Skip to content
stanley-dai-73OZYNjVoNI-unsplash (1)


Business Process Management (BPM): Collaborate on the future state


Business processes play a crucial role as companies embark on their digital transformation journeys. If done properly, transformation presents a huge opportunity for improvement, and so the need to understand what your existing processes are, versus what they need to be in the future in order to grasp those opportunities becomes ever more important. Business Process Management (BPM) is a systematic approach to improving and optimising an organisation's business processes. Combined with process mining, this is a powerful discipline that involves the design, execution, monitoring, and continuous improvement of processes to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and agility in the pursuit of organisational goals.


  1. How long does it take to complete a process?
  2. How much does it cost to execute the process?
  3. How many resources are consumed by the process?
  4. How much real value is delivered by a process?
  1. Standardise how processes are run across the organisation by reducing process variations.
  2. Streamline processes by eliminating unnecessary steps and reducing complexity.
  3. Optimise processes by aligning them more closely to business objectives.
  4. Automate process steps and actions within a workflow to reduce manual effort and propensity for errors.


Business Process Management is crucial for organisations seeking to achieve operational excellence, adapt to changing market dynamics, enhance customer satisfaction, and maintain a competitive edge in today's complex business landscape. It provides a structured framework for analysing, designing, implementing, and optimising processes, leading to improved efficiency, effectiveness, and overall better business outcomes.

  • Efficiency and Productivity: By identifying inefficiencies, redundancies, and bottlenecks, companies can optimise their processes, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. This can result in cost savings, faster processing times, and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Consistency and Standardisation: BPM allows organisations to establish standardised processes that ensure consistency in how tasks are performed across different departments and teams. It helps in reducing errors and deviations, and enhancing overall quality.
  • Adaptability and Agility: In today's rapidly changing business environment, organisations need to be agile and able to quickly adapt. BPM provides a structured approach to modifying and optimising processes in response to changing market conditions, regulations, or customer needs.
  • Visibility and Transparency: BPM tools and techniques offer companies greater visibility and transparency into their operations. It allows for better tracking of progress, faster issue detection, and timely decision-making based on real-time data and insights.
  • Risk Management and Compliance: BPM helps organisations identify and mitigate potential risks in their processes. By designing processes with compliance and risk management in mind, organisations can reduce the likelihood of legal or regulatory violations and associated penalties.
  • Customer-Centric Approach: BPM enables organisations to design processes with a focus on the customer experience. By understanding customer needs and expectations, companies can tailor their processes to deliver better products and services, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Innovation: BPM encourages a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Through regular process reviews companies can identify opportunities for innovation and implement new technologies or approaches to stay competitive.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Many processes involve multiple departments and teams working together. BPM promotes cross-functional collaboration by providing a common framework and language for discussing and improving processes, leading to better coordination and communication.
  • Resource Allocation: By optimising processes, organisations can allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that employees' time and skills are utilized efficiently to achieve organisational goals.
  • Measurable Results: BPM emphasises the importance of data-driven decision-making. By measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitoring process performance, organisations can objectively assess their progress and make informed decisions to drive continuous improvement.


BPM encompasses various activities and methodologies that help organisations streamline their operations, enhance customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and increase overall competitiveness. Here are some key aspects of business process management:

  • Process Design and Modelling: BPM starts with the analysis and design of existing or new processes. This involves mapping out the sequence of activities, decisions, and interactions that make up a process. Process modeling tools are often used to create visual representations of these processes, such as flowcharts or diagrams.
  • Process Execution and Automation: Once processes are designed, BPM involves automating and executing them. Automation can involve using software systems to manage and control the flow of work, assign tasks, and track progress. This helps in reducing manual errors, speeding up processes, and ensuring consistency.
  • Process Monitoring and Control: BPM emphasises real-time monitoring of processes to track performance metrics, identify bottlenecks, and ensure adherence to predefined standards. Monitoring tools provide insights into how processes are functioning and enable timely interventions if deviations occur.
  • Process Optimisation and Continuous Improvement: BPM encourages a culture of continuous improvement. By analysing process data and feedback, organisations can identify opportunities for optimisation and refinement. This might involve eliminating redundant steps, improving resource allocation, or adjusting workflow to align with changing business needs. Alongside process mining, BPM can help ensure no inefficient stone is left unturned.
  • Collaboration and Communication: BPM often involves collaboration among various departments, teams, and stakeholders. Effective communication is crucial to ensure that everyone is aligned with the goals of the processes and can contribute to their improvement.
  • Change Management: Implementing BPM often involves changes in organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities. Change management strategies are employed to facilitate smooth transitions and to gain buy-in from employees.
  • Technology Integration: BPM often utilises technology solutions like Business Process Management Software (BPMS) to manage, automate, and monitor processes. BPMS tools provide functionalities for modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimisation.
  • Compliance and Governance: BPM helps organisations adhere to industry regulations, standards, and best practices. It ensures that processes are conducted in a consistent and compliant manner.
  • Overall, BPM is a holistic approach that enables organisations to align their processes with strategic goals, enhance operational efficiency, and adapt to changing business environments. It is not a one-time project but a continuous journey aimed at achieving sustainable process excellence.


Business Process Management (BPM) plays a crucial role in driving digital transformation initiatives within organisations. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all aspects of a business, which fundamentally changes how the organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. BPM provides the framework and tools to help organisations optimise their processes and adapt to the digital era. 

In the context of SAP, Business Process Management (BPM) is crucial for a successful transition to S/4HANA. In essence, it acts as a bridge between the technical aspects of S/4HANA transformation and the operational aspects of an organisation. It ensures that the technology is aligned with business objectives, processes are optimised, and the organisation realises the full potential of its investment in S/4HANA.

Let’s look how BPM accomplishes this:

  • Process Alignment and Optimisation: S/4HANA is not just an IT upgrade; it's an opportunity to revisit and optimise your business processes. BPM helps you analyze, redesign, and align your existing processes with S/4HANA's capabilities, ensuring that you fully leverage its functionalities to enhance efficiency, reduce bottlenecks, and eliminate unnecessary steps.
  • Change Management: S/4HANA transformations often bring significant changes to an organization's technology landscape, data models, and user interfaces. Effective BPM can aid in managing these changes by providing a structured approach to communicate, train, and transition employees to the new system. Clear process documentation and training materials can ease the transition and reduce resistance to change.
  • Data Migration and Cleansing: Migrating data from legacy systems to S/4HANA can be complex. BPM assists in identifying data dependencies and mapping data fields to the new system's structure. It also helps in identifying redundant or obsolete data, ensuring a smoother and more accurate data migration process.
  • Integration: S/4HANA often requires integration with other systems and applications within an organisation's ecosystem. BPM helps identify touchpoints and dependencies between processes and systems, ensuring seamless integration and data flow.
  • Customisation and Configuration: While S/4HANA offers standardised processes, some level of customisation and configuration might be necessary to align with unique business requirements. BPM enables you to document these customisations, making it easier to maintain and update the system in the future.
  • Performance Measurement and Monitoring: BPM provides the framework to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor process performance post-transformation. This helps companies track the effectiveness of the S/4HANA implementation, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions based on real-time data.
  • Compliance and Risk Management: Effective BPM ensures that compliance requirements and risk management practices are integrated into the transformed processes. This is particularly important in industries with stringent regulatory standards, where non-compliance can lead to severe consequences.
  • Continuous Improvement: S/4HANA transformations are not a one-time event but an ongoing journey. BPM fosters a culture of continuous improvement by providing a structured approach to solicit feedback from users, identify process inefficiencies, and implement iterative enhancements to drive business agility and innovation.


Business process modelling is a fundamental component of BPM and is the practice of creating visual representations or diagrams that illustrate the various steps, activities, roles, interactions, and dependencies involved in a specific business process. It's a fundamental technique used in business analysis and process improvement to better understand, communicate, and optimise how work is conducted within an organisation.

In the past, business process models were often static visual and textual representations, that soon became outdated and seldomly revised and improved. Today there are comprehensive tools that go beyond mere process modelling to provide platforms to oversee all aspects of process management, from collaborative and best practice modelling to change impact simulation and communication.

The primary goal of business process modelling is to provide a clear and standardised view of how different tasks and activities are performed within a business process. This helps in:

  • Understanding: Business process models provide a visual representation of how different components of a process interact. This helps stakeholders gain a comprehensive understanding of the process and its intricacies.
  • Communication: Complex processes can be difficult to explain using text or verbal descriptions alone. Visual models, such as flowcharts or diagrams, make it easier to convey the process to various stakeholders, including team members, clients, and management.
  • Analysis and Improvement: Once a process is visualised, it becomes easier to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement. Business analysts can use these models to pinpoint areas where optimisations can lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and better outcomes. Please refer to our Business Process Optimisation section for further information.
  • Standardisation: Business process models help establish a standardized way of performing tasks across an organization. This consistency can lead to improved quality and reduced errors.
  • Documentation: Models act as documentation that outlines the sequence of steps, decision points, inputs, outputs, and interactions involved in a process. This is particularly useful for training new employees and ensuring continuity and adherence.
  • Automation: When businesses aim to automate certain processes using software or technology, having a detailed process model is essential. It provides a blueprint for developers to create efficient and accurate automation solutions.

Although some companies still use flowcharts other visual diagrams to represent steps, decisions, and flows within a process, probably the most widely used (particularly SAP centric businesses) is BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation). This is a standardised graphical notation used to model business processes in a clear and consistent manner.

  • BPMN provides a visual representation that allows stakeholders to understand, analyse, and communicate the various steps, activities, decisions, and interactions that occur within a business process.
  • BPMN diagrams use a set of symbols and conventions to represent different aspects of a process, such as tasks, events, gateways, and flows. These symbols help to create a visual map of how a process functions, which can be particularly useful for process improvement, documentation, and automation.
  • BPMN 2.0 is the current modelling standard and defines pools and lanes to partition responsibility for different parts of an end-to-end process.
  • BPMN is widely used in various industries and domains, including business analysis, process design, software development, project management, and more. It helps to bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders by providing a common language and visual representation for discussing and documenting business processes. BPMN diagrams can be used to model both high-level overviews of processes as well as detailed workflows, making it a versatile tool for process management and optimisation.


Business process modelling is crucial for optimising operations, enhancing communication, fostering innovation, and achieving organisational goals. It enables organisations to better understand, manage, and improve their processes, leading to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and better overall performance.

  • Clarity and Understanding: Business process models help stakeholders, including employees, managers, and external partners, gain a clear understanding of how various processes within an organization work. These visual representations make it easier to comprehend complex workflows, dependencies, and interactions.
  • Communication: Process models serve as a common language that transcends departments and roles within an organisation. They facilitate effective communication by providing a visual reference that all parties can easily understand, leading to improved collaboration and alignment.
  • Process Improvement: By visualising processes, companies can identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas of improvement. This enables them to streamline processes, eliminate redundant steps, and optimize resource allocation, ultimately leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs.
  • Change Management: When an organisation undergoes changes such as implementing new technologies, restructuring, or introducing new policies, process models help in assessing the potential impact on existing workflows. They provide a baseline against which changes can be evaluated and modified to ensure a smoother transition.
  • Risk Management and Compliance: Process models highlight critical steps and dependencies in workflows, making it easier to identify potential risks and compliance issues. By understanding the sequence of actions and their interconnections, organizations can implement controls to mitigate risks and ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Training and Onboarding: New employees can benefit from process models as they provide a visual guide to the organisation's operations. This accelerates the onboarding process and helps new hires understand their roles and responsibilities within the broader context of the company's processes.
  • Standardisation: Business process modelling encourages organisations to establish standardised procedures. This consistency leads to higher quality outputs, reduced errors, and improved customer satisfaction, as customers experience predictable and dependable services.
  • Innovation: By analysing existing processes through modelling, organisations can identify areas where innovative approaches can be applied. Process models provide a foundation for brainstorming and implementing creative solutions to longstanding challenges.
  • Decision-Making: Process models provide a clear view of cause-and-effect relationships within an organisation. This insight aids decision-making by allowing stakeholders to evaluate the potential outcomes of various choices on the overall workflow.
  • Continuous Improvement: Business process modelling is an iterative process. Organisations can regularly review and refine their models to keep up with changes in the business environment, technology advancements, and evolving customer needs.