A common confusion in today’s business world is the difference between Workflow Management and Business Process Management. While the terms are often used interchangeably by professionals all the time, the reality is that there are some clear differences between them. So let’s break them down to see where they share the same characteristics and where they differ.
WHAT ARE WORKFLOWS?
In a practical business setting, workflows are used best for organizing individual people and documents, by clearly outlining the roles, instructions and tasks that each person or system has in the case of a particular process.
Workflows coordinate repetitive tasks at the individual unit level in each step of the workflow, and allow for the automation of daily work processes. Workflow management tools help to outline these process maps and to lay a clear visual representation of all the involved parts in an individual process.
Some of the key takeaways of Workflows are:
- Create a sequential listing of tasks that get an item form start to finish
- Outline responsibilities of key players in the process
- Aims to steamline a particular process and identify pressure points at the individual level
- Focuses on the optimization of task delegation and management
WHAT IS BPM?
So you may be wondering, if workflows tools help to outline business processes and identify all the moving parts, then what is BPM used for? Well, BPM goes further by automating and coordinating all processes at a business-wide level. Therefore, it is best for implementing company-wide changes and strategies across different departments, something that a Workflow tool will never be able to do effectively.
Another key feature of BPM and where it differs greatly from Workflows is that at its core, it aims for the implementation of continuous improvement and monitoring across business processes at the individual and collective level. BPM can also communicate readily with other platforms you may be using at your business already such as CRMs or ECMs.
In summary, the strengths of BPM are:
- Manages multiple workflows simultaneously
- Provides feedback of KPIs in the form of reports, metrics and data sets.
- Represents the high-level view of all business processes.
- Implements continuous improvement across an organization
- BPM is also a methodology that can be applied to all aspects of your business.
SO WHICH ONE IS THE BEST FOR MY BUSINESS?
A common question we hear is: what is better for my business, Workflows or BPM? We have seen that although both of these address the same business needs in different ways, it really comes down to your specific business case needs. Generally speaking, if you have only one process that you need to automate or organize, then workflows can be a good and quick solution.
However, if you are unsure, you really can’t go wrong with choosing to implement BPM, especially because it allows for the flexibility and scalability that your business will surely need. Yes, BPM represents a more robust solution, and the implementation times are not as quick or accessible as Workflow tools, but it is also a more valuable long-term investment into the future of your business.
With BeeckerCo’s ample expertise in implementing BPM as well as other Process apps and tools, we can help to reduce both the implementation time and cost at your business. Our experience as consultants gives us the practical knowledge needed to offer you the correct tool for your needs, whether it is a Workflow tool or a BPM tool that you want to implement.