Most businesses need to complete a set of tasks or activities to accomplish a specific goal. It could, for example, be an order-to-delivery process which involves multiple steps and different teams. This is called a business process, and the purpose of Business Process Management (BPM) is, in short, to make that process more efficient and improve it further over time.
Business process management (BPM) is a practice where you identify, define, optimize, and monitor business processes. With a set of principles, combining knowledge from several areas of a company, you can ensure that processes are efficient and improve over time. BPM is not an application or a service, but there are several examples of BPM systems (BPMs) that can be used to aid the BPM practice.
When do you use Business Process Management?
BPM is used to optimize processes and to reduce the risk of human error and confusion. Business processes often involve several different teams, which means that clear communication is crucial for success. Implementing a fixed set of defined activities to complete, a plan for when they should be done, and a clear and concise way of transferring ownership and information will ensure success. BPM should also be an ongoing activity, where you continuously strive for improvement and optimization.
How do you "do" BPM?
First, you must consider a process as a whole. Optimizing individual functions may not improve the overall result. In the example above, order-to-delivery, several different sub-processes are involved, such as order-handling, manufacturing, warehouse management, QA, etc. All of these processes and the activities involved must be considered when modeling the business process to be able to see how they interact with each other. Modeling means identifying the complete process to create a visual representation.
With all steps identified, from start to finish, you can start optimizing the flow and automate activities where possible, with the overall goal of improving the process as a whole. Automating repetitive tasks and taking steps to avoid unnecessary human interaction will reduce the risk of errors.
Are there any tools available?
As previously stated, BPM is not an application or service, but there are systems available that will aid in the practice. Using a BPMs will help with process modeling and automation of tasks, especially when a process involves multiple systems like an ERP and WMS (Warehouse Management System) for example. Some platforms will also let you build and distribute mobile apps to aid in the process itself, such as a barcode scanning app or apps for digital work orders.