. Once improvements have been made you need to communicate them.
    10. Process reengineering
      Sometimes you need to start over again and completely remake a process.
    11. Process stewardship
      Processes need to be updated and maintained very regularly by the right people. They then need to communicate with the relevant people.
    12. BPM technology
      You need the right tool to keep all this in sync. Fortunately, this guide will help you.

More Resources:

Source: Business Process Management Common Body of Knowledge (BPM CBOK, 2009), The Association of Business Process Management Professionals

Jim Boots ”BPM boots on the ground”, 2012