Process management is a systematic, conscientious effort to manage recurring tasks and workflows, i.e. processes. That includes, among other things, mapping or designing, optimisation, actual execution, recording, monitoring and long-term maintenance of those processes and their instances.
OMG! That’s a beautiful (and true) definition, but at the same time, it doesn’t tell us a thing about what’s really going on. Process management can mean anything from a smart checklist or a job description to that unpleasant guy who first’s idea is to run the whole company with a stopwatch in his hand and then forces everyone to fill out stupid reports.
That is why when we speak about process management, we usually have in mind some particular approach, system or methodology. So that on the one hand we can then speak about standardized formal methodologies of business process management (BPM) or on the other hand about agile process management, which is much more open to innovation and is often based on simple software tools such as Procesoid.
As with project management, the interest in agile methods and tools has been growing constantly, partially at the expense of the formal methodologies created in the 20th century, which are weighed down by the ideas and linguistic baggage of that time. Agile process management, in compasion, is characterized by its efforts to refer to things in a simple, comprehensive language that is fully accessible even to non-experts without specialized training or certification.
While the formal methods of BPM are logically much more oriented toward hard-skills, the agile approach is often rooted in analytical, systematic thinking and soft-skills that are used to support implementing processes in real-life situations. Anyway, what would a perfect process diagram be good for, if half of the company doesn’t understand it and the other half is suspicious about its implications? The agile approach to process management counts much more on the human element.