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What Is the Business Process Management (BPM) Lifecycle?

There are many organizations still struggling with managing their internal processes, including some big corporations. One of the problems that have made it possible for business management to thrive is the fact that many business owners take business management processes to be a massive expenditure with no foreseeable returns. 

Business Process Management (BPM) Lifecycle?

What is Business Process Management (BPM)?

BPM refers to an organizational discipline and practice where an organization steps back to evaluate and analyze its processes one after the other to determine its viability. The goal here is to identify the underperforming areas and introduce changes or improvements to optimal results.

BPM is simply a way of referring to how an organization creates, analyzes, and revises its core business processes.

The discipline is localized at the departmental level, where each department is tasked with taking the data relevant to it and work it into the desired results. It’s possible that there could be more than one process that a single department is handling at any given time.

Significance of BPM 

Unorganized and unsystematized processes can result in everything else but better productivity. Everything turns chaotic and it’s nearly impossible to tell the kind of direction the organization is headed. But a business that’s keen on the implementation of BPM stands to reap the following benefits:

1. Guarantee Compliance with Agreements

Part of the reason BPM exists is to ensure compliance with all the set procedures, policies, and agreements. That’s because it works under the already specified rules and guarantees that the processes that you will create adhere to both the internal and external standards and codes of practice. Process monitoring is also something that makes BPM extra attractive as you can get timely notifications in case there are any breaches.

2. Become an Agile Company

It’s for everyone in an organization to get a clear scope of where the business is, where it’s going and what it stands for by following documented processes. Every person in the organization knows the role, how they’re supposed to go about it, and their roles contribute efficiently to achieving the overall organizational goals. 

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If there is a failure, it’s possible to pinpoint precisely where the problem started. So the organization learns from those mistakes and goes back to its processes to amend and adjust accordingly for improved efficiency. 


3. Control Data Accessibility

Data security is an issue that’s quickly turning into a significant concern for IT leaders. An organization that’s not fully taken advantage of technological advancements in streamlining its operations is missing out on a multi-million dollar opportunity. 

For one, IT  can help employees retrieve or access data from multiple sources to get the job done. That’s part of what BPM facilitates besides preventing accidental data loss, damage, or bridge. 

4. Digital Transformation

Through IT leaders’ help, businesses can leverage technology to advance and improve employees’ and customers’ experiences.

It’s the goal of BPM to streamline processes and the running of business practices. If the organization can implement a BPM strategy, it’s enough to say that it has successfully undergone digital transformation. At this point, the organization can use workflow applications in running their processes without any IT assistance. 

5. Increase Productivity and Minimal Errors

The implementation of BPM demands meticulous planning and construction of processes. That means if there are any errors likely to occur, they will be spotted and mitigated in the planning stage. This results in better performance and easy achievement of the set targets since errors are minimized to the lowest possible scale. 

Business Process Management (BPM) Lifecycle

1. Process Design

It all begins with the identification of the business processes that needs automation. The next step is to write down the existing procedures, actions, decisions and the people involved. A mock-up form also comes in handy here as it aids in the collection and display of data. Once it has collected and displayed the needed data, the form can be routed using the review-and-approval workflow. 

2. Business Process Modelling

Business process modeling maps out the future beginning from the current level {as-is) going to the future (or “to-be”), using written documentation detailing all the relevant data steps needed for action and implementation. 

The process follows the form clearly and logically outlined where every task is assigned to a particular participant. The following process illustration is for a typical capital expenditure approval request.

Start > Initiator completes form > manager seeks clarification > Initiator updates form and resubmits form > manager approves request > CFO approval > end.

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You can represent the above process in a flowchart that will include design principles such as loops, decisions, notifications, parallel steps, and approval.

Significance of BPM 

3. Process Execution

business process management software (BPMS) is needed to efficiently execute the BPM methodology as stated out during the design and modeling stages. Indeed, there is the possibility of manual execution, although such will be characterized by inefficiencies and will continue to be paper-based.

The best approach here would be to introduce the process to a few trusted individuals first to gain their confidence and get room to fix teething problems that might arise at this point. 

4. Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

This refers to the evaluation activities performed and data collected with the view of analyzing critical tasks.

The goal here is to accomplish goals faster by getting rid of the time-consuming steps and procedures. The workflow is targeted at ensuring the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness in all the processes. The management has to keenly analyze the key performance indicators to determine if the specific business modeling in question leads to the achievement of the set goals. 

5. Business Process Optimisation

Here, there’s a “Process Champion” that works to introduce improvements to the workflow/flow by using data to identify and fix the bottlenecks.

If there’s management buy-in, agreed on commercial terms, and reusable components, BPMS can be implemented faster if the inefficient processes are identified and dealt with. 

6. Business Process Re-engineering

Re-engineering is recommended when a process becomes inefficient and therefore the only way to restore productivity is to undertake product optimization. In that case, the entire process life cycle has to be re-engineered. 

What Are the Types of BPM?

There are multiple forms of BPM, some of which allow for complete automation of some processes. But a typical organization would need all the types of BPM that are going to highlight below.

1. Document-Centric BPM

Here, a particular document is the core of a specified process. The working mechanism here is that the document is sent to several approvers who approve it before it’s put into use. One of the benefits is that it reduces the amount of time spent on sending documents back and forth. 

A budget approval process makes an excellent example of a document-centric BPM. There’s a form that the initiator has to fill to make the requisition by sending it to another higher authority in the workflow. 

2. Integration-Centric BPM

In this kind of process, the emphasis is placed on creating seamless and smooth data transitions within the network software tools. The center of attention is on the numerous software systems and applications you must integrate to run smoothly. In most cases, that would call for an automated set of tools that eliminate the need for much human involvement or manual adjustments.

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A good example here is the integrated set of tools used mainly by the sales and marketing departments. Typically, the marketing process is initiated as a marketing tool while the leads are tracked using an analytics tool. These two are stored in a CRM, reflecting the lead’s entire journey to where you made the sale or the lead dropped out in the sales funnel.

3. Human-Centric BPM

Humans are the ones entrusted with doing most of the demanding tasks. That means, after every stage or step, some people are required to decide as per what should happen next. In this BPM, automation plays a minimal role in the day-to-day running of processes. Such a system is often designed to be user-friendly to both the employees and the staff. 

An excellent example of Human-centric BPM would be the hiring process. The process is initiated when the concerned departmental head realizes the need for an additional employee and puts forward the manager’s request. 

From there, the manager will review the request and, when he deems it necessary, will approve and forward the same to the HR department. It’s then that the HR executive advertises this vacancy after creating a job description and invites qualified applicants. This is followed by screening or shortlisting the applicants based on the provided selection criteria. 

Bottom Line 

We conclude this section by looking at the difference between BPM and Project Management, for unless you distinguish between the two, it’s likely to be a challenge getting the most out of BPM. 

For one, most projects tend to be targeted at achieving one-time goals and that’s it. For instance, app development could take like three months from development to launch. After the launch, the project is considered to have come to an end.

On the other hand, BPM aims at improving processes that are constantly active and running in a business. A perfect example is a purchase order approval process in which the responsible participants already know their roles in advance. 

However, BPM and Project management’s only similarity is that each of the two is further broken down into several individual tasks and sub-processes.

About Sonia Kukreja

I am a mother of a lovely kid, and an avid fan technology, computing and management related topics. I hold a degree in MBA from well known management college in India. After completing my post graduation I thought to start a website where I can share management related concepts with rest of the people.