What is Business Process Management? A Guide to BPM
In general terms, business process management (BPM) is a methodology for understanding, measuring, modeling and improving all types of business processes, from individual tasks to entire workflows.
SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus BPM technology used for workflow management and tracking, collecting analytics and providing greater transparency to improve your workflows over time or as business processes change – ultimately helping you reach total business process transformation.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the details of BPM and Chorus, and how you can utilize digital technology to connect your systems and improve your automation scalability. Here are the key subject matters:
- The purpose of BPM
- Best practices and uses for BPM
- Challenges in implementing BPM
- Orchestrating work across the BPM lifecycle
What is BPM?
BPM is a structured approach to how we study, identify, optimize and monitor business processes to ensure delivery of the right business outcomes and results over time – creating company-ready workflows.
While you’ve probably heard of using business process management tools for checking the performance of your employees within your workflow automation, Chorus also measures your processes and charts entire workflows with user-friendly modeling techniques.
How does BPM work?
BPM helps with resource allocation, and it also looks at processes in a couple of different ways: BPM helps straight-through processing within document processing and application programming interface (API).
On its own, intelligent document processing (IDP) intakes and extracts specific data from a form or document using optical character recognition (OCR), which converts image data into text data that a computer can index and read.
The intelligent part of IDP uses business logic to look at which data to extract and can take that data from a non-standardized format and collate it into one system.
Adding IDP to your business process management systems gives you end-to-end process management for tracking and routing documents and ensures the information requiring human involvement is sent to the right people to validate and sign off – also known as human-in-the-loop (HITL). These discrete tasks are tracked against any SLAs.
For example, when processing a mortgage application, you’ll have information from various sources including tax filings, income verification, personal identification and so on. Gathering those documents may be one step in the business process, while extracting the information to be entered into the mortgage processing system is another that could be handled with IDP and SS&C Blue Prism digital workers, useful for a document-centric BPM approach.
Each step within BPM system may integrate with an API, which lets information flow more easily between applications. Each action can have rules applied as the data is imported or exported. Typically, however, BPM systems stop at the API layer. If a system or application doesn’t support this type of communication, there’s no way for the BPM to perform its import and export.
That’s where advanced technology from SS&C Blue Prism intelligent automation (IA) comes in, to create a virtual API that allows the BPM systems to access those applications and data while using robotic process automation (RPA) to do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes.
For example, when processing a mortgage application, data from the government could be accessed to validate the property address or confirm it’s in an environmentally safe region using an API as part of the steps the BPM monitors.
The third part of BPM is sending the right work to the right worker at the right time. This could be business users or digital workers.
In each step, BPM assigns tasks to people or digital workers as needed, then uploads the deliverables for that work into the BPM system so the next step may begin. That next step may be using IDP to extract data from the uploaded documents.
For example, in your mortgage application you may need people engaged in specific work, such as an inspector validating the property is in good condition or an appraiser determining the value of the property.
From there, BPM can work in concert with SS&C | Blue Prism® Process Intelligence (BPPI), which uses process mining, task mining and business intelligence on current processes to determine their optimization potential and develop process modeling techniques based on that data.
BPPI identifies any missed SLAs and reports bottlenecks within those processes so you can make changes and ensure everything runs at peak performance.
While human employees can do a lot, their collaboration capabilities with digital workers and other systems will help orchestrate your entire business workflow, improving business continuity and creating a more unified workforce.
Why is BPM Important?
BPM helps you bring together all the processes you’ve automated with intelligent automation (IA), making your organization more agile and able to adapt to changing market demands. In fact, business process management is one part of the entire IA suite of products, along with RPA, AI, ML and natural language processing (NLP).
Automating a bunch of disparate tasks won’t help you scale your automation across your organization. Processes can be inconsistent across people, departments and divisions, and as you apply IA to more complex tasks, control and governance issues may arise. That’s where BPM comes in.
BPM enables you to automate entire processes securely and scale your IA efforts end-to-end to achieve consistent and effective business objectives.
Orchestrating your processes
SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus gives you an orchestration of individual parts, enabling your processes to get better with each and every performance. Think of an orchestra, where every instrument can be played individually, but when a conductor combines them into one harmonious production, they create a masterpiece.
With Chorus, you can execute work across your business, delivering the right work to the right resources at the right time. Chorus is about people, processes, digital workers, data and systems working together in concert to achieve the highest levels of service even as businesses and needs change.
The benefits of BPM Chorus include:
- Process management software for easier task management and better decision-making speed and quality
- Faster process and workforce adjustments
- Enhanced performance and productivity of the human and digital workforce
- Higher quality of executed work for improved customer experiences
- Reduced costs with better resource allocation and fewer SLA and regulatory penalties
- Reduced risk, both reputational and regulatory
- Increased accountability across businesses and departments
What is the purpose of BPM?
BPM provides total visibility into your business processes so you can manage work across your organization. With these insights, BPM can help you predict outcomes, strengthen performance and work on continuous improvement for better scalability. Specifically, there are three unique reasons why BPM matters:
- BPM prioritizes work. BPM ensures the most important tasks are completed first, and that all tasks are completed in the correct order. It automates the handoffs between people and digital technology using a defined set of business rules that can include policies, requirements and conditional statements.
- BPM provides a clear audit trail. BPM documents and reports all your processes to support compliance. Using machine learning (ML), BPM can predict if a work item has an error. This mitigates risks to business operations and reduces regulatory fines by eliminating errors.
- BPM improves communication. BPM brings all your interactions into one place so you always know the status of your work and can act right away. It also lets you build applications to ingest content and data from any channel and perform outbound personalized communications with customers, partners and vendors.
BPM helps you design and implement consistent processes across your organization, ensuring the best quality work and scalability for future business automations.
BPM best business practices
The essence of good intelligent automation projects is scalability, and BPM can help with that. With full visibility into your processes, you can manage work more easily, with continuous improvement of business processes as you go. And combining that digital technology with BPPI allows you to identify problem areas more quickly and address them before they impede your overall workflow.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: your processes aren’t perfect. At least, not yet. And with business leaders and business analysts feeling the mounting pressure to improve their business efficiency, it’s time to consider a more structured approach to managing your processes.
Here are the challenges a lot of organizations feel in their daily operations:
- Repeatedly delivering the same information to different parts of your business
- Experiencing response delays because they depend on one person in your organization for communication
- Waiting hours, days or even weeks for their requests to be handled
- Having different or inconsistent experiences across different channels
- Spending a lot of time looking for things instead of doing them
- Keying in the same information multiple times across different systems
- Unsure of which tasks to work on next
- Unable to see what work is being done, ending in effort duplication
Your business is…
- Leaving a paper trail of processes that are hard to keep track of
- Using different systems across business units, departments or teams
- Taking forever to adapt to changing industry regulations
- Unable to keep up with application creation to address customer demands
Business process improvement with BPM
Unless you take a systematic approach to optimize these shortfalls plaguing your business, those challenges will only perpetuate. Here’s where BPM helps:
- Only ask for details once because their information is seamlessly read, recorded and sent to the correct systems for processing
- Receive better customer service because employees are no longer bogged down by tedious tasks
- See their requests handled quickly and accurately now that they’re processed by digital workers
- Get standardized, consistent service across all channels
- Know where data is stored and have access to all relevant information quickly, thanks to everything made available in one orchestrated project management system
- Integrate with digital workers to alleviate mundane and repeatable processes from their workload
- Understand which business tasks are a priority and where they should focus their efforts
- See in near real-time where individual tasks are in the business automation workflow and what work is left to do
Your business …
- Keeps detailed, auditable records tracking and documenting all processes in a secure system environment
- Orchestrates systems across all business units to ensure a cohesive, harmonious and structured approach to work
- Quickly adapts and evolves with changing regulatory requirements, with intelligent automation handling these demands as they’re updated in near real-time
- Develops and integrates new applications to address customer demands as they appear, and even using BPM to predict future outcomes to improve customer satisfaction
What are the Stages of the BPM Lifecycle?
The business process management lifecycle is all about growth, meaning as you move through the stages of BPM – discovery, analysis, design, implementation and improvement of business processes – your organization will never stay constant.
The BPM lifecycle is something you’ll continuously move through, optimizing and evolving into more complex business processes as your automation program expands its capabilities.
Automation projects need a good business strategy if you want to achieve your overall organizational goals. Here are the five steps to effectively bringing BPM into your systems:
1 – Discover
Process intelligence combines task mining, process mining and business intelligence to give you full visibility into your people, processes and tasks. One way to gain visibility in your processes is through our SS&C | Blue Prism® Process Intelligence (BPPI).
2 – Analyze
Use the information collected from BPPI to see how it affects, positively or negatively, the desired business goals.
3 – Design
Structure automated business processes to ensure their elements work in concert with their human-centric BPM components.
4 – Implement
Integrate the changes – with deliverables, timelines and staff training – into the business.
5 – Improve
Monitor outcomes for optimization potential and work through the five stages, continuously adjusting, refining and improving your processes and growing your BPM maturity.
One of the best things BPM can offer is its adaptability. BPM can fit into brand-new businesses as much as it fits within legacy processes. New organizations can codify processes directly into BPM software systems, with their business automation workflow running from the start.
But for more mature organizations, BPM can integrate processes across their disparate legacy systems so everything works together seamlessly. You can reimagine processes and easily plug in other intelligent, cognitive technologies like machine learning (ML) or intelligent document processing (IDP) where necessary.
Your BPM maturity grows as your business process automation does. Its capabilities expand with the scaling of your IA, ensuring your core processes are always running at peak operational efficiency.
RPA vs BPM
Robotic process automation (RPA) plays an important role in business process management. Both technologies are part of the wider intelligent automation (IA) products, along with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).
RPA and BPM are both integral pieces to your automation roadmap. That’s how they’re the same. But how do they differ?
What’s the difference between RPA and BPM?
RPA automates specific tasks, deploying software bots to work through repetitive tasks and alleviate them from employees, who can now focus on higher-value business activity.
BPM is a way of managing your automations by determining which tasks should be automated, the approach needed to eliminate and consolidate those tasks and the design experience to create those end-to-end process experiences.
BPM and RPA: how do they work together?
BPM makes RPA’s job easier (and more effective) by identifying which processes are best to automate and how they can be made better. It’s that simple.
Here’s how BPM can help in specific industries, with common examples and a business process management solution for each:
Challenge: Duplicated effort
BPM Solution: Patient information is reconciled into one system to avoid multiple keying of the same data
BPM finance and accounting
Challenge: Regulatory compliance
BPM Solution: Real-time visibility into work status and automated quality checks to strengthen transparency and improve controls
Challenge: Serving citizens
BPM Solution: Data is securely and accurately accessed to offer public sector services to the appropriate people
BPM banking and financial services
Challenge: Onboarding a new customer
BPM in Banking Solution: Gathering and verifying customer data from multiple sources with automated KYC and anti-money laundering checks
BPM in insurance
Challenge: Claims management
BPM Solution: Improve customer service by processing claims quicker, while flagging potential frt claims
BPM in manufacturing
Challenge: Supply chain
BPM Solution: Supplier and tracking information is seamlessly integrated and updated in multiple systems accurately and efficiently, reducing order mistakes or duplications
What is the Future of Business Process Management?
At its core, BPM is about people. It offers valuable insights into operational processes to improve customer experience, boost employee satisfaction, heighten your organization’s reputation and increase your cost savings through more efficient processes.
With all its capabilities, BPM has room to constantly evolve with changing automation technologies, improving cycle times and cost efficiency. Eventually, it may be digital workers managing digital workers. But we’re not there yet.
The standard BPM system manages automated business processes, orchestrates work, gives roles-based access, enhances collaboration capabilities within multiple systems, unifies the digital and human workforce, manages content across channels and provides advanced analytics.
What are the benefits of Business Process Management (BPM)?
And now, with SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus, you get a business process management software product that’s company-ready and deliverings? even more benefits:
- Deep domain expertise with over 35 years of experience in scaling mission-critical automations in complex and highly regulated environments
- True cloud choice available in a secure private cloud software platform, on-premises or through public cloud offerings
- Omni-channel intake and personalization to let you interact and communicate using a customer’s channel of choice while maintaining brand consistency, accuracy and compliance
- Solution-focused with purpose-built processing for high-volume, complex or regulated environments
- Total visibility of business activity monitoring for end-to-end performance in real-time across processes, people, digital co-workers and systems
- The SS&C advantage means Chorus is backed by a trusted global market leader
Business process management is about bringing the pieces together, from individual melodies to infinite harmonies. And with Chorus BPM, your musical number will be a flowing, moving masterpiece.
Why SS&C Blue Prism?
SS&C Blue Prism stands out with our BPM platform, promising a structured approach to business process transformation.
We offer a complete platform with business models to guide people within an organization, from business leaders to business analysts and developers, to determine the best way forward for their processes.
Our automation and management capabilities are available in the same low-code/no-code software platform. This means there’s minimal setup required as the orchestration engine is already finely tuned to work with your existing digital workforce (and vice versa).
Proven track record
SS&C Blue Prism provides automation software and services across sectors, including financial services, healthcare and insurance.
We’re continuously enhancing our AI and cloud capabilities, with experts helping our clients find new and innovative modeling techniques for their automation program.
Orchestrate your organization’s accelerated digital transformation with the SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus business process management software.