A Primer on Business Process Management Software and Solutions That Work

A Simple Guide to Business Process Management Solutions & Software

by Rod Dunne on January 10, 2012

in Creative

For a business owner, finding business process management solutions should be of paramount importance. Business process management, or BPM, is a management approach that tries to align every aspect of the business with the wants and needs of the clients.

Obviously good for the clients, this approach to business process modeling has been proven to promote efficiency and effectiveness also, making this innovative idea good for the owners and employees as well.

When looking into different forms of management, though, a little research on the subject is certainly called for. What is the specific purpose of the system, what types are available and what does the future look like are some of the questions that should be asked in order to ensure the best fit for the company.

What is the purpose of business process management solutions?

BPM solutions are designed to help a business become more effective, efficient, and a better competitor. Unlike more traditional approaches, BPM goes beyond the integrating of business software and automation.

Using a program called process simulation software, it looks at the complex relationships between employees and the different processes that take place every day, and allows for a better understanding of the dynamic unique to any business. Business process management systems are able to provide various views of the business model as well as provide business process documentation that can be used for training staff and informing teams of operational changes.

This creates a better understanding, and allows for a more comprehensive approach to the business as a whole. Looked at by some as the ‘backbone of enterprise content management’, BPM helps an organization to respond more quickly to changing markets, consumers, and regulations. This gives them a competitive advantage over their counterparts who do not use BPM solutions.

The key is finding a suitable open-source BPM tool which provides sufficient analysis of raw statistical data.

What are the types of business process management systems?

There are three main groups of BPM systems. They are:

  • Person-to-person – From the name of this group one could correctly assume that this involves two or more people. These are the most complex of the business systems. An example of this, much simplified, may be email, which is person to person contact through an automated delivery system.
  • System-to-system – This group is all about transferring data. An example of this would be an automated direction of a store shipment.
  • Person-to-system – This involves an employee who initiates a system designed to create a transaction. An example of this may be a consumer buying a product off a webpage.

These are, of course, very simplified explanations for each system, but it gives a basic idea of what each one is. Each category could further be divided into simple and complex processes.

In order to take advantage of the ways in which each process can be made more efficient, it is necessary to have at least one business process management tool. There are seven basic business process modeling tools which allow a business to simulate changes in market and consumer trends based on actual data. They are:

  1. Visualize – Create a strategy from the known processes and functions.
  2. Define – Create a baseline for the desired process improvements.
  3. Model – Create a simulation of the changes to the designated processes.
  4. Analyze – Analyze the simulations to find the best way of improving the process. This stage commonly focuses on defining your risk management process to identify then mitigate against bottlenecks, threats, etc.
  5. Improve – Implement the improvement that was determined to be the best.
  6. Control – Feed the improvement data back into the system to make way for the next improvement.
  7. Re-engineer – Re-create each step in order to improve the process for even better results.

What the future looks like: Open Source BPM Software

Open source is another name for free business process modeling software. There are all kinds of free software available today, so it was only a matter of time until businesses could take advantage of the trend. Currently, there are a number of free BPM software suites. The Networkuptime site has a list of free software options. In addition, a lot of the new business software packages have business process modeling and management software included.

IN CONCLUSION: The world of business process management solutions can be a confusing mix of techno-speak and IT nightmares. However, it can be highly beneficial to the health and growth of any business. With its mix of process automation and understanding of human interactions, it may be the preferred management tool of the future.

Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on Product-ivity.com. This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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