business process modelling explanation - diagrams, definitions, examples
Business Process Modelling (BPM) is a modern term and methodology which has evolved throughdifferent stages and names, beginning during the 'division of labour' of the late 1700s, when manufacturing first moved into factories from cottage industry. More explanation is in the historicaldevelopment of Business Process Modelling below.
Broadly the term 'business' in Business Process Model/Modelling/modeling is interchangeable with 'organisation'. Business Process Modelling is not onlycarried out in conventional businesses; the methodology is increasingly applicable to all sorts of other organisations, for example government agencies and departments, charities, mutuals andcooperatives, etc.
Confusingly, the acronym BPM can mean different things, some closely related to Business Process Modelling; others less so. 'Business Process Management' is an example of a different andrelated meaning. More details are in the glossary below.
Business Process Modelling is a method for improving organisational efficiency and quality. Its beginnings were in capital/profit-ledbusiness, but the methodology is applicable to any organised activity.
The increasing transparency and accountability of all organisations , including public service and government, together with themodern complexity, penetration and importance of ITC (information and communications technology), for even very small organisations nowadays, has tended to heighten demand for process improvementeverywhere. This means that Business Process Modelling is arguably more widely relevant than say Time and Motion Study or Total Quality Management (to name two earlier 'efficiency methodologies') were intimes gone by.
Put simply Business Process Modelling aims to improve business performance by optimising the efficiency of connecting activities in the provision of a product or service.