Is “BPM” a methodology or a tool? What are its real costs and benefits? Who should be driving BPM implementation? 10 key FAQs and 10 clear answers.
Many common business practices, once analyzed, can be understood as being a series of relatively simple processes that interact with each other to accomplish a larger result. Although these smaller processes are essential to day‐to‐day business activity, many businesses only consider large and complex aspects of their operations to be processes. Refining and simplifying even simple current business practices can often improve efficiency and quality while reducing costs.
Business Process Management (BPM) is a way to plan, implement, and ultimately improve the processes that make up the aspects of your business. BPM offers a useful and clear view into business processes by allowing you to model existing (and planned) processes and run in‐depth analysis and simulation scenarios; processes can be tested and improved prior to actual implementation so that potential flaws or inefficiencies can be resolved.
BPM is the end result of utilizing several fully‐formed processes (processes that have been modeled, simulated, and debugged) working together in a real‐world environment. These processes often govern human interactions, allow multiple systems to work together, or facilitate task automation in your organization.
In traditional approaches, BPM is applied in a top‐down approach where a relatively small number of people define a process, proceed to re‐engineer existing information systems to work with the process model, and then inform end users how it is to be implemented. Furthermore, many organizations implement BPM only for their mission‐critical processes. However, you can use BPM with any process, regardless of size or complexity. The reason BPM is often not used has more to do with the cost and complexity of traditional BPM solutions than with the nature of the processes it can be applied to.
Open source solutions are now enabling “BPM everywhere” strategies at lower cost and with higher versatility than older traditional alternatives. This allows everyone to use BPM regardless of budget, which means that bottom‐up process improvement is possible. Furthermore, the open architecture of BPM software like Bonita Open Solution allows extensive customization and adaptation of the process for a variety of projects and situations, rather than having to re‐engineer or adapt existing external systems. Bonita Open Solution even provides the capability to create process‐based applications that interact with many different data sources and handle the vital information your processes rely on.