Business Process Management (BPM) is the definition, management and improvement of a firm's end-to-end enterprise business processes. For performance-based, customer-driven firms in particular, the goals of BPM are threefold:
1) Clarify the strategic direction
2) Align resources
3) Increase the discipline in daily ops
For customer-driven firms, the concept of BPM spans the entire enterprise, as it involves taking a structured approach to providing customers with the products and services that they find of most value. As a firm grows to understand its key business processes used to meet its customers' needs, any gaps between the expectations of the customer and business performance wills start to emerge.
The most identifiable processes that are targeted for improvement by businesses are the ones that are ineffective in delivering what the customer requires. Efficient and effective processes save resources while delivering products and/or services according to specifications. As BPM solutions are implemented, the firm as a whole starts to measure performance by customer-driven requirements. Rather than the employees of the business thinking of themselves as managers responsible for functional tasks, they instead see their roles in the context of actually creating loyal, satisfied customers.
Metrics, key performance indicators (KPI), mapping and modeling, process discovery and monitoring, collaboration, and decision-making are all things that make BPM a deliberative discipline used to manage process improvement. BPMInstitute.org distinguishes BPM as a "discipline" as opposed to a "methodology". By definition, a "discipline" is a form of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, and in this case, Business Process Management produces "process-thinking". This is in contrast to a "methodology", which is defined as a "system of methods used in a particular area of study or activity".
There are nine areas in a cohesive program in order to applying the BPM discipline strategically:
• Align Processes with Business Strategy
• Modeling/Discovering Processes
• Measuring Processes
• Benchmarking/Analyzing Processes
• Creating Rules
• Improving of Processes
• Managing Culture Change
• Decision Making
• Technology Deployment
BPM usage in the enterprise will have its adoption accelerated as those within become more and more experienced in all nine of these areas.