BusinessProcessManagement, BPM for short, is concerned with the integration of work processes that have evolved separately to serve functional needs in the enterprise. At times, the lesser used term BusinessProcessIntegration (BPI) is employed to stress the importance of "integration".
This approach focuses on needs of the company to constantly evolve its processes to respond to changes in the business environment (regulatory and legislative requirements, competitive forces, partnering opportunities, etc). See http://www.bcs.org/BCS/Products/Publications/Books/BySeries/Other/BusinessProcessManagement/ for a new book from British Computing Society.
Another related term is BusinessProcessImprovement. A classic (1991) book on this is ISBN 0070267685 .
BusinessProcessManagement is not really new, according to http://bpm-today.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=24304. It cited EnterpriseResourcePlanning as an example of software that already incorporated process management, before the term has been adopted widely. And in business the concept of SupplyChainManagement has been around for a while.
BusinessProcessReengineering can be one approach used to addressing the needs of BusinessProcessManagement. In these instances, the project scope will invariably be crossing existing organization boundaries. OTOH, some felt BusinessProcessReengineering is not BusinessProcessManagement, see http://www.darwinmag.com/read/030103/wavehistory.html.
The authors of ComponentBasedBusiness provide a conceptual framework to building an organization that is inherently agile.
One vendor consortium is BPMI, which has produced several specifications. See http://www.bpmi.org/specifications.esp.
The Strategy dimension
Need to link to StrategicPlanning for larger projects
Nick Carr, author of DoesItMatter, said in his May03 article at http://www.dataframeworks.com/pdfs/R0305B.pdf titled "IT Doesn't Matter", that former Strategic investments could and would turn to becoming a strategic liability. He suggested American Hospital Supply innovative use of IT in the 70s locked out competitors, but that system was viewed as a "millstone around their necks" by senior management in the 90s.
It is therefore within the mandate of BusinessProcessManagement to examine whether process improvement efforts will create a longterm liability that may exceed the benefits that can be realized within the planning horizon.
SystemsThinking - a "core" competency
Peter Fingar said "General System Thinking" is a required DomainKnowledge for BPM practioners, because BPM is about the business of managing complexity. See Sep05 article in BPTrends.
He said this as a description of SystemsThinking
BPM related programs and initiatives
SixSigma - not business focused
A few years ago, SixSigma was leading the ChangeManagement drives in many organizations. People were getting certified by consulting firms, statistics were collected and interpreted, and a few good things emerged.
An article called BPM 101, at http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/3-24-2006-91846.asp, written by the president of SixSigma in 2006, have all these engineering based terms like "benchmarking", "diagnosing", "base-lining", "measure", "data-driven" etc embedded throughout his thesis.
Lombardisoftware has a survival guide at http://www.lombardisoftware.com/library/BPM_SurvivalGuide.pdf.
Tibco sponsored paper on BPM user guide at http://www.tibco.com/resources/mk/tibco_white_paper-bpm.pdf.
A 2003 book called "The Third Wave", co-authored by the BPMI co-chair Howard Smith, can be viewed at http://www.fairdene.com/. The viewpoints expressed elicited a large body of comments on the subject, implementation and impact of BusinessProcessManagement.
For people interested in the history of BusinessProcessManagement, see a multipart blog in 2006 at http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/column2/archives/2006/06/a_short_history_7.php.
Two of the larger websites dedicated to BusinessProcessManagement concerns are: