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How Would You Describe BPM in One Sentence?

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From an excellent discussion on LinkedIn (the link requires you to join the group), how would you describe BPM in one sentence?

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  • The ability to take control of all "work" activity....

  • It's like looking at a Rorschach picture, everyone has their own interpretation of BPM and what they are looking from it to help their organisation, so it's subjective to the implementation, organisation and goals being sought. Similarly and sharing a parallel, BPM can be used to detect underlying processes where it's difficult to find them explicitly.

    If you read the Wiki article and apply it to BPM you can see where I'm coming from.

    In a nutshell, how long's a piece of string, must be a pretty big sentence ;)

  • A way of thinking!

    - Derek Miers, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

  • Improving the process of process improvement.

  • One phrase? This isn't a limitation really - I always enjoyed William Faulkner's ability to last a single phrase for several pages...
    BPM in the wide sense is an umbrella concept covering various aspects of business process analysis, optimization, automation, control etc. while BPM in the narrow sense is a complimentary set of - 1) process methodology, 2) software tools known as BPM Suites and 3) agile implementation methods - aimed to manage organizations by formally defined business processes and to manage changes of processes themselves in the ever-changing business environment.

  • (BPMS) - A rapid development application framework designed to allow business analysts and subject matter experts to design and automate workflows throughout the organization.

    -Brian Reale

  • BPM, where referring to the social stratum of collaboration, rather than the material stratum of manufacturing or the functional stratum of logistics, is the unsolicited and incompetent intervention of computing technologists into business, in order to automate what they think would be governance, thereby perturbing the delicate balance of governance and self-organization, which makes up corporate culture and identity.

  • Attempt #1: BPM is discipline of making work processes simpler

    Attempt #2: BPM is the understanding, visibility and control of business processes, enabling them to be managed as strategic assets

  • A confused and confusing marketplace for customers

  • Like public transportation - everyone uses it in Europe but here in the US we think it's a great idea for other people to do.

  • BPM is the collective creation, monitoring and optimization of workflow-oriented processes that enable businesses to operate more efficiently and continuously improve.


  • A management discipline for continuous improvement of organizational activity by modeling that activity as a process, analyzing, simulating, and measuring the effectiveness of business in terms of those models.

    also see

    • Don't you think, Keith, that the big question is, whether organizational activity can be improved, altogether, by modeling it as a process - in fact, as that formal kinds of processes, model- or program-oriented, appearing in BPM? I would deny that, as I have repeatedly substantiated.

  • BPM is the venture to turn back the architectural paradigm of social computing, inherent in the Public Web (see Fielding's analysis and assessement in his REST-paper), into the architectural paradigm of functional computing, replacing Web Servers by Application Servers, Browsers by Portals, Public Web (Internet) by Private Web (Intranet), thread-starting at Browser by thread-starting at Server, etc.

    The reason for doing so, is the attemmpt of IT to 'enable' the Web to cope with governance, a prerequisite for any kind of corporation, yet not available in the pure Public Web. While the goal to render the Web 'governance-tolerant' is appreciable, the methodology, chosen by IT to achieve it, is absurd. Since thereby, the very achievement of social computing is sacrificed to governance - notabene not even to real governance, but to a caricature of governance, not found in any real-world company..

    Have I made myself clear? Tell me!

  • An idea: Business driven process improvements, thinking about better business processes.

    A reality: IT driven tool selections and implementations, thinking about automating business process monitoring.

    Too sarcastic?

  • Maybe my view is very simplistic but we seem to make simple things hard. My take on BPM in one sentence is:

    "BPM enables you to get better at getting work done"

    This implies continuous improvement, work management (sequential tasks or ad-hoc) and better outcomes for customers and organisations alike. It also implies the thought processes and the enabling tools.

  • A way of life, a discipline, a technology, a tool-set, a business governance mechanism, an operational optimization approach, a hype, or the next big thing for last few years; depending on who's looking at it, and who is talking :) :) :)



  • BPM is a process-oriented management discipline to help an enterprise to realise its vision, by managing the flow of business activities in a holistic way thus considering _together_ modeling, automation, execution, control, measurement and optimization of business processes.


  • Boffo Performance, Multiplied.

  • BPM is an approach that can help bridge the gap between business strategy/objectives and operational execution.

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