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What is BPM (Business Process Management)?

Neil Miller

September 16th, 2015 Tutorial  

Every so often, you’ll see us refer to a term called BPM on the blog. BPM stands for Business Process Management.

BPM is the process of analyzing and improving business processes to create a more efficient and effective organization.

Okay, so what is a business process?

A business process is any sequence of events or tasks that must be performed for a business to operate. For example, a customer’s purchase resulting in a delivery is a key business process that exists in all for-profit organizations.

So, wait, is this like task management with Trello and Asana?

Not really. Task management is about handling or organizing a set of activities that arise out of a project. These projects are often one-time and non-repeatable. When these projects are well-organized like in a construction project, a project management software like ‘Microsoft Project’ is used. Trello and Asana are good for managing tasks from ad-hoc projects.

BPM is neither task management or project management (although it can occur within a project context). BPM is focused more on repetitive ongoing processes that follow a predictable pattern.

Isn’t that what checklists are for?

Some processes are simple enough to use a checklist, but BPM comes in when things get a little more complex. Checklists are about not forgetting certain tasks; BPM is about doing a step in a process at the right time.

BPM is often used when…

  • Processes need to be updated frequently (i.e. regulatory compliance changes)
  • Processes span across multiple people, regions and business units
  • Processes involve the use of different software (i.e. Accounting, CRM and HR)
  • A process needs the capability of being overridden manually from time to time
  • Processes that can involve exceptions

Okay, that sounds a little more complex.

No kidding. BPM provides a lot of value to companies. It reduces human error, decreases miscommunication, digitizes manual processes, and moves the responsibility of completing a process from humans to a program.

Most BPM is based on the BPM lifecycle. Step 1 is to sit and design the process in its ideal state and examine all the conditions that need to be built. Step 2 is to model the process using business process management software. Step 3 is to execute, or put a system in place. Step 4 is to monitor the system and gather data about how it is functioning. Step 5 is to optimize and make changes to the process to improve it.

BPM Life Cycle

 

So it’s a lot of technology and software, right?

Usually, yes. business process management system can get quite complex. There are many options, but the most sophisticated ones often require special certification to implement and manage. The software can help in mapping, creating, analyzing, monitoring, and improving processes.

Sounds like it’s going to cost a lot of money.

Yup. A typical project requires licensing the BPM Software, hiring a consultant to set it up for you, and training your staff. Costs can easily range from $250,000 to $500,000, and that isn’t including the amount of time your internal team needs to spend to create and modify the processes.

Okay, see you later.

Wait! KiSSFLOW is a Business Process Management Software that is priced at just $5/user/month.

That’s ridiculous. How are you making any money? What’s the catch?

We did three things. First, KiSSFLOW is designed for the 99% of business processes that are straightforward and easy to draw out on a napkin. The software platform you need for these processes doesn’t have to be so heavy-duty.

Second, we made the process design so stinking easy that you would never need to pay for a high-priced consultant to set it up for you. We’re always just a simple call away, but most users are able to create their own workflows without any help.

Third, we made it try-and-buy. This means we removed a ton of costs related to selling that is often loaded into the price. We make good software. You try it. If you like it, you buy it. All the money we save in reduces sales costs are passed on to you.

…and, just for kicks, we still put in all the awesome data-tracking features the high-priced options have.

Well, that’s nice!

Glad you thought so. Why don’t you give it a try? There’s a free 14-day trial. Pick a process that has been hard to automate in your company and see how easy it can be.

  • Darryl Brown

    So,… does Kissflow integrate a user log that keeps track of who did what when…?
    Thanks.

    • Neil Miller

      Yes it does, Darryl. For every item that goes through a process, you can see an updated history of what tasks were completed, who did them, and at what time.

  • manickam sethuramalingam

    Hello,
    i would like to know, if this tool can be used fetch some information/data from a network / server / log file / Excel sheet directly as part of task sequences and does it have intelligent to assess / look inside a document/file/server/network basis on some rule bases / logic that if we create as part of task sequence ?

    Also can it get the data from external source through API connector and customizable to take some action items (again through some logic)?

    Appreciate your response.
    Thanks and regards,
    S.Manickam

    • Neil Miller

      Hi Manickam. Yes, you can use KiSSFLOW to fetch information as a part of a system task sequence. KiSSFLOW has open API ends and is built for this very purpose.

  • Jaco van Buren

    Hi there, two questions for you:
    1) do you have European data centers, or will my data be stored in the US?
    2) What happens to my data, documents and status history after a file finished through the workflow? Is there an archive system attached, or will my data simply be deleted on completion?
    Thank you in advance,
    with kind regards,
    Jaco van Buren

    • Neil Miller

      Hi Jaco,

      1.) Yes, we have data centers in Europe that we use.
      2.) All data is encrypted and stored in Google Cloud SQL. You will have access to look at all the completed items that you’ve done in KiSSFLOW.

      Here are more answers:
      https://help.kissflow.com/faq/