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What is Business Process Management (BPM) Software?

BPM (Business Process Management) is a method of managing and optimizing the flow of business processes to accomplish business goals. It is a technique that helps organizations to be more effective, more efficient, and more capable of adapting changes in their business according to the ever-changing environment. BPM is not an activity but a set of various activities need to be done to improve the business that involves any combination of the following:

  • Design: Identification of existing processes and the design of "to-be" processes.

  • Modeling: The introduction of combinations of variables to the theoretical design.

  • Automation: Work that is done in advance to assure the smooth execution of the process instances.

  • Execution: Execution of process instances.

  • Control: Making sure that the process follows the designed course.

  • Measurement: Quantitatively determining how well the process is working in terms of serving the needs of customers.

  • Optimization: Removing the potential or actual bottlenecks and improving the process.

  • Re-engineering: Re-engineering the entire process cycle when optimization is not fetching the desired output?

BPM software is nothing but the software that helps in BPM. There are many software available in a market that organizations are using to streamline their activities and achieve business goals more effectively and efficiently. There are a ton of BPM software available in the market. Some of the popular BPM tools include – Appian, C2M Workflow, Process Street, Quick Base, Priority Matrix, ProcessGene BPM suite, Deltek Costpoint, Zoho Creator, Timereaction etc.

Some are cloud-based, others are on-premise. Some priced per user, others are a one-time fee. Some require consultants, others are do-it-yourself.

Features of Business Process Management Solution

In spite of some very important common features, BPM software comes in different specific features too. One can choose according to their need. Some of the common features of BPM software are as follows:

  • Process

    Every organization has sets of activities called processes conducted regularly to achieve business objectives.  These activities can be simple or complex, short-term or ongoing, function-specific or industry-specific, in a single department, within or beyond the enterprise boundaries. BPM software helps to improve operational efficiency, reduces risks, derives more growth and improves customer and employee engagement.

  • Knowledge Management

    BPM software has the ability to pull all data on any specific topic across all enterprise systems in a single place. This reduces the ambiguity in decision making and decision-makers can take the most appropriate action in any situation.

  • Business Rules

    Business rules are some specific rules of an organization that provides the structure for a consistent, automated process.  BPM software typically has a dynamic business rules engine to automate the simple constant processes at different times and other complex processes with many variables.

  • Social Collaboration

    Social collaboration is a method of sharing information across the organization and interact to achieve a common business goal. It is different from conventional collaboration in a way that you do not need to be added to the email chain or asked for your opinion in a meeting or phone call; it drives awareness of any circumstances while adding to an organization’s knowledge base. Hence no idea or information goes unnoticed.

  • Mobility

    BPM software can be used on a mobile device as on a desktop computer without any degradation of functionality, usability, or impact.

  • Security

    While driving the core processes of an organization, keeping the data and operations safe from hackers, disasters, or other threats, must be a prime consideration. BPM software are continually monitored and security-tested.

  • Enablement

    BPM software let you combine programs, tools, and people for the successful completion of your complex business management process.

Advantages of Business Process Management Software

Business Process Management is used to align the business process of an organization with customer needs and helps executives to design, direct, monitor, measure the resources of the organization. It reduces costs, increases operational efficiency, and reduces risks. In addition to this BPM software have many other benefits. Some of them are as follows:

  • Flexibility

    In a modern competitive business era, organizations face the need to quickly change the process according to the new regulations, market demands etc. BPM software facilitates flexible design processes. A process can easily be customized with minimal costs.

  • Productivity

    BPM software facilitate automation of many repetitive processes and within regular workflows, remove potential or actual bottlenecks and improve processes. This improvement allows workers to spend more time on other activities. This leads to increased productivity and reduced waste.

  • Cost Efficiency

    BPM tools help an organization to reduce costs by streamlining business operations and collaboration, automating repetitive tasks, improving product quality and reducing corporate risks.

  • Employee Satisfaction

    BPM eliminates unnecessary repetitive works and makes information access easier that allows workers to focus on their works. Hence, team members report better job satisfaction; meantime managers have real-time visibility into what’s going on.

  • Customer Focus

    BPM provides more time to focus on the customer allowing more time to respond to the customers, build faster solutions. Using BPM software, the business process can easily be customized according to the needs of a customer.

  • Technology Integration

    ?BPM bridges the gap between IT and business users. But it focuses on process, not on the application.

Some Limitations of Business Process Management Tools

In spite of having many benefits, PBM has its limitations too. In some cases, BPM can be harmful to businesses. Process management has a tendency to limit innovations. In a firm employing process management, only incremental innovations can occur.  This means that radical innovation is unlikely to occur in a firm employing process management. According to the research report by Benner and Tushman, firms employing process management will be less successful during periods of rapid change than firms that do not employ process management.

Points to keep in mind while using Business Process Management Software

While using BPM software, you need to keep in mind the following things:

  1. Choose BPM platform according to your need.

  2. Choose a process which is little to manage and where the risks are lower to test on first.

  3. Identify the Process Owner.

  4. Set enterprise goals for the process.

  5. Draw a flowchart of the workflow.

  6. Involve Technical admins as well as functional or business owners.

  7. Test your BPM workflow.

  8. Change the workflow if needed.

  9. Train your employees.

  10. Measure and adjust the process.

BPM software is a must technology for organizations of all sizes and types to remain competitive in today’s competitive world. BPM tools increase the efficiency and productivity of the organization, removes all the bottlenecks of the business process and align the business process of the organization to the customer needs.

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Kiran BajpaiBy Kiran Bajpai | Last Updated: October 28, 2020

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