Business Process Management Software (BPM) Information

BPM softwareBusiness process management (BPM) software enables companies to map, model, and improve business processes across the organization. Companies use BPM software to define business rules, model current processes, and identify areas for improvement. Business rules describe operations such as vendor selection, material processing, and order fulfillment. They also define how businesses communicate with customers, vendors, and regulatory agencies. BPM software uses business process modeling to describe workflows with visual elements such as shapes and arrows. Each shape represents the work of a person, system, or external resource. The arrows describe the direction of activities. For example, a business process model that describes the request for quotation (RFQ) process may include boxes for vendors and buyers and bidirectional arrows that describe the flow of information between the two.

Specifications

Selecting BPM software requires an information technology (IT) assessment and an analysis of product specifications and features. Before selecting BPM software, IT personnel should review existing applications to identify application requirements. They can then identify BPM software based on different criteria. Considerations include:

  • system architectures, standards, and platforms
  • ease of implementation, administration, and use
  • performance, scalability, and integration
  • total costs and pricing

Some BPM software supports only human-to-human tasks. Others support human-to-system and system-to-human activities.

Types

Business activity monitoring (BAM) allows managers to measure how existing processes help companies reach their goals. Business rule engine (BRE) technology allows businesses to define operations based on regulatory requirements, quality standards, or internal policies and procedures. Other types of BPM software include value stream mapping software (VSM software), Kaizen software, lean enterprise software, and collaboration software.

Features

BPM software enables companies to simulate changes before altering business rules or rule sets. Customizable products can be used to solve problems that are not addressed by turnkey or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems. BPM software should be able to model an organization’s business rules and represent standards such as Six Sigma, a methodology that prevents defects in manufacturing and service-related processes.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Business, Know Thyself

Engineering360—Business Information Software for Industry

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