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If you are new to business process management software and are confused about the different terms, use the glossary to find definitions of the industry terms and product-specific terms used on this Website.

General industry terms:

  • Business Process Management (BPM) Solution
    A set of tools and services that support the creation, management and optimization of business processes both on a human and application level.
  • Bill 198
    Bill 198 is the ”Keeping the Promise for a Strong Economy Act” (Province of Ontario), which includes the Securities Act and Commodity Futures Act. It is part of the Canadian initiative to synchronize regulations with the Sarbanes-Oxley act. There are other provincial equivalents of this act for Quebec, British Columbia, and New Brunswick.
  • Business Process Management (BPM)
    A systems approach to the management of processes, based on the management of process knowledge, control of process performance and conformance, continual improvement of processes, and customer satisfaction.
  • Business Process Modeling (BPM) Software
    Computer software that lets users create business process diagrams and integrate process content with critical business entities (departments, resources, etc.)
  • ISO 9000:2000
    International standards that specify the requirements for a quality management system. ISO 9000:2000 provides the framework for any organization that needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements and aims to enhance customer satisfaction. ISO 9000 puts strong focus on system approach to management, customer-related processes and continual improvement.
  • New Basel Capital Accord (Basel II)
    A proposed international regulation that would require banks to tighten their integration of different back-office systems and use more sophisticated risk management tools.
  • Process Mapping (or Modeling)
    Illustrated description of business processes, usually created with flow diagrams. The model contains the relationship between activities, processes, sub-processes and information, as well as roles, the organization and resources.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    US legislation to ensure internal controls or rules to govern the creation and documentation of corporate information in financial statements. It establishes new standards for corporate accountability and penalties for corporate wrongdoing.
  • Six Sigma
    (1) Management program aimed at maximizing business performance and customer satisfaction through continuous process improvement and design.
    (2) Methodology and tools that relies on statistical techniques to measure and analyze data, identify root causes of performance gaps, and control improved processes.
    (3) Generic performance metric based on the ability to minimize the process performance variation relative to targets.
  • Silo-based organization
    An organization where business goals, scope of responsibility and control systems are distributed according to the departmental divisions. In such organizations, cross-functional processes are typically not well understood, managed or controlled.
  • Simulation
    A way to make predictions about a system or process. A simulation of complex processes helps to discover problems and identify their root causes without directly impacting operations.
  • Swimlane Diagram
    An expanded view of a process showing the flow of work partitioned either by organization unit, resource or role. Swimlane diagrams help clarify who is responsible for a given process or an activity and ease the identification of potential sources of delays in a process (handshakes).
  • XML (eXtended Markup Language)
    XML is a simple and flexible text format that facilitates the exchange of data on the web and between applications.

Interfacing product terms:
  • Activity
    Activities are the lowest-level process steps in modeling software where actual work is performed. Activities cannot be broken down into further steps. A series of activities may comprise a subprocess, several of which may constitute a process.
  • Authenticated User
    Any user added to the Enterprise Process Center who is recognized by the network domain controller. These users may be imported from Active Directory or added manually. Authenticated users automatically belong to both the Everyone and Authenticated Users groups.
  • Content Administrator
    the Content Administrator can import models, create process sets and libraries, create tags for processes, activities and documents, and has full access to all objects in the system.
  • Delay
    Period of inactivity before execution can begin. Activity processing time includes duration and delay.
  • Description
    Information provided to help others understand the nature of the activity, process, organization unit, resource, role or material.
  • Documents
    Files (text files), file links or URLs (Internet addresses.) You can associate documents to most objects.
  • Duration
    Sets the length of time it takes to perform the activity.  Activity processing time includes both duration and delay (if modeled). You cannot specify a Duration for a Trigger or Terminate activity. 
  • Editor
    A security role assigned to a user for an object in a model such as a process, library, organization unit, or a document. This role allows the user to view and modify the object and set security roles for the object for others.
  • Goal
    The goal is a statement of the expected results. It can include a description of what is to be accomplished, measurable targets or results, and the time frame for the results.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
    Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are descriptive time, cost or quality indicators used to capture the performance of a process.
  • Process
    A set of business tasks designed to deliver value to an internal or external client. A process may be comprised of any combination of subprocesses and activities.
  • Process Owner
    The person (resource) responsible for the process.
  • Role (Enterprise Role)
    Roles represent specific skill sets, responsibilities or positions in a business environment. Roles allow the modeler to define criteria required for performing the activity, rather than the specific individuals who will perform the activity.  These are also referred to as enterprise roles to differentiate them from security roles.
  • Scope
    Scope describes the boundaries of a process and includes the start and end points, the context in which the process is performed and elements excluded from that context.
  • Sequence Number
    Sequence numbers are modeler-defined identifiers for processes and activities. A process and its activities have the same sequence numbers in each process that references it.
  • Suppliers
    Providers of the required input of a process. Represented as organization groups.
  • Viewer
    A role assigned to a user for an object in a model such as a process, library, organization unit, or a document. This role allows the user to view the object or document and its attributes, and participate in discussions.
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