Prudens Information Resources for the Internet

Business Process Management (BPM)


A Prudens E-Report

The e-Business Model | Business Intelligence | Performance Management & ERP Solutions
Service Oriented Architecture | Work Flow | Identity Management | BPM Challenges

The e-Business Model

In a successful business, the components of the business model work together to acheive success. This has led to the computer simulation of a business, which is comprised of the actual financial, process and other measurable inputs to describe how the business operates. The simulation of the business, or operational business model, is developed through the art of business modeling, or data modeling.

BPM can improve the performance of an organization through reduced costs, improved pricing, faster time to market, and other metrics. It can also improve return on investment (ROI) for changes, and reduce risks. BPM also supports the business model by reminding the manager not to focus on just one aspect of the business, but to consider it as a whole, since it is how the activities work together that is important. See the Prudens e-Report on the e-Business Model.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence systems measure business activities and provide inputs to the operational business model. Business intelligence systems also:

Since business intelligence data is captured and stored in a database, it may also be associated with data warehousing and data mining.

Performance Management & ERP Solutions

In addition to business process management (BPM), the management of the business at the activity level is sometimes called performance management or ERP solutions, since this is the goal of enterprise resource planning (ERP).

Performance management allows the testing of strategies and the evaluation and improvement of business processes. The measurements of activities, are analyzed by the model and its results are shown in a "score card" or "dash board", which managers can use to realize their objectives and improve corporate performance.

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

BPM is a class of software application known as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools. Its chief difference from performance measurement and ERP analysis is that it can be adjusted quickly to changing business conditions. Each business process is closely associated with the modular software that describes it, and is able to link to software that describes associated business processes, through an approach known as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). In this approach the software module may originate, in theory, from anywhere within or outside of the organization. This process, especially when using external software, is known as Web Services. Likewise business process designers can make their software modules available to others through web services.

Work Flow

BPM is closely associated with the concept of work flow since to tracks the performance activities against objectives, or metrics, and reviews the performance of groups of activities as, for example, in a functional area like sales. Business processes, or activities, can be managed as tasks that require resources and capabilities. But it is the net effect of the effectiveness of many business activities, working together, that will determine if the business is successful.

Identity Management

BPM may also be used in identity management to assign role-based permissions for different levels of management in directories. This also dictates how activities and groups of activities (e.g. at the department level) are controlled.

BPM Challenges

The use of BPM doesn't excuse the management team for making the correct decisions. BPM should be considered a tool that aids in decision-making. The current challenges of BPM should be recognized:

Dr. James E. Burke is a Principal in Burke Technology Services (BTS). BTS provides business assistance to startup technology companies, or organizations planning or integrating new technologies; develops and manages technology projects; performs technology evaluation and commercialization, and assists in technology-based economic development.

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