In large corporate and enterprise business you will hear these terms often, BPM, Process Management, Change Management, Process Improvement, BPA, etc, etc, etc. Business Process Management is also referred to at BPM. Business processes need to be managed in a way that ensure flexibility, change, improvement and monitoring. Business process management tools can help your business by ensuring the efficiency of all processes and procedures as a whole with a single mission or goal in mind. The role of the tools and resources you select should be tailored to your business. If you are looking at implementing a new program or are trying to resolve existing issues within your organization, you will need to identify the issue and goal first. You can define a business process many different ways, and often means something different to people from various business types and fields. A process model and foundation is a requirement, however, it can be developed through a business process design and development phase. Process analysis and modeling are a key component to most BPM tools and software bundles and they will guide you and your business through the full development of a trackable process system.

Process management tools

More and more businesses and enterprise companies are implementing full process management suites is to improve operations, thereby boosting business performance and efficiency. What this means is that businesses are looking and implementing changes to their internal tasks, procedures and processes to increase profit, plain and simple. Business process management tools bring work flow to the business with checks and balances that help the process improve itself and react to customer and client needs. It promotes efficiency while still being flexible. Most BPM suites integrate fully with technology as it's base of operations. The management tools bring all the related processes together into a structured service provided to the end user or client.

Business process management tool considerations

All modern process management tools are computer based and require the involvement of Information Technology to be successful. There are a various types of implementations that range from single computer installations, to full server based application and database configurations. Each vendor will offer different levels of integration and implementation strategies and all require some level of IT knowledge and support. Small business process management implementations usually only need a single computer install and often only need minimal investment and time. Large scale enterprise implementations of any BPM software require multilevel server based and end client computers to function together. Part of the system requirements will depend on the business need for up time, disaster recovery, backups, load-balancing and performance of the application. This will all affect the final capital investment required as well as the level of operating support needed to maintain the system on an on-going basis.

Involving your IT specialists or IT department in the selection of BPM tool will help any implementation. Leveraging existing infrastructure and hardware will also reduce cost. Information Technology project and process management is a big part of the business and will benefit from this as well. Not only will you be managing the business processes, but also the underlying IT infrastructure as well. By combining all areas of your business into a master process management system you achieve a higher level of integration within your organization.

Business Process Management Tools Vendors

There are some dedicated BPM software vendors in the market today, each one has their own set of tools and standards. Look for a solution that implements some industry standards such as XPDL, BPEL or WfMC. I will cover the standards of business process management in another article. You can look up some of the following vendors like Appian, Oracle, Pegasystems, Wipro, Metastorm, Microsoft Sharepoint, IDS Scheer, Lombardi Software, Savvion, Ultimus and Cordys. There are a wide variety of software tools available from these companies, from process modeling tools, asset management and tracking, process development and monitoring, and more. You can also review some pre-fab, out of the box, solutions that many companies offer. These will apply to a business that is setting up something new and not trying to re-tro fit an existing process management system with improved technologies. Out of the box solutions are best suited for process management tool replacement or new business start up ( usually with a lot of start up capital ).