10 Common BPM Terms Explained

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Be Clear On BPM: Top 10 Commonly Used Terms

Do you know your BAM from your BPM? Business process management has a whole language of its own. Our quick guide will help you decipher some of the most commonly used BPM terms. 


1: BPM – Business Process Management

BPM is a discipline that focuses on improving business performance. It takes a logical approach to making an organisation’s workflow more efficient and adaptable. It typically involves subjecting a company’s existing workflows to the following:

  • Process modelling
  • Execution
  • Measurement
  • Optimisation

These stages are often referred to as the BPM lifecycle. For more on this topic, download our free guide: What Is BPM?


2: BPMS – Business Process Management Software (or Suite)

A commercial software package with the aim of designing, implementing and improving business activities. A BPMS shifts manual (paper based, spreadsheet-based) processes to automated transactions. It contains a number of tools to help businesses operate more efficiently, such as:

  • Workflow
  • Automation
  • Process Optimisation
  • Business Intelligence
  • Enterprise Application Integration

With the LEAP Business Process Management system, you can map and segment and optimise existing processes. The result: shorter cycles, better visibility at snapshot and granular level; fewer errors, faster responses to customers and suppliers.


3: Workflow

Workflow automates an existing process and directs the flow of tasks and documents to the relevant people within it. Workflow may be complemented by triggers, which prompt people within the process to carry out required actions.

Workflow is a core element of LEAP Business Process Management Software, which includes tools such as: process automation, event-based workflow triggers, user tasks and workflow queues. Check out this short video on LEAP workflow.

With workflow installed, you can:

  • Ensure your teams always have the information they need
  • Streamline your process and free up thousands of man hours
  • Understand how long tasks are likely to take
  • Balance workloads effectively
  • Rapidly evaluate complex business calculations

4: BAM – Business Activity Monitoring

Simply, Business Activity Monitoring is about using software to get the big picture of what’s going on in your business right now. It allows us to see where issues are arising so that you can take action fast.

In LEAP, you can… keep track of your processes and monitor their progress using real-time data. We will work with you to set the benchmarks for success and provide tools so that you can review them regularly. Learn about LEAP’s graphical dashboard reports.


5: SLA – Service Level Agreement

A SLA forms part of the contract between your business and your supplier. It sets out exactly what the service provider will deliver – for example Emergency Repairs. A SLA will also dictate what falls within acceptable levels (e.g. a promise to respond in 12 hours).

In LEAP, SLAs are… just one of the many factors that can be monitored, measured and improved using LEAP. For example, you could review all of the support requests coming to your call centre, set targets based on your SLAs, monitor how many of these are met – and set actions to make improvements.


6: DMS – Document Management System

A DMS is a systems-based approach to tracking, managing and storing documents. A DMS may exist as a separate software package, or as a component of a BPM system. The systems are capable of supporting the vast amount of information that enters a business, ranging from original-format files (Word, PDF, Excel) to text or HTML.

All DMS aim to:

  • Reduce the need for paper storage and printing
  • Improve security and access to documentation
  • Increase visibility and collaboration

The LEAP Document Management module makes it easy to… capture documents at any stage of your process. Simply drag, drop and file according to your chosen business structure and policies. See all documents in one place; anytime – and anywhere – you have an internet connection. 


7: MI – Management Information

A broad term to describe the information that your company gathers in order to analyse trends, forecast the future, and continuously improve your business. MI can come in many forms, such as:

  • Customer feedback
  • New business wins
  • Renewals
  • Compliance reports, appraisal information

A Management Information System (MIS) takes this data and organises it so that business users can create their own customised and real-time reports.

In LEAP, your MI is turned into drag-and-drop dashboards, allowing you to quickly create fully interactive reporting dashboards without having to write a single line of code. Using familiar components such as pivot tables, graphics, gauges and maps, you can visualise your data in any way you choose – bypassing the IT department entirely.


8: SaaS – Software as a Service

Sometimes referred to as ‘software on demand’, SaaS is any software application that you run where the data is not held on your server. Instead of buying a software licence then paying for server maintenance, you lease the software for a specific period – often monthly or annually.

LEAP offers great value for money because… our workflow software can be deployed either on your desktop (hosted on your server) or it can be run “in the cloud” (SaaS option). Our user licences start as little as £70 per month, making LEAP a cost-effective application for small and growing businesses. Learn more about our Services and Pricing.


9: BPO – Business Process Outsourcing

This involves contracting the operations and tasks of a specific business process – such as an element of a manufacturing supply chain – to a third party. BPO can be grouped into two areas.

Back office outsourcing covers core operational functions such as purchasing and payroll. Front office outsourcing is involved with customer-related services, such as contact centres.

With LEAP, businesses have the power to control their own core operational processes. A component-based system provides the agility to map your processes and evolve them without the restrictions faced by traditional, hard-coded IT systems.


10: EAI – Enterprise Application Integration

Getting systems to talk to each other is essential to maximise the benefits of any software investment. Data exchange is typically achieved by utilising middleware which acts as a kind of broker between systems. XML and SOAP – (more acronyms!) are types of middleware.

LEAP EAI: Our software systems utilise XML within a messaging server which acts as a distribution centre to receive data from one system to another. Communications between LEAP and external systems – whether that’s your CRM, ERP or any other back office application – happen automatically, without any need for user input.


Want to learn more about BPM, or see our BPMS in action?

Whitepaper: What is Business Process Management?

5 Ways To Improve Your Efficiency: Workflows In the Cloud

Request a demo of the LEAP Workflow System