What is Business Process Management (BPM)? 

Person at desk building business process map in Bizagi Modeler on laptop

What is business process management? 

Business process management (BPM) is the mapping and analysis of business processes to align them with overall business goals and identify areas for improvement. The discipline enables organizations to gain deeper insight into their processes using supporting technologies.


Why is business process management important? 

Understanding and optimizing business processes is key to the overall performance of any organization as inefficient processes can cause errors and delays that impact business operations. Business process management enables organizations to identify areas of a process that are not working optimally and determine where changes need to be made for greater efficiency.


What is BPM software? 

BPM software is technology used to create process diagrams detailing each step within a process and the related tasks, stakeholders etc. required to perform it. BPM software gives you the process insight and control you need to deliver real value to the business. Using BPM software to optimize processes allows organizations to eliminate time-consuming and repetitive tasks, improve employee efficiency, reduce time to market and provide a better customer experience.


What are the benefits of Business Process Management?  

- Increased efficiency 

Gaining a better understanding of business processes allows organizations to locate and fix bottlenecks and inefficiencies. BPM can also help identify tasks that could benefit from automation. Bizagi customer adidas mapped out their business processes before automating them across several departments, resulting in a 60% increase in operational efficiency.   

- Increased business agility 

Business process management allows organizations to adapt business processes quickly so they can respond to external changes such as market fluctuations or amends to regulations, or internal factors, such as a change in strategy to provide a more competitive service. BPM software enables users to share, reuse and adapt process elements to rapidly respond to changes in the market and maintain competitive advantage. 

- Increased compliance 

By predetermining rules in business processes, compliance and best practices are baked straight into the organization’s business processes. This helps to prove compliance to external parties, and process maps can be used internally to identify non-compliance and prevent fines. Bizagi customer BNP Paribas Cardif Japan used BPM to ensure that insurance payments were accurate and made within the regulation deadlines. 

- Increased collaboration 

Using process as a common language enables more effective collaboration between business and IT, resulting in faster development of business applications. BPM also promotes collaboration between employees across departments on a day-to-day basis as business data can be stored in a centralized repository, so everyone has a view of the same information. 

- Reduced risk 

BPM software allows standardization of processes and provides greater visibility and control over process execution reducing the likelihood of human error. Access management features also provide control over who can view and edit information, aiding organizations with data governance and preventing security issues. 

- Continuous improvement 

Mapping and reviewing processes with BPM software provides greater visibility and a deeper understanding of how business processes are performing. Users can repeatedly review them and identify opportunities for improvement to enhance performance. 

- Automate dynamic and complex processes enterprise-wide 

Business process management enables organizations to identify areas that could benefit from automation. Automating these elements reduces the manual effort involved in any type of business process to lower costs and increase efficiency. 

- Monitor business process performance 

BPM software provides access to real-time and historical reports that detail how processes are working and allows users to monitor business process performance and identify opportunities for enhancements. 

- Integrate business systems 

By mapping out processes and gaining an understanding of what is required for them to run effectively, users can get a view of all of the different systems involved and connect modern applications, databases or legacy systems to provide a centralized view of business data.


What are the different types of Business Process Management?  

- Human-centric BPM 

Human-centric process management focuses on the human activities required to execute a process and automates supporting functions. This ensures that tasks are carried out by the right person at the right time. 

Example: Employee onboarding 

- Document-centric BPM 

Document-centric process management manages the approval workflow of documents, avoiding email chains and allowing better version control. 

Example: Contract management 

- Integration-centric BPM 

Integration-centric process management connects the different software systems within an organization to enable data to flow between them, reducing the need for manual data transfer from one system to another. 

Example: Connecting SAP to other systems


The Business Process Management Lifecycle  

1. Design

Choose which process most requires improvement and define the steps needed to achieve the desired outcome. Identify who and what is required at each step of the workflow. Define how the success of the improvements will be measured. 

2. Model

Map out the current (‘as-is’) process and design the improved (‘to-be') version. 

3. Execute

Implement the redesigned process and test with a small group of users to gather feedback on the changes. Once a final version is agreed upon, roll the new process out to the whole organization. 

4. Monitor

Track the performance of the new process to measure whether the improvements are achieving the expected results. 

5. Optimize

Look for ways to improve the process further – The aim of business process management is to continually find ways to improve business processes and enable the organization to work smarter.


What features should you look for when choosing BPM software?  

- Visual process modeling 

An intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows users to easily visualize processes and quickly identify better ways of working across the organization. 

- Customizable UI 

The ability to customize the user interface dependent on end-user needs facilitates more efficient processes and better adoption of the application across departments. 

- Integration capabilities 

Connecting BPMS to core business systems avoids the need to manually input data from one system to another, reducing time wasted on data transfer. 

- Mobile functionality 

Enabling users to access business information from anywhere is key to preventing process delays and sustaining productivity. 

- Reporting and analytics 

The ability to view metrics and generate reports enables businesses to monitor process performance and use the data to inform business decisions. 

- Security 

Increasing regulations in data security and privacy require a system with stringent security features. 

- Scalability 

As usage increases a BPMS needs to be able to handle the large volumes of data and documents needed to support multiple processes across the enterprise.


BPM best practices: 

- Create fusion teams to bring diverse knowledge, skills, and perspectives to the project allowing for a more comprehensive analysis of the issues and a wider range of potential solutions. 

- Use a tried and tested BPM methodology to guide the project and ensure consistency, manage risks and align with organizational goals. 

- Define KPIs to drive accountability and track the success of the project and it’s impact on organizational performance. 

- Establish feedback loops to gather insights from users and make changes based on their observations. 

- Implement effective change management practices to help employees adapt to new processes and technologies. 

- Continuously monitor improvements using real-time data and insights to make adjustments and optimize further.


Discover how Bizagi's low-code platform can help you manage your business processes more effectively.