Business process management (BPM) is a discipline in operations management that uses various methods to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve, optimize, and automate business processes. BPM focuses on improving corporate performance by managing business processes. Any combination of methods used to manage a company’s business processes is BPM. Processes can be structured and repeatable or unstructured and variable. Though not required, enabling technologies are often used with BPM.
It can be differentiated from program management in that program management is concerned with managing a group of inter-dependent projects. From another viewpoint, process management includes program management. In project management, process management is the use of a repeatable process to improve the outcome of the project.
As an approach, BPM sees processes as important assets of an organization that must be understood, managed, and developed to announce and deliver value-added products and services to clients or customers. This approach closely resembles other total quality management or continual improvement process methodologies. ISO 9000 promotes the process approach to managing an organization.
…promotes the adoption of a process approach when developing, implementing and improving the effectiveness of a quality management system, to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements.
BPM proponents also claim that this approach can be supported, or enabled, through technology. As such, many BPM articles and scholars frequently discuss BPM from one of two viewpoints: people and/or technology.
Supplier Input Process Output Customer
In process improvement, a SIPOC (sometimes COPIS) is a tool that summarizes the inputs and outputs of one or more processes in table form. The acronym SIPOC stands for suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, and customers which form the columns of the table. It was in use at least as early as the total quality management programs of the late 1980s[a] and continues to be used today in Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, and business process management.
To emphasize putting the needs of the customer foremost, the tool is sometimes called COPIS and the process information is filled in starting with the customer and working upstream to the supplier.
The SIPOC is often presented at the outset of process improvement efforts such as Kaizen events or during the “define” phase of the DMAIC process. It has three typical uses depending on the audience:
Several aspects of the SIPOC that may not be readily apparent are: