business process management (BPM)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: SOA tutorial: Trends, governance and the microservice impact

Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to making an organization's workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment. A business process is an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal.

The goal of BPM is to reduce human error and miscommunication and focus stakeholders on the requirements of their roles. BPM is a subset of infrastructure management, an administrative area concerned with maintaining and optimizing an organization's equipment and core operations.

BPM is often a point of connection within a company between the line-of-business (LOB) and the IT department. Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Management Notation (BPMN) were both created to facilitate communication between IT and the LOB. Both languages are easy to read and learn, so that business people can quickly learn to use them and design processes. Both BPEL and BPMN adhere to the basic rules of programming, so that processes designed in either language are easy for developers to translate into hard code.

There are three different kinds of BPM frameworks available in the market today. Horizontal frameworks deal with design and development of business processes and are generally focused on technology and reuse. Vertical BPM frameworks focus on a specific set of coordinated tasks and have pre-built templates that can be readily configured and deployed. Full-service BPM suites have five basic components:

While on-premise business process management (BPM) has been the norm for most enterprises, advances in cloud computing have lead to increased interest in on-demand, software as a service (SaaS) offerings.

See also: business process outsourcing (BPO), Web Services Description Language (WSDL), enterprise application integration (EAI), business process reengineering (BPR), business activity monitoring (BAM)

This was last updated in January 2011

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MacA&D and WinA&D support Business Process Models integrated with requirements, scriptable reports and other techniques like SASD, UML and data models. The "Business Process Models" video gives a quick intro at
Thank you.... good explanation
My thoughts are aligned as stated above but I would like to mention one of such vendor who has industry recognized BPM software. Newgen's BPM (Business Process Management System - BPM Workflow Software) OmniFlow is a highly scalable, platform independent BPM solution that enables wide variety of industries to streamline their business processes. Built using open technologies and having compliance with global standards, OmniFlow has seamless integration abilities, which allow it to be introduced into almost any existing IT infrastructure.

Business Process Management Software System - OmniFlow BPM Workflow Software
This definition of BPM is IT biased. Gartner has a good comphreensive definition of BPM: "Business process management (BPM) is a discipline that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve, and optimize business processes.  A business process coordinates the behavior of people, systems, information, and things to produce business outcomes in support of a business strategy. Processes can be structured and repeatable or unstructured and variable. Though not required, technologies are often used with BPM. BPM is key to align IT/OT investments to business strategy"


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