BPM vs Workflow: What’s the Difference?


BPM vs Workflow. Technology can mean different things to many people. In any technology market, there is a lot of noise and confusion. Many people still confuse workflows and business process management (BPM). The term BPM can get mouthful and not surprisingly turn one’s head. It is easy to understand why.

Here’s a quick comparison between the two.

Business Process Management (BPM)


Business process management (BPM) is a business practice that uses various methods to discovermodelanalyze, measure, improve, optimize, and automate business processes.

The term business process management covers how we study, identify, change, and monitor business processes to ensure they run smoothly and can be improved over time.

Simply put, a workflow is the repeatable pattern of the activities sequence of steps that take place to complete a specific task on a regular basis.

The flow being described includes tasks and resources that are passed to a workflow participant for action (process) in a sequence that is determined by predefined business rules.

Business Process Management can consist of multiple workflows and it is focused towards improving the core business. Apart from workflows, BPM also focuses on the workforce available, budget, different automation tools, and analytics to better understand the process.

Workflow software is a tool for automating the process. It can provide support for activities sequence of steps. They help complete tasks in time, send notifications and alerts if approvals are pending.

Not clear about BPM vs Workflow? Let’s take a look at a couple quick and easy analogies to help you better understand the difference between workflow and BPM.

The Flight Trip Analogy

If you’ve ever taken a flight, you know there are a bunch of things that you need to do. Get flight ticket, get to the airport, and plan the timing of everything.  A flight from here to there? That’s workflow. It’s a pretty straight forward checklist type of thing.

But what if your job was air traffic control?  A part of air traffic control certainly is all the individual planes flying their individual routes. But, you are in the control tower, monitoring how the traffic flows and optimizing traffic patterns in real-time. You also analyze past traffic issues and redesign the routes themselves to optimize traffic flow so flights are more pleasant and safe. That’s BPM. It’s coordinating all the different processes, data, systems, and people.

The Restaurant Analogy

Sometimes when I take a flight, it’s to a lovely restaurant worth the trip to celebrate some special event. As soon as I’ve arrived, I looked for the menu and ordered my favourite food. The waiter brings the food to the table,I eat, I pay, and I leave happy with good memories.

So what’s BPM? The restaurant manager! It’s the restaurant manager that’s coordinating the back and the front of the house to ensure consistent level of quality; thinking through the atmosphere with the interior design; measures daily interactions and optimizes the space so that customers and staffs are happy.

Start creating and managing workflow today

Whether you need to close leads faster, streamline your processes, streamline your expenses, or ensure that new team members are engaged, workflow management software can be helpful.

Workflows can make your business more agile and efficient, increase employee performance through collaboration and clear instructions and boost your bottom line, all while automating repetitive tasks and creating useful documentation for critical processes.

Zoadesk offers a process management tool that can be used to address issues in all business units. If you’re ready to deploy reliable, trouble-free workflow management software, sign up for our pilot programme.

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