BPM Series: Relevance of Business Process Lifecycle for BPM Systems

A complete Business Process Management (BPM) System supports business users along all the phases of the “Process Lifecycle”: Process Definition, Process Execution & Control, and Process Monitoring & Improvement.

Process Definition is the phase when process analysts analyze & define business process in terms of activity flow, information flow, business policies & constraints (rules), performers and performance measures (or Key Performance Indicators such as activity turn-around time, activity cost).

Process Execution & Control phase involves business users carrying out the process as defined and supervisors and managers controlling the process by taking corrective actions as and when required. Corrective actions are required when delays occur, exceptions arise, resources are unavailable, & so on.

Business organizations operate in a dynamic environment. Both external (customer requirements, competition, government regulations, supplier relationships, etc.) and internal factors (share holder objectives, management strategies, new product launches, etc.) contribute to this dynamism. As a result, process owners or process champions need to closely monitor various process performance measures (or Key Performance Indicators). During the Process Monitoring & Improvement phase, process champions identify areas of improvement so that the process is in sync with the changing business conditions. Along with process analysts and/or supervisors & users, they then examine business issues & related root-causes and improve a business process minimizing if not eliminating these issues.

Thus, a business process has different stakeholders during different phases of the process lifecycle. These stakeholders are driven by different objectives and as a result have a wide range of requirements, which a BPM system in order to be complete and comprehensive has to meet.

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