If you are involved in business and process management, you may be familiar with abbreviations such as BPM, BPMN, and BPMS. But do you know what they mean? The ability to distinguish between them is important for developing an effective business strategy and constantly improving the business.

This article will provide a complete overview of the meaning of each term and how to apply them. But first, you need to understand the basic concepts of process management. We hope you enjoy reading it!

BPM, BPMN и BPMS

Basic concepts

To explain the difference between BPM, BPMN, and BPMS, let’s first talk about BPM. In short, this is an abbreviation meaning “business process management”.

This is a widely known concept around the world, created based on a combination of business management using certain methods and tools. So, BPM includes technologies and is aimed at identifying, analyzing, and optimizing processes in organizations.

Thus, it is a management concept that aligns the company’s strategies, technologies and goals with the needs of customers through continuous attention to processes.BPM — это способ визуализации бизнесопераций, выходящий за рамки функциональных структур компании.

It includes all the work necessary to provide a product or service, always leaving the most important part of the process to the client.

BPM can help if a business has strategic goals to increase productivity, reduce costs, prevent losses or errors in production, increase value for customers, reduce internal bureaucracy.

BPMS is a tool that can be an excellent solution for those who want to speed up and facilitate the company’s activities.

To do this, it focuses not on the organization segmented into departments, but on a common vision that covers all the processes that include it.

Thus, we can define BPMS (Business Process Management Suite) as a tool that allows you to automatically:

In BPMS, you can develop workflows with the BPMN notation( Business Process Model and notation), with which we can present the characteristics of the process in a standardized and intuitive way, such as, for example, its actions, the order of execution, and responsible people.

BPMS also allows you to automate and control the execution of processes using resources such as:

This allows you to focus all the information and people involved in the company on common organizational goals.

A good BPMS tool is a complete system that combines various enterprise solutions on a single platform. Consequently, management can be much more efficient, and communication between different areas becomes more centralized and visible.

Хороший инструмент BPMS

The BPMS platform can perform various functions, such as:

BPM, BPMN, BPMS: what are the differences?

While BPM is a subject or management philosophy that can be applied to a business, BPMN is the official standard notation that is used all over the world.

In other words, the goal of BPMN is to visually support and standardize the implementation of business process management.

BPMN is a set of symbols and graphical representations that together show the entire process flow, its actions, events, gateways, connections, and other elements.

Therefore, although this is commonly known as the BPMN methodology, it is actually not a methodology, but a designation.

BPMS is a business process management package (or system), which is software that displays, automates, executes, and tracks processes using BPM at all its stages.

BPMN is a process modeling in BPMS, which is used to automate processes and make them understandable for all the people involved. You can even apply the designation at any stage of the BPM to support a cycle of continuous improvement. In other words, you can use BPMN in BPMS whenever you want:

In BPMS, you can even define people responsible for each process to maintain control and control of execution.

Business process description language

BPMN is currently the language for process modeling, the most widely used by business analysts, as well as managers — owners of processes.

The basis of the language is a description of a sequence of actions, including a description of the events accompanying the process, and the interaction between individual objects.

The language allows you to describe the interpretation of various events and solutions and fully describe how the activity occurs.

In the 2nd version of the language, there are also models and tools for describing cooperation that will be used in modeling complex processes where several entities interact, such as supply and demand chains.

The language was originally developed as a visual modeling tool for describing processes.

Thanks to its expressive power and clarity, it soon became popular not only among analysts but also among developers and expanded its capabilities so that it currently supports full automation of processes, the so-called workflow management.

In practice, the main forms of use are:

The BPMN language is suitable for all these purposes, but the appearance of diagrams and the detail with which they will be processed will be fundamentally different.

Basic elements of the language:

In addition to the elements, the language also defines the types of schemes:

Ideally, the same process model is used by management to analyze the company, by process owners to improve processes, and by the task management system to manage active tasks.

Язык BPMN

Why do we need business process regulation?

Most companies are currently vertical and are divided into departments, such as logistics, marketing, finance, etc., according to the areas of expertise of professionals. This is a natural effect of opening a new business.

However, over time, this division of departments can interfere with communication between departments. As a result, each team has its own views and different goals, and business management as a whole becomes fragmented. This can make it difficult to achieve strategic goals.

In a process-oriented organization, indicators are not based on the goals of each department, but on how these departments contribute to each process. The focus is on the efficiency of the process, not the department.

Each of these areas can have its own specialized systems, such as BPMS, and they can be integrated into the same technological cloud environment.

When you execute, modify, and monitor processes, you can identify business weaknesses and work on them more accurately. The result is a customer-oriented business, which can mean gaining more competitive advantages and making a profit.

Information technologies provide support and allow you to organize complex processes to make the company’s activities more successful and faster, both at the strategic and operational levels.

With the help of the software, companies can display and automate all their processes so that they are more transparent and accessible to all people involved in performing tasks. As a result, it is easier:

It is important to note that to achieve the above results, you need to study your BPMS in full.

You should not only limit yourself to modeling and documenting, but also include automation in your business processes.

What problems arise if the processes are not regulated?

If the processes are not regulated, then the following common problems and errors cannot be avoided:

A little history

BPMN is derived from the synthesis of a set of business modeling notations. Originally published by the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI) in 2004, BPMN is now supported by OMG following the merger of the two organizations in 2005. The BPMN specification document was released by OMG in February 2006. BPMN version 2.0 was developed in 2010, and the actual specification release was released in December 2013. The latest version (BPMN 2.0.2) was officially published by ISO as a standard of the 2013 edition: ISO / IEC 19510.

What the notation consists of the main graphic elements

In BPMN, processes are described using diagrams with a number of graphical elements. This visual representation allows users to easily understand the logic of the process.

BPMN was primarily developed for designing and reading both simple and complex business process diagrams. To do this, the BPMN standard classifies graphic elements into categories: as a result, the elements are easily recognized by users working with business process diagrams.

Event

Events are what happens and can affect the business process. The event can be either external or internal. As long as they can influence the modeled process, they should be modeled. Events are shown in circles. In some cases, there are icons in the circles that indicate the type of event trigger.

Activity

Actions are the work performed as part of a business process. They are shown in the form of rectangles with rounded corners, with names describing the work that needs to be done.

There are two types of actions: task and subprocess. When we want to simulate atomic work that cannot be further broken down or does not make sense in this, we use a task.

On the other hand, when we want to model a non-atomic complex work that can be processed into smaller works, we use a subprocess. The subprocess can be split into another level of detail.

Gateway

Forks are responsible for managing the progress of business processes. They are shown in the form of diamonds. In the process, the work and the result may differ depending on external or internal conditions. For example, the discount will be offered only to the VIP buyer, but to no one else. A fork is a place where conditions are evaluated and a decision is made.

Flow

A flow is an element that connects to form business processes. The flow elements are the main elements that determine the behavior of the process. There are three types of flow elements: events, actions, and gateways.

Message Flows

The flow objects are not isolated, but rather connected to form a flow. Connectors that connect flow objects are called connecting objects. There are four types of linking objects: sequence flows, message flows, associations, and data associations.

Pool

Pools represent participants in the business process. This can be a specific entity (for example, a department) or a role (for example, an assistant manager, a doctor, a student, a salesperson).

There are flow elements inside the pool. They represent the work that the pool must perform in the simulated process.

Date object

Data is basically information that is needed or produced during the execution of a business process. There are four types of data: data objects, input data, output data, and data stores.

Message

In BPMN, communication between pools is carried out using messages. The message flow is used to display the message flow between pools or the flow elements between pools. The message flow is shown by a dotted line with an arrow. Some examples of messages that pass between pools are fax, phone, email, letter, notification, command.

Artefact

Artifacts add important information to the process, such as additional notes, text annotations. The artifact can be used to add additional details to the flow objects. It does not affect the stream, but it gives detailed information about objects inside the stream.

Business processes

Knowing how a business works is the first and most important step in improving business processes. The Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) provides:

Any process described using BPMN is represented as a series of steps (actions) that are performed sequentially or simultaneously in accordance with certain business rules.

A business process can be executable and non-executable. The first is designed for automation, the second is for studying the work of the company and improving the efficiency of interaction in the team.

Executable files

Processes that can be modeled using BPMN. The purpose of such processes is to introduce or improve automation.

Non-executable

A business process cannot be represented as a sequence of steps. For example, tasks to improve the efficiency of interaction in a team or study the work of the company.

Диаграммы бизнес-процессов

Which companies are suitable for using BPMN?

Most companies are currently vertical and are divided into departments, such as logistics, marketing, finance, etc., according to the areas of expertise of professionals. This is a natural effect of opening a new business.

However, over time, this division of departments can interfere with communication between departments. As a result, each team has its own views and different goals, and business management as a whole becomes fragmented. This can make it difficult to achieve strategic goals.

In a process-oriented organization, indicators are not based on the goals of each department, but on how these departments contribute to each process. The focus is on the efficiency of the process, not the department.

Each of these areas can have its own specialized systems, such as BPMS, and they can be integrated into the same technological cloud environment.

When processes are being implemented, changed, and monitored in the company, the manager can identify the weaknesses of the business and work on them more accurately. The result is a customer-oriented business, which can mean the emergence of more competitive advantages and making a profit.

Thus, the use of BPMN is suitable for any company.

Is BPMN suitable for small and medium-sized businesses?

When an entrepreneur starts a business, he is usually engaged in drawing up a business plan. This entails determining everything that he needs to buy, the employees he needs to hire and train, the target audience, the place to install, the organization of suppliers, and much more.

But rarely are processes defined properly, which refers to the order and methods of performing each task necessary to provide customers with the best services or products.

And this is exactly what BPM can do for small and medium-sized businesses. This will prevent inefficient waste of resources, delayed delivery, and confusion due to inefficient communication.

Advantages

BPMN provides comprehensive and at the same time rich notations that can be easily understood by both technical and non-technical stakeholders. Business process modeling provides important benefits for companies and organizations:

BPMN is easy to learn, but powerful enough to describe the potential complexities of a business process.

Disadvantages of the standard

  1. Inefficient management and loss of income. The advantages of BPMN can only be achieved if it is implemented correctly. If you do not work with the methodologies, you may lose income and resources.
  2. Less innovation. BPMN should make full use of modern technologies and personnel. But most enterprises implementing BPM are not able to use modern technologies and labor as efficiently as possible. BPM slows down innovation.
  3. Lack of communication. Communication is really important in any business area. Thanks to the introduction of BPMN, there is less communication between employees working in different sectors. This is due to the BPM method of separating processes and workflows.

Features

A special feature of BPMN is the use of both technologies and labor. In the business sector, there is an increase in the automation of work tasks. This leads to the issue of employment security. Thanks to BPM, a competitive workforce and technology gain an advantage. Both are maximized to achieve the best product quality.

An example of practical application

By organizing their tasks logically and chronologically using an intuitive and easy-to-use tool, business owners will clearly see where expenses and delays are likely. Then they can take the necessary steps to prevent them.

For example, the owner of a gas station notes that after organizing its processes in the form of flowcharts and performing some calculations, the company sells less fuel than it buys.

So, knowing that there are no deviations, he studies his flowchart. He understands that this loss can occur when the truck pumps fuel into its storage tanks.

Then this task is corrected and performed with great attention.

Conclusion

Business process management provides flexibility, transparency, access-based control, ease of integration, simplicity, and the absence of hidden costs in processes. It is a popular and intuitive graphic that can be easily understood by all stakeholders, including business users, business analysts, software developers, and data architects. Industries such as accounting, web design, and engineering are successfully implementing BPMN.

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