I am looking for the best stand-alone definition of Business Process Management. I have found lots of them, and they are all different. I am looking for what you think is the best definition. It needs to be clear enough to be able to tell the difference between what is BPM and what is not BPM. It needs to be understandable by the general public, and not laden with jargon. Please post your best definition, and a link to the source if that is appropriate. Please don't post a circular definition that uses "business process" within the definition.
The biggest problem with BPM at this point is that there are many varying definitions, so many that serious discussion is not possible. You can't really have a serious discussion if people can't decide whether it is a plant, animal, or mineral. So, to rescue the BPM field, and to allow meaningful discussion, we need to agree on a clear definition of BPM.
In the BPM Guru group of Linked-In, we debated this for the past week, and you are welcome to review the thread of conversation
on linked-in or a PDF of the discussion
Best definition so far:
Business process management is the discipline to model, automate, execute, control, measure and optimize the flows of business activities that span the enterprise’s systems, employees, customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.
(Many thanks are due to Alexander Samarin for contributing and defending this definition.) This was kept quite short, because a short, succinct definition is useful. It corresponds quite well with the definition from the ABPMP which is filled out with some unnecessary words:
Business Process Management (BPM) is a disciplined approach to identify, design, execute, document, monitor, control, and measure both automated and non-automated business processes to achieve consistent, targeted results consistent with an organization's strategic goals. BPM involves the deliberate, collaborative and increasingly technology-aided definition, improvement, innovation, and management of end-to-end business processes that drive business results, create value, and enable an organization to meet its business objectives with more agility.
There are a couple of things to note about both of these definitions: they describe something that people do, a "discipline". Also, it includes just about anything a business does. in some ways it seems to me that 'business process management' is virtually the same thing as 'business management' or just 'management' itself.
I am looking for more input from people with experience with BPM. My goal is agreement: a definition that we can point to and say that is ti, and if you are talking about something else, call it something else. Without agreement, we can not discuss BPM, and this being "BPM.COM" it is critical that we know what this site is about.
If you do or don't agree with the definition at the top, please make a comment explaining why.