What is the business process management (BPM) lifecycle?

Written by Richard Adams on Monday, 30 September 2019. Posted in Business process management

The BPM lifecycle is considered to have five stages: design, model, execute, monitor, and optimise.

In this blog, we explain the five BPM lifecycle phases.

Process design

The first phase of the BPM lifecycle involves identifying the business processes you wish to automate and write down the current steps, actions, people and decisions that need to occur to arrive at a desired result.

You will also probably want to mock-up a form to collect and display information. The form will be routed through a review-and-approval workflow later.

Business process modelling

Generally considered to be second of five steps in business process management, business process modelling is used to map out the current (or “as-is”) process and design the future (or “to-be”) state complete with improvements.

Here, the ‘process champion’ should illustrate the written steps from earlier in order to understand and improve the process.

The aim is to visualise the form being routed through a series of clearly-defined logical steps, each with a specific task and assigned participants. For example, a capital expenditure request approval might follow the following processes:

Start > Initiator completes form > manager seeks clarification > Initiator updates form and resubmits form > manager approves request > CFO approval > end.

This type of process is linear and can be represented in a flowchart with design principals such as decisions, parallel steps, loops, approvals, notifications etc.

However, not every process follows a pre-defined path and many iBPMS solutions allow you to model ‘what if’ or non-linear scenarios. That is, automating processes that move in any direction you require, based on user behaviour, internal data or external conditions.

Our recommendation is to engage with potential vendors early as it gives you the opportunity to plan a better solution.

Process execution

To execute the BPM methodology outlined in the design and modelling phases of the BPM lifecycle, you need to purchase or develop business process management software (BPMS). Of course, you could manually execute the methodology. However, despite achieving management buy-in and being well-documented, it will continue to be paper-based and inefficient.

Our recommendation is to introduce the process to a small number of people initially (i.e. by department or user group) to gain user confidence and fix any teething problems.

Business activity monitoring (BAM)

During this stage, business processes are performed and data is collected to evaluate how your critical tasks are running over time.

Are projects being accomplished faster? Did you eliminate time-consuming steps? How is workflow contributing to your company’s overall efficiency and effectiveness? Are you providing a better customer service?

Remember to think about the metrics that will demonstrate the improvements you wanted to achieve - then analyse your processes to determine whether or not business process modelling is helping you reach them.

Business process optimisation

In this phase, the ‘Process Champion’ will seek to make improvements to the form/workflow and fix bottlenecks based on insights from the monitoring phase to make your process more efficient.

Furthermore, with commercial terms agreed, reusable components and management buy-in, BPMS can be deployed quickly if you identify additional inefficient or wasteful processes within your business.

Business process re-engineering

When the process becomes too complex or inefficient, and optimisation is not seeing the desired output, it is usually recommended to re-engineer the entire process cycle.

Wherever you are in the BPM lifecycle, we can provide help and advice on your digital transformation journey. Simply complete this form or call 03300 100 000 to start the conversation.

About the Author

Richard Adams

Richard Adams

Richard is the Marketing Manager at ePC where he is responsible for marketing, PR and ISO 9001.