What is BPMS for Your Business?
BPMS software provides business efficiency, compliance, and improved productivity.
BPMS stands for "Business Process Management Software" or "Business Process Management Suite." In either case, BPMS (or, more recently iBMPS with the "i" referring to "intelligent") is a software tool used to improve an organization's business processes through the definition, automation, and analysis of business processes. We'll break down each of these concepts below. BPM, by itself, is a discipline used by organizations to identify, document, and improve their business processes. BPM automation software is used to enable aspects of BPM.
Before any BPM workflow automation can be created, processes need to be documented, which requires planning and collaboration as well as tools to illustrate how processes look. Business process models can be created within BPMS in a variety of ways and then reviewed by stakeholders to ensure an accurate depiction of the process is achieved. Process models can be published in a variety of ways or exported into different formats, commonly BPMN. Some process modelers also include simulation modes to test different process scenarios.
The primary aspect of process automation is offloading much of the rote work involved in employees' day-to-day functions to a system that has been programmed with business rules and automated triggers with limited human interaction thanks to a workflow engine. Building these automation involves assembling tasks or actions and input mechanisms (e.g. forms or system inputs) to mimic the behavior of a business process.
BPMS tools provide various levels of reporting or integrate with reporting tools to provide analytics about process performance. Reports are tied to KPIs (key performance indicators) and provide data on the performance of individual actions, processes, process members, etc. Analytics can identify process bottlenecks and provide opportunities for continuous process improvement. In addition, audits can be run on historical actions.
Like any business effort, measurement with BPM is critical. The most important thing to avoid when deciding what to measure is taking an unscripted approach that catalogs a wish list of KPIs from departmental managers, since this approach may result in too long a list of KPIs to manage, KPIs that provide insufficient business value, KPIs that are not aligned with high-level business goals, and KPIs that are actually at crossed purposes.
The well-worn concept of SMART metrics applies when measuring the performance of process improvement efforts.
The BPMS market is vast and includes vendors that provide complete all-in-one solutions or "Suites" as well as smaller players that provide individual aspects for definition, automation, and analytics as well as form building, collaboration, and BPM project management. BPM Workflow Software Suites can be used for massive, organization-wide BPM initiatives with large teams and long, complex projects. Workflow and BPM automation software can be used to tackle smaller, specific projects that may not require things like process simulation or organization-wide process modeling collaboration.
BPMS software vendors include:
We have a variety of resources to help you on your journey to an automated workflow.
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