Business process management, or BPM, refers to a structured approach to measuring, analysing, discovering, modelling, improving, and optimising a business’s processes and strategies. While it might be (and often is) mistaken for project/task management, BPM goes much further, taking a broader perspective. In this article, we explain this in much more detail. We invite you to read on.

Table of Contents

What Is Business Process Management?

To begin with, why don’t we take a look at a definition of business process management? According to Gartner, it 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.”

As you can see, this definition is quite vague. It does mention that BMP uses a plethora of methods and technologies but does not list or mention any specific ones. What is more, it can be divided into different types based on the approach. Hence, let’s leave this general definition here and get more deeply into this topic.

Types of Business Process Management

There are three general types of business process management based on the main focus of this approach. These involve:

Integration-centric BPM

Integration-centric BPM is focused on autonomous processes, usually those dependent on APIs and data integration. It aims to accelerate these processes and improve their general performance.

Document-centric BPM

Document-centric BPM is focused on document flow and related processes, including formatting, verification, and data input into IT systems. Again, it aims to improve these particular processes.

Do you want to automate the tasks related to documents in your financial organisation? See our AI-powered document processing solutions.

Human-centric BPM

Human-centric BPM is focused on human involvement in the organisation’s processes. It also touches on the technological side, but only in those aspects that require human input, such as approvals or correcting errors flagged by a document processing system.

Different Levels in BPM

As we mentioned in the introduction, business process management adopts a broader perspective than, for instance, task management. Therefore, it tackles different levels of an organisation, namely:

  • Enterprise level – vision, goals, business strategies, process architecture, performance measurement, etc.
  • Business process level – specific business processes and activities.
  • Implementation/resource level – HR and IT development.

The Benefits and Challenges of BPM

Business process management has many benefits, so why has it not become a standard? Several obstacles hinder the adoption of BPM. Let’s look at both the advantages and challenges now.

BPM Benefits

  • Increased efficiency.
  • Cost savings.
  • Improved customer and employee experience.
  • Scalability.
  • Business process transparency.

BPM Challenges

  • Unclear business goals and objectives.
  • Inadequate testing infrastructures.
  • Using the wrong tools for the particular job.
  • Hidden processes.
  • Poor process visibility/lack of process transparency.

Implementing Business Process Management in Your Organisation

Knowing what business process management is, we can explain how it’s carried out. It has a straightforward lifecycle that you should follow – take a look below.


The initial step of BPM requires you to find processes that need to be improved. With that ready, you have to design an ideal version of such a process, ideally considering your organisation’s standards and automation tools.

During the design phase, your team needs to determine the process milestones and task owners for each step in the workflow. This will enable you to select the most appropriate metrics for measuring improvement.


Whether you want to improve your digital process automation or the procedures used by your employees, you need to create a model of the solution. Include timelines, task descriptions, and data flow in the diagram.

You should include digital BPM solutions at this stage. Opt for low-code technology or no-code platforms when modelling. This way, you won’t be dependent on professional developers.


Once your model is ready, you should test it to establish a proof of concept. This step involves selecting a limited group of users to try the new solution, gathering feedback, and then introducing improvements (if necessary) before implementing the process.


Even with the changes live, you still need to track their performance and evaluate how they work. This is crucial for the next step of the process: optimisation.


Based on the findings from your monitoring, continue to improve the business process, eliminate remaining bottlenecks and improve business activity.

Business Process Management Best Practices

You’ve got a brief overview of the cycle. However, how to ensure that it will be successful? We have an answer to that question: here are the best practices regarding BPM.

  • Focus on business – While you might be improving your AI-powered banking modules or task management software use, BPM is all about your business, so don’t focus purely on the technology but rather on its impact on your processes.
  • Formalise your procedures – Create a clear outline of how the BPM should be conducted, including the tools that will be used.
  • Create interdisciplinary teams – This way, your improvements will be more objective while you can optimise the processes that are spread across different teams in your organisation.
  • Use simulation modelling – To test the solutions initially before proper execution.
  • Standardise your models – Create a set of guidelines regarding model creation and include business rules in them.

The Takeaway

Business process management is a multi-layered approach to enhancing the efficiency of your financial business while delivering better employee and customer experiences. Although it might require some technological tools and tackle the IT solutions in your company, it should not be only technology-oriented – you need to look at the processes as a whole. By adopting this approach, you can drive savings for your company, build customer satisfaction, and improve employee retention while boosting the overall productivity of your business. Hence, do not hesitate to introduce BPM.

You might also read: Kubernetes vs. Docker: What’s the Difference?

Ailleron - What is Business Process Management (BPM)?


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