Business 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. Business process management (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.
Selecting business process management (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 business process management (BPM) software based on different criteria. Considerations include system architectures, standards and platforms; ease of implementation, administration, and use; performance, scalability, and integration; and total costs and pricing. Some business process management (BPM) software supports only human-to-human tasks. Others support human-to-system and system-to-human activities. 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.
Business process management (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. Business process management (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.