Business process management (BPM) is fairly self-explanatory as a concept. It means examining and controlling the processes present in a business, and then where possible and practical, modifying the processes so they’re as effective and efficient as possible.
But BPM is more a general business practice than a prescriptive concept, because each business must identify processes and then study, modify, and monitor them to ensure they run properly and take advantage of relative improvements in technologies. Successful BPM requires the following:
- Taking a viewpoint of outcomes rather than tasks
- Correcting and improving processes before automating them
- Establishing processes and assigning ownership to them
- Standardizing processes across the organization where possible
- Enabling and encouraging continuous improvement
- Improving existing processes where possible rather than scrapping them and starting over
DPA Emphasizes the Digital Aspects of Processes
DPA stands for digital process automation, and it is partly a change in terminology, and partly a change in philosophy. It emphasizes the digital aspects of processes, which in most businesses, make up an increasing proportion of process steps. For example, rather than using paper forms filled out by hand, most companies prefer to use electronic forms filled out online.
Digital process automation doesn’t exactly supplant BPA, but may be considered as a new iteration of BPA, one that takes full advantage of digital technologies to help people do their work better and help companies reap the gains in efficiency and productivity.
BPM Has Created a Firm Foundation for DPA
The good news is that the company that has a strong head for BPM has already created the foundation for DPA. That’s because DPA relies upon many of the same principles and practices as BPM, though with more of a digital emphasis. For example, BPM may dictate that a person type in a parts number to request it from the warehouse, but DPA may suggest having the person scan a barcode or QR code rather than enter the numbers themselves. It’s faster and less error-prone that way. In short, DPA is designed to take what’s good about BPM, and improve it further through technology.
Benefits of a Shift to Emphasis on DPA
The benefits of shifting the emphasis from a BPM approach to a DPA approach include the following:
- Improved agility due to the ability to make process changes at low cost
- Higher productivity due to things like making digital steps even faster (such as with the manual number entry versus scanning a barcode example listed above)
- Higher efficiency due to added streamlining that results from digital automation
- Happier customers due to leaner processes, shorter wait-times, and better, faster customer service
Both BPM and DPA depend on an organization having defined, logical workflows that root out inefficiency even before a digital transition. The very act of creating an effective workflow requires examining steps closely, aligning them optimally, and eliminating steps that are unnecessary.
The use of BPM software that facilitates creation of robust, streamlined workflows is the foundation of sound BPM as well as DPA. PerfectApps is BPM software that allows organizations to easily create the online forms and workflows that are the basis for good BPM and hence, DPA.
With PerfectApps, no programming is required for the creation of customized online forms and electronic workflows. Testing automated workflows is easy, as are adjustments and upgrades. DPA is the logical evolution of BPM as technologies continue to become more accessible to businesses and individuals, and PerfectApps is an exceptional set of tools that empowers businesses of all sizes and in all industries to manage their business processes optimally. We encourage you to read through some of the many PerfectApps case studies to see how automated processes and great management of them can transform how businesses and other organizations function.