Top 7 Key Differences Between BPM vs Workflow

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Written By Haissam Abdul Malak

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In this post, we will discuss the differences between BPM and workflow (BPM vs Workflow), as well as the similarities and which one to use in your organization including a detailed table highlighting the major differences.

Workflow management enables you to organize certain recurring actions and procedures in order to save time and do the work more efficiently. On the other hand, BPM is a more sophisticated method of managing your workflows.

Organizations are constantly looking for methods to enhance productivity and the efficiency of their business operations. One of the most dependable methods is to properly manage internal and external processes followed by automating workflows whenever applicable.

Workflow and BPM are two keywords in modern business. Knowing the similarities and differences is critical for deciding on an implementation technique.

Your company’s business processes are the strategic and operational assets that enable it to produce products and services consistently and efficiently. They are the skeleton that holds your business together and allows you to remain competitive and successful.

That is why it is critical to understand the finest approaches and tools for improving your company’s operations.

In the field of process management, two types of applications dominate the market: workflow management and BPM.

It’s difficult to tell the key differences between bpm and workflow (workflow vs bpm), and you’re not alone! We’ve all gone through this before.

What is Workflow?

According to Wikipedia, a workflow “consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information.”

A business workflow is a repeatable process comprised of a set of actions that must be done in a specified order.

It is frequently defined as a process that takes a document or activity from one stage to the next. The ultimate purpose of workflow is to improve business operations, eliminate redundant processes and activities, and reduce operational expenses.

Workflow automation uses software tools that employ business rules to determine when one step is complete and the next phase can begin. Workflow software is one of the tools that help in the automation process.

Workflow is a component of BPM, however, it is mainly concerned with task management and the execution of repeated, less complicated individual operations.

Workflow automation is one of the most direct ways to improve efficiency, smoothen business operations, and reduce costs. Workflow management software is one of the automation tools that can be used to automate the entire organization processes.

Check out the link below for more in-depth insight.

What is Document Workflow: The Ultimate Guide (theecmconsultant.com)

What is BPM?

As per BPM.com, Business Process Management (BPM) is a discipline involving any combination of modeling, automation, execution, control, measurement, and optimization of business activity flows, in support of enterprise goals, spanning systems, employees, and customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.

Business Process Management (BPM) is used by organizations to develop, manage, and optimize workflow. It requires evaluating each process separately while also taking into account its function across the organization.

Business process management software is used to define, monitor, and measure business processes. Several software vendors provide BPM and/or workflow solutions, both on-premises and in the cloud (SaaS)

I highly recommend you read the below articles covering more in-depth about bpm

BPM Lifecycle: 5 Stages to Business Process Excellence (theecmconsultant.com)

BPMS: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide! (theecmconsultant.com)

The Difference Between Workflow & BPM (Workflow vs BPM)

Workflow is a basic orchestration of tasks that are routed from person to person. Document review is a good example since you may have a document that has to be evaluated by your supervisor, signed by an executive, and then put in a document repository.

It is a sequence of actions that allows work to flow from beginning to end. It comprises several tasks that are assigned to different employees in the same department or across multiple departments. Tasks can be executed by humans, services, or systems.

Workflow automation focuses on people and instructions, outlines the function of each individual involved, and helps you to arrange your everyday work operations.

On the other hand, business process management bpm focuses that regularly re-evaluating processes, making modifications and enhancements, automating some portions, and so on.

A BPM framework is one in which business processes may be managed and optimized in addition to being automated and built.

Workflow is a component of BPM that allows you to not only transfer tasks from desk to desk and understand how that work is being moved but also to understand why the work is being done this way and whether the route of work that was created is the most efficient path that it should be.

It may include multiple workflows and is aimed at enhancing the core business. Aside from workflows, bpm focuses on available labor, budget, various automation technologies, and analytics to better understand the process, improve productivity, and increase efficiency.

The purpose of BPM is to efficiently manage can consist of multiple workflows concurrently while focusing on overall process improvement and achieve optimal performance.

The below table is a great visual illustration of the differences between workflow vs bpm.

WorkflowBPM
1Focus on single tasksFocus on the entire business process
2Most effective for managing documents and peopleIdeal for organizing company-wide strategic goals; integrating systems, processes, and people
3Less complicated and less scalableEnterprise-ready, scalable, and provides visibility into every business function
4Cheap compared to BPM suitesMore expensive
5It is made up of several activities that are assigned to different persons.Reports, data collecting, and analytics are all part of the package.
6Key BPM componentCovers workflows
7Simple to set up and configure More time is required for installation and configuration.
8A task sequence is assigned from beginning to end.It is capable of managing several workflows.
This table summarizes key differences between workflow and BPM

Both solutions are designed to help you streamline your business operations and manage workflow automation.

Choose Between BPM vs Workflow

If you want to achieve workflow automation or organize a single process in your department, workflow software is the way to go. As previously said, workflow is easier to implement, allowing you to get results up and running at a typical speed.

If you want to streamline the business operations of a department with several, interrelated processes, BPM is the way to go. It allows you to handle various processes, forms, alerts, reports, and other features. However, it necessitates an initial financial commitment as well as training.

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