What is Business Process Management?

BPM Explained

Business Process Management (BPM for short) is a methodology for improving business processes. In this post, we aim to explain BPM through the stages of the continuous life cycle.

What is Business Process Management?

Processes exist within any business, and involves people, systems, and tools. As businesses grow and more processes are involved in the day-to-day operations, the processes can become large and inefficient. This results in departments duplicating activities, emerging errors and mistakes, increasing costs, lack of compliance and risk-mitigation. and other unintended side-effects.

There are various proven methods that can be used in BPM, such as Lean and Six-Sigma. The practice of BPM focusses on continuous improvement. There are various models in existence that aim to illustrate the cycle of BPM. However, all contain a series of stages that aim to achieve the following:

Process design

Within this stage, the organization will reflect on its current processes and design a new or improved process. First, mapping current processes will provide insight into current performance and creates a starting point from which new decisions can be made. Second, the organization will have to reflect on the mapped process and determine where improvements can be made, such as further streamlining or preventing waste. Here, the process is (re)designed, depending on whether the BPM cycle has already been completed previously.

Process implementation

Once a new process has been designed, it is time to implement it in day-to-day operations. This activity requires proper change management in order to replace the old process with a new one. It must be clear to all stakeholders in the process, why a new process is implemented and what is expected.

Process performance and monitoring

Now the new process has been implemented, the organization must focus on performing the process in accordance with the pre-determined process descriptions. Digital monitoring and analytical tools and technologies help to understand how the process is performing.

Process analysis and improvement

Now it can be determined if the new process has been an improvement of the old process by checking if higher KPI’s are reached. Through the analysis of individual stages of the process and its performance, improvement points can be found to raise efficiency and effectiveness and decrease risks and wastes.

After the final phase, it may be possible that the process can be further optimized. The goal of BPM is therefore to continue to optimize continuously by repeating the stages described above.

Up next

In the next blog, we will dive into Dynamic Business Process Management (DBPM) and the technologies required to achieve processes that are flexible and customizable.

Szelągowski, Marek. (2018). Evolution of the BPM Lifecycle.

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