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What is BPM?
Business Process Management (BPM) is as much a methodology and practice as it is a suite of tools to affect, control, and optimize positive change. BPM as a tool suite serves as a business process platform through which management can identify, instill and sustain performance enhancing changes while moving towards full process automation through iterative, continual development. In other words, BPM:
- Defines and supports an agile approach to policy and process changes.
- Serves as a management practice emphasizing organizational effectiveness and efficiency in process delivery.
- Provides a suite of methodologies, tools, and templates for discovering, defining, modeling, automating, monitoring, analyzing and ultimately optimizing business processes.
BPM suites such as BizFlow® Plus combine the following core functional elements:
- Model-Driven Development – BizFlow® provides analysts a modeling environment that uses standard business process modeling notation (BPMN). Modeling is easy; simply drag-and-drop activities, sub-processes, and sub-routines from the menu bar. Test it. Simulate it. Execute it.
- Business Rules Management – With the model in hand, managers now know where the process starts and ends. Now business analysts can adjust the underlying policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities. These rules dictate how processes start, who participates, what each participant must do (and not do), which systems share the work and corresponding exceptions, deadlines, and approvals. BizFlow® brings hidden rules and procedures to the surface so that users can both see and sense the needs of change, then effectively and quickly apply those changes.
- Forms Creation and Application Development – The primary goal of any process-driven exercise is to reduce paper and create visibility. Using BizFlow® organizations can substitute paper with electronic forms that capture data and documents that users can access and pass around through serial or parallel steps to automate work. BizFlow® forms are fast and easy to deploy.
- Dynamic Tasking (Ad-Hoc Routing) – Not all workflows are set in stone. Users need the flexibility to collaborate with others. Tasking enables process participants to punch out of structured processes and task others for additional insight, input, and approvals. Or people can start tasking without prior process modeling. Tasking must support not just serial, but parallel processing. And as tasks roll-out, workflows created can be used as templates to formal process design and execution.
- Monitoring (Status Checks, Alerts) – All participants should be able to monitor and audit their work. BizFlow® provides management visibility into process flows. At any given moment participants can know case/task status. Business analysts can measure and analyze time taken, associated costs, and existing/potential bottlenecks. Missed deadlines or events trigger immediate action requests. This knowledge base enables proactive problem solving and workflow automaton.
- User and Group Collaboration – Process participants need a place to access their tasks. BizFlow® provides user interfaces, which in turn can be plugged into portals (e.g., Sharepoint, BEA) for anytime access. Through the UI, users can initiate, monitor, and complete work, initiate dynamic tasks, add comments, share work, run reports, and conduct analysis.
- Integration (System Connectivity) – Using Web services, adaptors, and other integration techniques enable BizFlow®-based applications to auto-populate electronic forms with data from existing repositories. Integration also streamlines data validation, data updates, document versioning, and more. BizFlow® plugs into ESB and other data orchestration and transformation tools. The Event Response Adaptor enables business processes to be initiated or updated using information provided by external systems. And other out-of-box adaptors serve users to leverage Documentum, Sharepoint and other EDMS.
- Reporting and Process Intelligence – Users want quick, graphical access into process performance. BizFlow® tracks Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and other data from reporting and analytical purposes.
- Process Execution and State Management – Workflows take place between people and applications. BizFlow® is excellent for system-to-system transactions and especially adept at the more difficult task of enabling effective human-to-human, human-to-system s transactions.. BizFlow® supports these scenarios itself or through integration with BPEL Engines and ESBs.
- Simulation and Optimization – Iterative development involves simulating process definitions for missed requirements or incorrect assertions. BizFlow® enables users to run tests and round trips to predict bottlenecks, and missing items before rolling into execution.
- System Administration – Ultimately, BizFlow® provides a studio to plan and deploy projects. Administration handles roles, security and access rights, LDAP integration, permissions, and process execution.
Within these core functional areas, organizations have the capabilities that define, simulate, deploy, execute, and optimize their business processes. BizFlow® provides this and much more to accomplish process innovation. Customers worldwide have deployed BizFlow® for automating document-, human-, decision-, and integration-centric process solutions. How do you want to automate your business processes? Contact us today.