Operational and process excellence is akin to the synchronized gear movement of a well-oiled machine, with each stage of the BPM lifecycle acting as a catalyst for every gear rotation, propelling you forward.
However, you might wonder how these essential cogs allow you to steer your organization toward your ultimate destination. In this blog, we explore each cog in the machine and how they collectively empower you to chart a course on the way to efficiency, innovation and achievement.
What Is the Lifecycle of BPM?
BPM, known as business process management, is both a discipline and a technology. As a discipline, it’s a structured approach to how we study, identify, optimize and monitor business processes to ensure you deliver the right outcomes and results over time. It helps bring together all the processes you’ve automated with intelligent automation (IA) to make your organization more agile and adaptable to changing marketing demands.
As an IA technology, BPM connects people, processes, digital workers, data and systems so work can be done faster, more efficiently and accurately. Ultimately, this leads to better business outcomes, lower costs and more satisfied customers.
Here are a few more BPM benefits:
- Provides full visibility into your business
- Predicts outcomes
- Optimizes standardized processes
- Continuous process improvement
The BPM lifecycle is comprised of five stages: discover, analyze, design, implement and improve.
It’s something you’ll continuously move through, optimizing and evolving into more complex processes as your automation expands its capabilities. Each iteration builds on your previous experiences and insights, making it a valuable tool for sustained success.
Intelligent automation (IA) is the use of cognitive technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), BPM, natural language processing (NLP) and more, together with digital workers to streamline and optimize business processes and decision-making.
What Are the Stages in the BPM Lifecycle?
Each stage of the BPM lifecycle has its own set of activities and objectives. We’ll go through them together.
The first stage is discovery, giving the cog its initial push. It involves identifying and understanding any of the existing process flows within your organization. Your main focus here is to gather information and map out your processes with the goal of gaining insights into how things are currently done. You’ll also want to determine how these business activities currently align with your organization’s goals or mission.
- Process discovery
- Process mining
- Task mining
- Process intelligence
- Process modeling
- Process monitoring
In the next stage, organizations use the information collected from the discover phase to see how the process performs and how it affects desired business goals — whether it’s positive or negative. This stage contributes to building the cog’s momentum.
- Data collection
- Process validation
- Resource allocation
- Validation testing
- Business process analysis (BPA)
- Process intelligence
Process design is where you create models to visualize and identify potential areas for improvement using the information gathered in the previous stages. It also involves defining the roles, responsibilities and outcomes for each process step.
In this stage, organizations can get creative, mapping out significant adjustments to see how the process should be carried out and reviewing a mockup of its results.
- Resource allocation
- Process models
This is the phase where you integrate the changes — with deliverables, timelines and staff training — into the business. Automation plays a significant role here, allowing organizations to execute processes efficiently and consistently. Here, you’re adding more energy to the cog as efficiency comes into play.
- Testing and validation
- Feedback collection
- Performance evaluation
BPM is a continuous process, and although improvement is technically the final stage, we circle back. In the improvement stage, you’ll monitor the outcomes for optimization potential and re-work through the five stages — adjusting, refining and improving along the way — growing your BPM maturity. Here, you can also undergo process intelligence to help with continuous improvement and optimization.
As an example, the human resources department can go through the BPM lifecycle stages to improve the onboarding/offboarding experience for employees and the organization — making it more seamless, efficient and integrated.
What BPM Tools Can You Use in the Lifecycle?
During the lifecycle, there are several BPM tools and technologies you can use to improve and simplify the process. Here are a few examples:
- SS&C | Blue Prism® Process Intelligence (BPPI) — Process Intelligence integrates process mining and task mining with IA and BPM to facilitate better decision-making, with full visibility into your people, processes and tasks. So you can identify the best candidates for automation. After implementation, process intelligence can also help with continuous improvement and process optimization.
- SS&C | Blue Prism® Capture — In the discover and analyze stage, Capture helps process owners accurately record processes and generate automation prototypes — so that they can optimize and automate faster.
- Workflow automation software — Workflow automation tools help automate and execute business processes in the design and implementation stages.
- RPA — Digital workers can be used in the implementation stages to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks.
These are just a few examples of tools currently available that help businesses with each stage of the business process management lifecycle. Many organizations use a combination of these tools to support various stages, needs and complexities. Fortunately, to make life easier, there’s a comprehensive business process management system that can be used for all stages in the BPM lifecycle — SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus.
Chorus helps organizations with the following:
- Easier task management
- Better decision-making speed and quality
- Faster process and workforce adjustments
- Enhanced performance and productivity
- Higher quality of executed work
- Reduced costs with better resource allocation
- Reduced risk, both reputational and regulatory
- Increased accountability
In the end, Chorus helps you continually improve, orchestrate and optimize work across the enterprise. Learn more about Chorus and how it can help your organization here.
BPM Lifecycle Journey
Our journey through its lifecycle has revealed that just like a finely tuned machine, BPM keeps processes running harmoniously. Each stage plays a vital role in ensuring that momentum continues, not just to operate but to thrive, especially in today’s business landscape. BPM and Chorus help organizations emerge stronger, more efficient and more successful.
If you want to learn more about the BPM lifecycle, products to use or how you can follow it to reach success in your organization’s processes and operations, speak to our team!