Business process management: At first glance, this term seems to be a simple description of what bosses, managers and department heads do; they manage the processes of business. The term’s unstated implication is that processes are managed with the aim of increasing efficiency, profitability and/or competitiveness.
But business process management (BPM) is actually a technical term. It still carries some of the same implications noted above—the aim of BPM is to increase a company’s efficiency, profitability and/or competitiveness—but, as a technical term, it focuses specifically on the digitization of business processes. Software and application development play a central role.
(If you're looking for more generic software to simply manage a business, without the technical implications of BPM, that would just be business management software—not at all confusing, right? Don't worry, we'll clear things up.)
Reviewers' Choice Products
|Bizagi||Engage Process Modeler|
Our Reviewers’ Choice list shows the five highest user-rated software solutions for Business Process Management when adjusted for total number of reviews and recency of reviews.
If a software solution has more reviews, and more recent reviews, we value those ratings more highly than a product with fewer, older reviews. This is because is it much harder to get 100 five-star reviews than it is to get 10.
We also know that software vendors continually tweak and update their product, so we believe that more recent reviews tend to be more accurate.
To determine which products made the final cut, we looked at how users rated each solution's:
A solution can make the Reviewers' Choice top five in all three categories, or just one or two. All software solutions in the Reviewers' Choice have at least 10 reviews from real software users. The final products are listed in alphabetical order from left to right.
For more details on how we selected our Reviewers' Choice, read the full methodology.
BPM is defined by Gartner as “a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business processes. A business process coordinates the behavior of people, systems, information and things to produce business outcomes in support of a business strategy. Processes can be structured and repeatable or unstructured and variable. Though not required, technologies are often used with BPM. BPM is key to align IT/OT [information/operational technologies] investments to business strategy.”
With the definition out of the way, let’s see what BPM looks like in practice. Compare the following two scenarios to understand what distinguishes BPM from the ordinary and expected activities of running a business.
|Over two-year period||Result|
|Business A (Without BPM)||
|Business B (With BPM)||
As you might expect, BPM takes different forms and is shaped by a business’s size, segment and strategy. As a result, software used for BPM is available in many different forms.
You can focus your approach to the BPM software market by looking at it in terms of three general categories outlined by Gartner in a report by analysts Michele Cantara and Rob Dunie: “Select the Right Type of BPM Platform to Achieve Your Application Development, Business Transformation or Digital Business Goals” (content available to Gartner clients).
If we knew specifically which processes businesses would be managing tomorrow, we’d have retired yesterday… and we wouldn’t have written this Buyer’s Guide today. We can’t predict the future, but we have been observing BPM long enough to understand that these general trends in BPM technology and strategy are likely to continue.
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