Are you thinking about implementing a business management system, but not sure which one would be most suitable for your organisation? This article will explore four different approaches which support a wide range of different business objectives.

When considering any big system purchase, it is important to outline what you are planning to achieve and be clear of what your organisation will be using the system for. It is paramount that the system you choose will support your organisation to achieve its business objectives. Rather than the business needing to adjust to the system, as can happen.

What is Business Process Management (BPM)?

Business Process Management is an approach that focuses predominantly on capturing and improving business processes to help an organisation work more efficiently. This is achieved through capturing and documenting an organisation’s current-state end-to-end processes.

Once a department’s processes (or even the organisation as a whole) have been documented in a process map, you can begin to identify where the inefficiencies and bottlenecks lie. This will allow you to make data driven changes to each process to help reduce costs and improve efficiency or eliminate waste for example.

The easiest way to support a business process management approach is with a dedicated BPM system, and there are many great options available on the market.

What is a Quality Management system (QMS)?

A quality management system houses the processes, policies and procedures that are required to help an organisation achieve one or a number of quality standards. These standards are put in place to ensure that a level of quality is consistently achieved or that customer requirements are met.

The majority of Quality Management systems are geared to support achieving ISO accreditations.

As covered in this article, in most instances, quality management can be achieved with a BPM system, although there are software systems available that focus solely on total quality management.

The key thing about quality is that to be effective it must sit at the heart of your organisation and this is something that a BPM system can really help you with.

A common issue with implementing a quality initiative to achieve a certification, is that the focus shifts from running your business to achieving the certification.

What is Enterprise Architecture (EA)?

Enterprise Architecture is a detailed overview of a business’s processes and their interactions and relationship with the core IT infrastructure. An EA system houses and manages everything a business does, how it does it and the systems it uses. These are very complex systems, which ultimately allow an organisation to plan and execute new strategies effectively and with little impact on the rest of the business.

To help you understand the differences between EA and BPM software, we’ve put together this useful comparison including some of the pros and cons of each system:

What is a Workflow Management System? (WFMS)

A workflow management system is a tool that allows an organisation to create and monitor a set sequence of tasks, usually in the form of a flow diagram. These diagrams are not usually detailed but give enough information for someone to follow the instructions and perform the task correctly.

Workflow management is an excellent entry point to start looking at and capturing what your business does; however, it does tend to be more focused on the people carrying out the tasks than your business processes. To help you decide if workflow management software is suitable for your business, we’ve written a clear comparison with BPM software, showing the similarities and differences, which you can read here:

BPM, QMS, EA or WFMS, which one should I be using?

When it comes to making a decision on what system you should be using, any business management system is going to cost time and money, and we understand that you won’t want to take this decision lightly. Furthermore, implementing such a system will require serious commitment and a cultural shift, and this needs to come from the top down.

Whichever system you choose – success will not happen overnight, and this is something that you will need to keep at the forefront of your decision making process. Understanding that the success of the system ultimately depends on how much you put in, will help you to stay focused, not only during that initial decision phase but also throughout the implementation of your new system.

If your still looking for more on this topic, take a look at the excellent article: Workflow Management vs Business Process Management: Which one should you be using in your business?