BPM VS. Workflow

Topics: Business process management, Business process modeling, Workflow Pages: 7 (1603 words) Published: November 5, 2013
BPM vs. Workflow

Workflow refers to the automation of processes, such as ERP, CRM, and HR, as well as linking of processes. Yet, faced with enterprises that continue to expend, if these systems are not integrated, these systems will become information island. A study focused on senior level IT executives has discovered that system integration and process has become the first major task of IT departments, ranking ahead of CRM, lowering expenses, and e-commerce. But respond to this new international trend, BPM is the new generation technology.

Business Process Management (BPM) technology integrates technologies from Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Business-to-Business Integration (B2Bi) and uses a Web-based standard as its basic architecture that supports integration between people to people, people and system, and people and process. BPM technology can integrate, control, automate, and optimize processes both inside and outside of the enterprise that were originally not connected. This enables enterprises to gather information from various distributed systems and establish various key business performance indicators, as well as monitoring and reporting, to more effectively management business resources and processes through the use of these indicators.

What is a Business Process?
A business process is a sequence of one or more related, structured activities that has a clearly stated objective and a deliverable or outcome. A business process is defined as "A set of one or more linked procedures or activities which collectively realize a business objective or policy goal, normally within the context of an organizational structure defining functional roles and relationships." Business Process Diagram (BPD)

Business processes are generally depicted diagrammatically, in a graphic form called a business process diagram (BPD). A BPD is actually a process diagram drawn using a business process designer. It is based on a flowcharting technique and consists of graphical objects that represent a network of related activities, the information about the activities, and the flow that defines the order of execution of these activities. These graphical objects have distinct symbols and shapes that help distinguish various types of activities.

According to the Workflow Management Coalition, workflow is the "automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information, or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules."

Workflow Management System (WFMS)
Large organizations have many such workflow operations—and these benefit from being grouped and managed just as do other businesses processes. A Workflow Management System (WFMS) is software that manages workflow execution, by interpreting the process definition, interacting with workflow participants and, where required, invoking external IT tools and applications. Note that all workflow systems are process oriented.

Bear with me while I finish defining workflows, then I'll compare them generally to business processes so you can see how the two fit together.
Components of WFMS
WFMS have two basic components:

A workflow modeling component, which lets you model workflows visually. A workflow execution component that's responsible for launching and managing workflows.

Benefits of Workflow
Because workflows are such common business operations and are usually labor-intensive, they also consume a measurable percentage of business costs; therefore, automating them provides a number of benefits, including:

Reduced operating cost. Workflow automation reduces the unit cost to execute a transaction. Increased efficiency. Business process automation can eliminate many unnecessary steps. Better control. Automation standardizes working methods and provides audit trails that can improve managerial control.

Improved customer service. Improved...
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