BPM Vs BPA is a common topic in business process management (BPM) and business process automation (BPA). Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between the two. This is because, at their core, both BPM and BPA are designed to help businesses automate and optimize their processes. However, the way in which they do this is quite different.

Business Executives should be clear on the definitions and objectives of both BPM Vs BPA, as well as their role in business strategy. In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between business process automation and business process management so that you can make the best decision for your company.

What is business process management (BPA)?

BPM is a more holistic approach to business process improvement. It looks at the bigger picture and how different processes can be optimized and connected to achieve company objectives. 

Business Process Management involves both people and technology working together. It seeks to optimize efficiency by redesigning processes from start to finish. In addition, tools are used to monitor progress and compliance, as well as to identify areas in need of improvement.

The lifecycle of Business Process management consists of the following steps:

  1. Design: The process is designed and the necessary steps are identified.
  2. Modeling: A model of the process is created to visualize it.
  3. Execution: executed according to the plan.
  4. Monitoring: monitored to identify any areas that need improvement.
  5. Optimization: The process then is optimized for maximum efficiency.

Examples of BPM in different areas of business:

  • Process mapping
  • Workflow management
  • Business intelligence
  • Change management
Visualization of BPM lifecycle steps

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

BPA is the use of technology to automate business processes. It can be used to replace manual tasks or to supplement and improve existing process efficiency. For instance, BPA can be used in a wide variety of processes, including:

  • Data entry
  • Order processing
  • Invoicing
  • Accounting
  • Customer service
  • Human resources

BPA tools are used to automate repetitive tasks so that employees can focus on more strategic work. The goal of BPA is to improve efficiency and accuracy by eliminating errors and reducing the time it takes to complete a task.

The benefits of BPA include:

  • Increased efficiency: Automating processes can help businesses save time and money.
  • Improved accuracy: Automating processes can help eliminate human error.
  • Greater compliance: Automating processes can help ensure that businesses meet industry regulations.
  • Improved customer service: Automating processes can help businesses provide better customer service by reducing waiting times and improving communication.

BPM Vs BPA: Key Differences

Understanding the difference between BPM Vs. BPA is essential for making the best decision for your company. Here are some key differences between the two:

1. Focus

BPA focuses on improving company efficiency through technological means. It doesn’t change the fundamental procedures; rather, it makes them simpler and more streamlined. BPM, on the other hand, seeks to disrupt the workflow to achieve increased performance and optimization.

2. Technology

BPA is mainly driven by technology. The goal is to make processes easier and faster by automating them. BPM, while it also uses technology, focuses on the connection between different processes and how they can be improved. However, both BPM Vs BPA approaches to use technology as a means to an end.

3. Time required

BPM is a more long-term solution. It requires a greater investment of time to redesign processes and train employees on new procedures. On the other hand, BPA can be implemented relatively quickly. Once the right tools and applications are in place, the process can be automated with little disruption.

4. Implementation

BPA can be implemented without changing much about the current infrastructure. It’s a matter of adding new tools and applications. BPM requires a more significant investment since it involves process redesigning.

5. Results

The results of BPA are typically tangible and easy to measure. You can see how much time is saved on a specific task or process. However, the results of BPM are more strategic. They’re long-term and can be harder to track.

6. Costs

BPA usually requires an up-front investment. The costs are mainly associated with the tools and applications needed to automate processes. BPM can be more expensive since it involves process redesigning, which may require training and new technology.

7. Flexibility & Scalability

Business Process Automation can be less flexible as it relies on technology to automate tasks. Whereas, Business Process Management is more flexible as it can be adapted to changing needs and objectives. When it comes to scalability, the latter is typically easier to scale as it relies mostly on existing resources. In contrast, BPA can be more difficult to scale as it requires the purchase of additional automation tools.

8. Risk

BPA can be riskier as it often requires a significant up-front investment. There’s also the risk that processes may not be optimized as intended. BPM typically has a lower risk since it’s a more gradual approach.

BPM Vs BPA: can they be used together?

Yes, BPM Vs BPA can be used together. In fact, they often are. BPA is often used to streamline processes so that they can be more easily managed by a BPM system. By automating processes, you can free up resources that can be better used to monitor and optimize the workflow.

When implemented together, BPM Vs BPA can offer a powerful solution for business process improvement. They can help you achieve increased efficiency, productivity, and flexibility. If you’re not sure which approach is right for your company, we can help you assess your needs and find the best solution.