Updated February 28, 2023
Difference Between RPA vs BPM
Business Process Management (BPM) is quite often interchangeably used in Business Process Automation contexts. BPM is not a specific process automation tool and it adopts a holistic approach in streamlining business processes and make it lean and efficient. Any Organization would have outdated legacy processes, built over the years with the available technologies at that time and the people mindset would also have been tuned to this heavyweight process. BPM facilitates discovering such processes, re-engineering the processes, suggesting a lean alternate process to make the organization agile and nimble-footed.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one such BPM exercise, used to automate the identified process and eliminate manual dependency.
What is BPM?
BPM is an approach in which all the activities within organizational boundaries and outside the boundary (involving Vendors, Dealers, Customers, service agencies and Government bodies) are identified and listed. These activities are captured at a major process and sub-process level and it includes automated activities as well as manual activities. The inventoried list of processes and sub-processes is analyzed and the following activities are carried out as part of BPM.
- Each and every activity are critically examined and its relevance in today’s context is
- Validate the processes with the business strategy and organization goal. It should align with business
- Legacy activities which are out of date and against modern management concepts and principles need to be identified and eliminated. For example, Leave approval process, Travel claim approval process and many other approval processes are not relevant in the current day modern management environment. They can be eliminated.
- Alternate light process and simpler workflow will have to be designed in lieu of current heavyweight and cumbersome
- The newly designed process should be nimble, agile and innovative and it should add
- Automate the process wherever possible with the latest tools in Information technology and the usage of collaboration tools across all stakeholders should be factored to eliminate wastage and cut the processing
- Prepare a new set of processes and implement them. It should cover all the departments and stakeholders
- Monitor them on a continuous basis and measure the success of the new processes with the planned intention and make course corrections wherever required.
What is RPA?
Robots in the factory does the activities that were earlier done manually and it performs in an efficient way with precision and without getting tired or fatigue. The robot is electronic controlled hardware equipment used in welding, material shifting, machining operations, etc. Similarly, software robot called as Bots does the mundane repeated tasks like
- Do front end activities of an application with pre-supplied inputs and complete a process e.g. receiving an email, extract data from attachment, process the data, send a reply to the user and store the results in a
- Monitor the performance of an application and raise an alert on exception
- Interface with external system thru API and cull out data
- Do the regression testing of the application using software scripts before production deployment
- Software bots embedded with AI technologies like Speech recognition, Pattern detection capabilities mimics human behavior and used in building Automated Interactive voice response (IVR)
RPA enables automation of a specific or discrete business process using software Bots that can perform several tasks as explained above.
Some of the typical RPA applications adopted by Industry are
- Sales invoice preparation and making it available to the users at the earliest and keeping track of Receivables and sales operational
- Payables to suppliers follow-up
- Answering Queries in the Employee portal and external portal
- Accounts reconciliation and Price comparisons
- Data extraction, Data management and report generation in Auto
- Automated customer service applications
Head to Head Comparison between RPA vs BPM (Infographics)
Below are the top 9 differences between RPA vs BPM:
Key Difference between RPA vs BPM
Some of the key differences between the RPA vs BPM are given below:
- BPM is not related to any automation of process or any software tool to replace a manual routine activity. But it deals with end to process holistically within an organization and process connected to external stakeholders. It mainly focusses on EAO (Eliminate, Automate and Outsource) concept. First, it eliminates unwanted Fat in the system, automates the rest of the process and then outsource for cost advantage.
- Whereas RPA deals with a specific Business process identified as an offshoot of BPM exercise as a potential process that can be automated with a software robots. Such identified processes alone will be taken up for software robot (BOT) development and the latest Digital state of art technologies will be deployed for developing BOTs
- BPM provides long term solution to take any organization to the next level of operational efficiency and agility whereas RPA focuses on an activity automates it and eliminates manual labor.
RPA vs BPM Comparison Table
Let’s discuss the top comparison between RPA vs BPM:
|Focusses on a specific task that has to be automated.
|Covers End to End processes of an organization.
|Acts on Subset of operations on a select identified tasks.
|Acts on a Superset of all processes and workflow at Organization level.
|Deals with Digital tools in building software BOTs
|Not connected with any Digital technology tools and it deals with only process and automation optionally.
|Taken up at the local level or ground level i.e specific to a task.
|Taken up at a global level i.e Organization level.
|Short term activity with a specific time target for the development of BOTs and it is faster to implement.
|Long-drawn process and it takes time to complete implementation.
|The cost can be controlled as the scope is well defined.
|As the scope of the Project is wide the cost is very high
|Handled at a surface level.
|Handled at the root level.
|One-off activity and not much of follow up are needed to complete this activity.
|Need to be continuously monitored and it is bit complex to manage.
|A select group is involved in the implementation of BOTs.
|It involves Change management among the people and the entire team should be involved during implementation.
This is a guide to RPA vs BPM. Here we discuss the RPA vs BPM key differences with infographics and comparison table. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –