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BPM

Business process management (BPM) is a field in operations management that focuses on improving corporate performance by managing and optimising a company’s business processes. It can therefore be described as a “process optimization process.” It is argued that BPM enables organizations to be more efficient, more effective and more capable of change than a functionally focused, traditional hierarchical management approach. These processes can impact the cost and revenue generation of an organization.

As a policy-making approach, BPM sees processes as important assets of an organization that must be understood, managed, and developed to announce value-added products and services to clients or customers. This approach closely resembles other total quality management or continual improvement process methodologies and BPM proponents also claim that this approach can be supported, or enabled, through technology.

BPM life-cycle:
Business process management activities can be arbitrarily grouped into categories such as design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization.


Design

Process design encompasses both the identification of existing processes and the design of “to-be” processes. Areas of focus include representation of the process flow, the factors within it, alerts and notifications, escalations, standard operating procedures, service level agreements, and task hand-over mechanisms.

The proposed improvement could be in human-to-human, human-to-system or system-to-system workflows, and might target regulatory, market, or competitive challenges faced by the businesses.

Modeling

Modeling takes the theoretical design and introduces combinations of variables (e.g., changes in rent or materials costs, which determine how the process might operate under different circumstances).

It may also involve running “what-if analysis”(Conditions-when, if, else) on the processes: “What if I have 75% of resources to do the same task?” “What if I want to do the same job for 80% of the current cost?”.

Execution

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As a response to the challenges in execution, application software’s have been developed that enables the full business process (as developed in the process design activity) to be defined in a computer language which can be directly executed by the computer. The system will either use services in connected applications to perform business operations (e.g. calculating a repayment plan for a loan) or, when a step is too complex to automate, will ask for human input. Compared to either of the previous approaches, directly executing a process definition can be more straightforward and therefore easier to improve.

Business rules have been used by systems to provide definitions for governing behaviour, and a business rule engine can be used to drive process execution and resolution.

Monitoring

Monitoring encompasses the tracking of individual processes, so that information on their state can be easily seen, and statistics on the performance of one or more processes can be provided. An example of this tracking is being able to determine the state of a customer order (e.g. order arrived, awaiting delivery, invoice paid) so that problems in its operation can be identified and corrected.

In addition, this information can be used to work with customers and suppliers to improve their connected processes. Examples are the generation of measures on how quickly a customer order is processed or how many orders were processed in the last month. These measures tend to fit into three categories: cycle time, defect rate and productivity.

The degree of monitoring depends on what information the business wants to evaluate and analyze and how business wants it to be monitored, in real-time, near real-time or ad hoc. Here, business activity monitoring (BAM) extends and expands the monitoring tools generally provided by BPMS.

Optimization

Process optimization includes retrieving process performance information from modeling or monitoring phase; identifying the potential or actual bottlenecks and the potential opportunities for cost savings or other improvements; and then, applying those enhancements in the design of the process. Process mining tools are able to discover critical activities and bottlenecks, creating greater business value.

Re-engineering

When the process becomes too complex or inefficient, and optimization is not fetching the desired output, it is usually recommended by a company steering committee chaired by the president / CEO to re-engineer the entire process cycle. Business process reengineering (BPR) has been used by organizations to attempt to achieve efficiency and productivity at work.

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By providing automation and process management capabilities, OnBase

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  • In addition to automation and process management, OnBase also provides case management capabilities to handle unstructured, unpredictable work. Click here to learn more.

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