Workflow Automation versus Business Process Management – ibism
Workflow Automation versus Business Process Management

In order to survive and succeed in a competitive business world, organizations are constantly looking for ways to achieve maximum operational efficiency. Companies are realizing the growing need for automation to eliminate bureaucratic bottlenecks, remove wasteful practices and reducing costs to achieve optimal process performance.  In any competitive business, operational efficiency can be the difference between success and failure.

This is where Workflow Automation and Business Process Management (BPM) come into the picture.

What is Business Process Management or ‘BPM’?

BPM helps to streamline the way business processes are carried out in an organization, incorporating workflows, policies, procedures, metrics, human and system tasks.  BPM synthesize, organize and simplify complex business processes on a micro and macro environmental level, in order to ensure that the entire organisation is working together in harmony to achieve the ideal end result.

Characteristics of BPM

  • Manages multiple workflows
  • Consists of business reports, data collection, collaboration tools data sets
  • Provides a top-level view of what’s going on
  • Focuses on the overall improvement of the process 
  • Coordinating all the different processes, data, systems, and people.

Benefits of BPM

  • Streamlines business processes to create agile and efficient business
  • Helps in organizing common datasets enable advanced reporting and monitor the health of all of the processes in real-time

What is Workflow Automation?

Workflow Automation is a process of managing individual activities and task from beginning to the end through a set of technologies and tools. Workflow automation enables documents, information, activities tasks and approvals to flow efficiently across multiple departments of a company.

Workflow essentially defines ‘these are the steps that must be followed to achieve this outcome’.  Workflow Automation enables achievement of this outcome through tools and technology that minimize manual intervention and drastically improve process performance.

Characteristics of Workflow Automation

  • Series of tasks to get an item from beginning to end
  • Aims to get a single item completely processed in the shortest amount of time
  • Focus on the optimum organization of tasks
  • Consists of a number of tasks owned by different people
  • Human or software tasks

Benefits of Workflow Automation

  • Streamlining different tasks in a project efficiently 
  • Helps in eradicating communication gap, avoid discrepancies, improve quality, reliability, and accuracy
  • Reduce process failures, data transfer errors, time delays, bottlenecks, and wastes

BPM vs Workflow Automation

Station analogy

If you have ever been on a train station you have seen trains coming and going on the platform. Whenever a train arrives or departs a station it has to follow a certain set of procedures that bounces between the loco pilot, guard, station master and ground staff in an efficient and timely manner, that’s what we term as workflow.

While numerous trains arrive and depart from the train station, there are multiple other operations which are carried out simultaneously in the background such as reservation, traffic, food, signaling and maintenance, each of these managing their individual workflow.  If you consider the example of a traffic control, if you are in the master control center, not only you are monitoring the flow of traffic and optimizing traffic patterns in real-time, you are also analyzing traffic challenges, compare with previous days and reorganize the  timings, priority of trains to optimize traffic flow so rail trips are more pleasant. This is BPM

The Bottom-line

Business Process Management deals with holistically looking at an organization’s business processes, and figuring out how to align them with business goals.  BPM actually change processes to improve their performance and efficiency, 

On the other hand, workflow automation focuses on automating existing streams of processes, using tools and technology to improve a given processes’ efficiency, turnaround times and error rates.

While BPM is an overall structuring of a business process, workflow automation can be termed as a sub domain of BPM and is limited to a specific activity within those processes. BPM software includes robust workflow features, but also helps you organize common datasets; give advanced reporting,  and will give a much broader picture of all the processes in your organization. Workflow automation is a powerful tool to achieve an organistion’s BPM objectives.

IBISM offers easy to implement, ready to deploy solutions for day to day workflow automation, for e.g., legal which can be used to automate sales contracts, finance can be utilized to automate salary requests and HR could automate employee on-boarding.  Ibism’s workflow automation can help reduce risk and errors, save time, increase productivity and is easy to improve.

Please get in touch with us and try IBISM to help transform your business!


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