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Business Process Management Vs Business Process Reengineering

Submitted by swetaanand on Sat, 2011-09-17 19:08

There was a time when business environment used to be static, but now time changed and due to the cut throat competition in the market, change is now an everyday activity. This enormous change in the business processes gave rise to process automation and in turn to the terms like Business Process Management, Business Process Reengineering, and Enterprise Application Integration and so on.


Often people get confused with these technical terms and think of them as similar or substitute of each other. In this article I am trying to lay emphasis on two evergreen topics i.e. business process management and business process reengineering. In my last article I tried to describe the Business Process Reengineering but here focus will be on Business Process Management. I will also be doing comparison of BPM with BPR.


What is BPM?


A process and management discipline to analyze, re-design, implement, document, monitor, control, and measure both automated and non-automated business.


BPM enables organization to be more efficient, effective and flexible. Its definition varies in different sectors. For software companies it is often described as a particular technology while for academicians it is a management discipline.


According to wiki BPM goes through the below life cycle:-

  • Vision
  • Design
  • Modeling
  • Execution
  • Monitoring
  • Optimization

Critical components of BPM (from Wikipedia)


  • Process engine – a robust platform for modeling and executing process-based applications, including business rules
  • Business analytics - enable managers to identify business issues, trends, and opportunities with reports and dashboards and react accordingly
  • Content management - provides a system for storing and securing electronic documents, images, and other files
  • Collaboration tools - remove intra- and interdepartmental communication barriers through discussion forums, dynamic workspaces, and message boards

Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) are a new family of software systems that automate

And simplify the task of managing business processes over the entire lifecycle.


BPM versus BPR

To differentiate between BPM and BPR let us analyze them from different aspects:-


Business Process Management Business Process Reengineering
Automates and reuses the existing processes Recreates processes from the scratch
Risk is low Risk is high
Change is continuous One big and radical change is done
Time taken for implementation is comparatively less It takes lot of time to be implemented
Business and IT collaboration is must Business and IT collaboration is optional
BPMS/BRE are the technology used Based on workflow and EAI
One or more process can be simultaneously taken and worked upon One major process is taken and worked upon at a time
BPM leads to asset optimization Sometime BPR leads to lay offs
Does not have any effect on the culture of the organization During implementation cultural issues become a major concern
Outcome is continuous and incremental Outcome is drastic
Less expensive More expensive




BPM and BPR can be considered as complimentary to each other rather than as a substitute. They both contribute to the value addition of the organization. Just the point to be noted here is that when BPR is done, even the mission and vision of the company could be redesigned and reconsidered. Therefore the deep change organizations go through could be sometime uncomfortable and very risky. It even shakes the prevailing culture in the company. On the contrary BPM is very flexible in nature and it concentrates one or more process at a time, mostly automating and making them simple. It is neither risky nor too expensive to implement.


Both of them have their own benefits and shortcomings. BPM contributes directly to the customer satisfaction by immediately working on it whereas BPR studies the organization process from the start and removes the processes which are barriers to the organizational growth. When the processes become very slow and is not able to fetch the desired result BPR comes in the scene.

Sweta Anand
Business Process Analyst with experience in Investment Banking, Customer Support and operations. Has done Process documentation and standardization for several organizations
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