18 Dec Business process management
Business process management (BPM)
Business process management is concerned with all management activities around business processes. In the past, activities in relation to business process management have been conducted by process analysts, process managers and process engineers in a labor-intense fashion with hardly any automatic support except for generating the system configuration from the executable process model. This has been changing in recent years. Various smart techniques have been developed to automate or provide more intelligent support for process stakeholders in various stages of business process management. This special issue provides ten excellent examples of these recent developments towards smart business process management. This editorial presents them in an overarching framework and connects them with the broader spectrum of recent contributions on smart business process management.
BPM (Business Processes Management) is a field of management that can be defined as a paradigm that includes methods, techniques, and tools to support the design, enactment, management and analysis of operational business processes (W.M.P, 2004). BPM aims to strategically assess the processes a company carries out and to continually improve effectiveness and efficiency of Business Processes (BP) within organizations in order to: (i) Achieve lower costs; (ii) Improve quality; and (iii) Gain in productivity and competitiveness in relation to other organizations of the same business area.
The BPM field is concerned with designing, controlling and optimizing the business processes of a company (see Lee and Dale, 1998; Hammer, 2010). It is primarily focused on improving the eﬃciency of the organization through the automation of tasks and the elimination of bottlenecks among other strategies.
In a normal scenario, the specialist analyzes the current state of the processes (with the so-called as-is model), in an eﬀort to detect any room for improvement, and then designs a new version of these processes (the to-be model) to solve the problems. These models are usually described using a graphical representation created for this purpose and called Business Process Management Notation.
Nowadays, BPM as a continuous improvement method (Laguna, 2013). is a common practice followed by a large number of organizations in all areas of business? In fact, organizations are aware of the need to deploy well-defined processes, pursuing not only raising their maturity level, but also improving the way in which their products are developed and managed, and thus, their quality (Fuggetta, 2000).
At present, there are a wide variety of software tools (named Business Process Management Suites, BPMS) that allow managing BP lifecycle to make easier BPM application in business environments. However, each of these BPMS has a wide assortment of prices and functionalities. In this context, the selection of a concrete solution may be quite a difficult, laborious and complex undertaking. A sound selection requires a complete analysis of the most popular available solutions. Otherwise, it may lead to choosing an inadequate workflow product that will not support efficiently BP in an organization.
- W.M.P. Van-der-Aalst. Business process management demystified: a tutorial on models, systems and standards for workflow management. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Lectures on Concurrency and Petri Nets, vol. 3098, pp. 1-65, 2004.
- Laguna M., Marklund J. Business Process Modeling, Simulation and Design, Second Edition. Editor Chapman and Hall/CRC. ISBN 9781439885253. 2013.
- Fuggetta. 2000. Software process: a roadmap. Proceeding ICSE ’00 Proceedings of the Conference on The Future of Software Engineering, ACM, pp. 25–34. DOI: 10.1145/336512.336521. 2000.
- Hammer, M., 2010. What is Business Process Management. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 3–16.
- Lee, R., Dale, B., 1998. Business process management: a review and evaluation. Bus. Process Manage. J. 4 (3), 214–225. https://doi.org/10.1108/ 14637159810224322.