Introduction to Business Process Management
Business Process Management (BPM) is not about improving the way individual activities are performed. Rather, it is about managing entire chains of events, activities, and decisions that ultimately add value to the organization and its customers. These chains of events, activities, and decisions are called business processes. In this chapter, we introduce the essential concepts behind BPM. We start with a description of typical business processes found in contemporary organizations. Next, we discuss the basic ingredients of a process and provide a definition of business process and of BPM. To place BPM in a broader perspective, we then offer a historical overview of the BPM discipline. Finally, we discuss how a BPM initiative in an organization typically unfolds. This discussion leads us to the definition of a BPM lifecycle, around which the book is structured.
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