What is BPM (Business Process Management)?
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.
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.