There has been a lot of discussion on the Internet about the definition of business process management. So…
What Is BPM?
What is business Process Management?
Terry Schurter of IPAPI says that while BPM stands for “Business Process Management” the definitions of Business Process Management in use in the marketplace have dramatic differences in their meanings. The definition comes from the person or organization using the term as they place “BPM” within the context that they care about.
What Is BPM?
The biggest disparity exists between the commercial software market and the business pundits who define BPM in completely different ways. On a historical note, BPM did indeed start as a management practice, coming directly out of the more experienced practitioners of Business Process Reengineering. From these people, Business Process Management was originally conceived of as a way to better manage the business operations of large commercial entities.
In its simplest form, BPM the art or science of managing business processes. Like Terry says – BPM started as a management practice.
If you think about it, most business processes come into being almost by accident. A new company that wants to produce goods or services will come up with a plan to accomplish that feat. That plan will likely identify the steps of a process. Over time, those involved in the production of goods and services will modify the plan – change, add or remove steps.
The objective of managing your business processes is to be efficient as possible. A company tries to provide goods or services in as few steps as possible. They want all of the steps to add value to the goods or services. They want low costs so that they can achieve larger profits. And, it is in their best interest to provide the most positive interaction with their customers.
I see three different levels of solutions.
Manage Business Processes – Document your process and improve that process by removing the non value added steps, improving steps or activities, and improving customer touch points. This is an oversimplification, but you can easily make process improvements without the use of software.
Manage Business Processes with Software – Adding software to the mix provides control and visibility. It can add a time discipline to the process. It provides visibility into the state of a process. Add these together and you can really shorten process turnaround times. And, you can reduce human errors.
Business Process Automation – Allow the software to perform mundane manual tasks that it is able to perform. This will further shorten cycle times and give you back cycle times for some employees.
In today’s economy, we are all looking at ways to cut costs. So even if you can’t get capital for software – It is the right time to manage your business processes to reduce costs.
The road to the ‘Triple Crown’ of business is paved with reduced costs, increased revenues and improved customer interactions.
Scott Cleveland is an innovative, creative, technical VP of marketing & sales at Ingenuus Software with over 20 years of experience in marketing and marketing management; sales and sales management; and business process consulting aimed at high tech companies like Adaptec, Applied Materials, Cisco, Sun Microsystems and many of the aerospace and defense contractors.