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Untitled Document In the never-ending quest to work more productively and increase efficiency, many companies have implemented technological improvements that led to incremental gains in their business operations. Many of these initiatives have come in the form of individual applications aimed at improving specific issues within a business. Does this approach result in progress? Yes. Does it have the capability to transform business operations? No.

It is this transformative power that characterizes business process management (BPM). Rather than simply chipping away at progress, BPM enables organizations to boost employee productivity, reduce costs, minimize errors, streamline and automate activities in order to reduce cycle times, and quickly adapt processes in response to changing business conditions. It does this by providing agile and flexible tools for designing, deploying and running processes that bring together people and systems across functional and even organizational boundaries.

BPM further distinguishes itself by enabling organizations to enforce consistency in the way they operate, and also to adhere to the ever-expanding body of compliance regulations and laws.

BPM is coming at a good time for business managers who are under pressure to increase the performance of their operations. These managers are asking themselves three key questions: How is it possible to better understand existing processes and transform them into improved processes? How can they scale a process over time without having to add additional staff? How can a process be accurately monitored once it is implemented?

As you will see, BPM is able to answer all three of these questions.

Evolution of Business Process Management

It should be noted that BPM has its roots in workflow automation technologies that were used to help streamline and coordinate routine tasks and approvals in highly manual processes. Over the last several years, BPM has evolved into a much more sophisticated technology that far exceeds the more rudimentary capabilities of workflow automation. Initially, BPM vendors were focused on process execution and automation, orchestrating both human and system-based activities for complex processes. Over the past several years, it has become apparent that more comprehensive functionality is required to truly "manage" processes, so several inter-related software technologies have come together under the category of BPM suites: the integration of process analysis and modeling, workflow automation, systems integration and business activity monitoring now enables organizations to understand, orchestrate and optimize processes through their entire lifecycle, as well as ensure that process performance information exists that can be used to continually improve processes over time.


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