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Business process management (BPM)

Streamline operations to reduce costs and improve business agility.

What is BPM?

Business process management (BPM) is a methodology to manage processes and workflows in an organization. The goal of BPM is to increase efficiency, performance, and agility in the day-to-day operations of a business. BPM has been widely adopted by organizations and is essential for any enterprise businesses that want to be competitive in today’s marketplace.

Relationship between BPM and automation

BPM and business process automation (BPA) form a symbiotic relationship at the heart of efficient organizations. Together, they create a dynamic synergy, streamlining operations, reducing errors, and enhancing overall performance. To break down the distinctions between BPM and BPA:


  • Overarching strategy
  • Defines, models, and optimizes business processes
  • Identifies areas in a workflow that can benefit from automation


  • Execution arm of BPM
  • Utilizes technology to automate processes
  • Actualizes BPM's identified enhancements
  • Ensures that routine, rule-based tasks are executed seamlessly, freeing up human resources for more strategic, creative, and complex endeavors

Why use BPM?

BPM helps simplify and automate operations so you can reduce costs and improve business agility. By using BPM, organizations create repeatable solutions that can be efficiently reused and tailored to meet the requirements of diverse users, product lines, channels, and geographies.

Benefits of business process management

Business process management (BPM) drives efficiency in several ways:

  • Cost reduction and operational agility: BPM simplifies and automates operations, unlocking avenues for substantial cost cuts.
  • Repeatable solutions: Using BPM helps create efficient, scalable, and adaptable solutions.
  • Streamlined workflows: BPM identifies and optimizes processes, reducing redundancies and removing bottlenecks.
  • Enhanced user experience: BPM eliminates bottlenecks, reduces tedious tasks, and improves accuracy, which translates to fewer mistakes and a better overall experience for customers and employees.
  • Structured service delivery: BPM creates a structured environment, reducing response times and enabling faster customer service.

It’s more than just operational enhancements. BPM shapes a responsive, cost-effective, and user-friendly organizational landscape. By integrating BPM, you can position yourself to thrive in an ever-evolving marketplace.

How does BPM work?

BPM uses a combination of technologies – including workflow automation, AI-powered decisioning, and case management – to build comprehensive solutions for organizations. By leveraging these technologies, organizations improve business processes that enable them to bring products to market faster; make, market, and sell more profitably; and deliver superior customer service.

How does BPM work?

Explore what's possible with Pega for workflow automation

Industry case studies

Discover how businesses across industries use BPM to transform the way work gets done.

Learn how Cisco is succeeding at digital transformation by embracing BPM.

See how Banco Santander Basil transformed client services with BPM.

Learn how Highmark Health uses a BPM approach to create innovative solutions.

Different types of BPM

There are many flavors of BPM, each catering to specific organizational demands:

Integration-centric BPM

Integration-centric BPM targets processes with minimal human involvement, relying on APIs for efficient data integration, as seen in HRM or CRM systems.

Human-centric BPM

Human-centric BPM focuses on processes requiring human interaction and approvals, offering intuitive interfaces for task assignments and accountability.

Document-centric BPM

Document-centric BPM addresses documentation processes. From creation and review to approval and storage, BPM streamlines everything involved with business-critical documents, which makes it easier to accomplish tasks such as formalizing intricate contracts or ensuring data privacy.

BPM Lifecycle

BPM Lifecycle

  • Analysis
    Discover and identify processes and workflows that can be created or optimized to meet business requirements or improve performance. 
  • Design
    Create process designs that include human-to-human, system-to-system, or human-to-system interactions. Designs should aim to reduce errors and maintain relevant operating procedures or SLAs.
  • Modeling
    Use software tools to effectively model and evaluate process designs. Once a process design is ready, use varying input values to observe its behavior. If undesirable behavior is observed, make design changes iteratively.
  • Execution 
    Automate processes with business rules, decisioning, case management, and other related technologies.
  • Monitoring
    Leverage reporting data collected from processes for performance, errors, and compliance. Monitoring allows businesses to evaluate executed BPM solutions against corresponding design models and relevant KPIs.
  • Optimization
    Leverage data from the modeling and monitoring phases to identify areas of the solution that can be improved to derive higher efficiency and better value.

What’s included in BPM?

Turns intelligence into action by tapping into data, analyzing the current need, and providing the best response at that moment.

Uses AI to predict customer needs, personalize interactions, and streamline experiences across channels.

Manages complex human and machine work from start to finish with a case used as the epicenter to manage tasks and outcomes.

Automates complicated processes. Setting rules puts goals into action within a business application.


Makes statistics available that you can analyze in comprehensible reports to improve your business.


Provides a framework for safeguarding against unauthorized access. Prevents attacks that compromise performance and availability.


Access data across any application with broad and flexible connectors, adaptors, and API services.

The Forrester Wave™: Robotic Process Automation, Q1 2023

According to the Forrester Report, "Pegasystems provides a seamless automation lifecycle experience."

Frequently Asked Questions about business process management

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Business process management (BPM) can be applied to various organizational procedures, such as customer service, supply chain management, and human resources. For example:

  • In customer service, BPM can be used to manage customer inquiries and complaints more efficiently, creating a better customer experience.
  • In supply chain management, BPM can be used to optimize the flow of goods and services, reducing overhead and improving time to market. 
  • In human resources, BPM can be used to streamline the recruitment and onboarding process to create an optimal candidate experience. 
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Most often, a business process flow is a graphical representation that models a business process in your application by using graphical shapes and connectors to define a sequence of events. It consists of a series of tasks or steps that visualize a set of actions within a stage. 

For example, with Pega case management, you can create a sequential process that is a basic set of tasks, and for each stage, you can create multiple processes. By creating multiple processes, you group tasks into logical phases, instead of having a list of tasks that might seem to be loosely connected. For example, for the Submission stage of a recruitment process, you can add processes for “Collect personal information” and “Collect documents.” By adding multiple processes, you also model the order in which case workers complete tasks because a case moves to the next process when all the steps from the previous process are complete. To speed up case processing, you can also create parallel processes that can involve more case workers simultaneously.

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BPM refers to managing and improving processes and workflows in an organization, while business process outsourcing (BPO) is the practice of contracting a specific business task or process to a third-party service provider. The provider is responsible for managing and completing the task or process on behalf of the contracting organization. In other words, BPM is a management approach to improve business processes, while BPO is a business strategy to outsource specific processes to a third-party provider.

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The main goal of business process management is to optimize an organization's business operations to enhance efficiency, improve performance, foster innovation, and create adaptability to change, ultimately leading to better business outcomes and increased customer satisfaction.

Yes, BPM is almost always a part of CRM (customer relationship management). For example, in the context of the Pega customer relationship management suite of applications, BPM is used to manage and optimize customer interactions and workflows.

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