How to make Jira Workflow a Business Process Management System (BPM)?

How to make Jira Workflow a Business Process Management System (BPM)?

A business process is the strategic view on your value chain, while Jira workflow is at the tactical level. Read more to understand the difference.
Jira Workflow Business Process Management System

Do you know the situation when all the workflows within one department are running perfectly (thanks to Jira), but when they have to communicate and interact with each other, it comes to misunderstandings and jams? Everybody has to wait for the completion of a dependent workflow, disturbing the flow?

The BPM System Flower Workflow Automation integrated into Jira solves all these issues.

A Jira workflow maps all the statuses and transitions an issue has to pass through until it is done. But it is determined to one single issue, and the status can only change serially.

However, in BPMN, you will need to describe multiple activities. They can come up in a serial or in a parallel order. In this case, working with a Jira workflow is not sufficient.

This is where Flower Workflow Automation comes into play.

To fully understand the functionality of Flower Workflow Automation and its advantages, the following explains important terminology and clears up its widespread contradictory usages.

Then you are ready to catch the capacity that lies in using Flower Workflow Automation and how to make Jira a real BPM System.

What is the difference between Business Process Management (BPM) and Workflow in Jira?

And - is there any at all? Sorry to say yes. This difference may seem tiny, but understanding this difference could entail a significant improvement in organizing your business. It is a matter of scope that shows the inequality of these very similar terms.

Workflow refers to the steps within a single activity. BPM, on the other hand, sequences steps across many activities within an organization to improve business outcomes and operational agility.

Jira Workflow is designed to ensure that specific users perform specific tasks. It focuses on the steps to complete a single activity. For example, one of the most common is an editorial review and approval workflow. The content creator, subject matter expert, and editor all have roles to play in reviewing and modifying content before it is submitted for final publication.

What is the difference between workflow and Bussines Process Management

BPM sequences multiple activities across an organization that produce an operational outcome. BPM identifies and maps the set of activities required to complete that outcome. These activities often involve different departments or functional business units within an organization. They involve various interactions and information handoffs between multiple systems and people. BPM is often best represented by a process flow diagram. Unlike workflow, BPM focuses on organizational activities rather than the actions of individual workers.

For example, in a software product launch process, the engineering group delivers the product, marketing rolls out the go-to-market campaign, the sales team develops its sales strategies, and the customer support team resolves customer issues. Each activity in the process involves a series of steps supported by different types of IT systems, process management engines, and content services platforms.

In the past, BPM relied on complex, technology-driven implementations that typically used disparate enterprise applications and repositories. As a result, implementation efforts took many months, if not years. Today, modern approaches to BPM include more agile, rapid application development techniques, cloud computing, flexible application development tools, and an ever-expanding set of process and content services.

Jira Workflow

A Jira workflow is a sequence of statuses and transitions that an issue moves through until its completion, producing a single outcome.

Workflows in Jira are bound to particular projects and specific issue types using a workflow scheme.

There are 4 key components in Jira Workflow:

1. Statuses An issue can only have one status at the same time (something like “In Progress” or “Complete”). However, when looking at the status, it’s worth considering whether a status represents an activity or a stage. For example, the status “Under Review” often means a stage.

2. Transitions A transition is a one-way or two-way connection that joins two statuses. Between the status “In Progress” and “Under Review,” the transition might be “Submit for Review.” There may be conditions for who can make a transition and when. For example, only a project admin might be allowed to move an issue past the “Under Review” status.

3. The Issue Assignee Who is the issue assigned to, and who is responsible for it? It often changes between different statuses. In BPMN, lanes are responsible for assigning activities (Jira issues) to the responsible Jira user.

4. Resolution The resolution is the final issue state – such as “Fixed” “Completed” or “Won’t Fix.” If you ever want to reopen closed items, you’ll need to ensure that you have already resolved them. If you don’t, the now-active issue will confusingly appear as completed, with its name crossed out.

Business Process

A wider group of activities you call a business process. It includes one or more workflows.

Users usually assign issues to someone else in the same or another department of the organization. So to complete an output, it is necessary to be able to run various workflows parallel and connect the different “swimlanes”. Flower Workflow Automation provides you with this capacity.

Workflow vs. BPM: What's the difference?

You can consider the business process as the strategic view on your value chain, while Jira workflow is at the tactical level. To better understand the difference, let's look into a football team:

At the strategic level, the coach of a football team sketches the game plan and decides on an offensive or defensive formation for a play. In your business, this strategic level are your business processes.

In contrast, the tactical level of football involves means, such as attacking or counterattacking, slow or quick tempo, short or long passing, teamwork, or individualistic play. The tactical level in your business are workflows.

Jira WorkflowBusiness Process
a sequence of taskstasks in serial and parallel order
tactical level (game moves)strategic view(team formation)
ocuses on solving tasksfocuses on achieving key business goals
created by listing out steps and tasksmust consider the big picture as a set of actors, data, reports, and business impact

What is Business Process Management (BPM)?

Business Process Management (BPM) is the practice of modeling, analyzing, and optimizing end-to-end business processes.

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), also called Business Process Model and Notation, is an open standard to diagram a business process. It is like a flowchart and uses standardized stencils to describe participants, decisions, and the business process flow. The diagram notation is designed to be as detailed as necessary but easy to read without training. This allows the same diagram to be used by executives, analysts, and technical implementation staff to foster team collaboration and understanding. A BPMN diagram does not directly translate to any specific implementation.

Learn more in out our ultimate guide to BPMN width Jira

What is agile Business Process Management (BPM)?

Agile BPM (Business Process Management) is a approach to designing and managing business processes that combines the principles of agile software development with traditional BPM practices. It is based on the idea of using agile methodologies to create and modify business processes in a flexible, iterative way, with a focus on delivering value to the customer as quickly as possible.

Agile BPM aims to be more responsive and adaptable than traditional BPM approaches, which often rely on detailed, upfront planning and are less flexible in the face of change. In an agile BPM approach, processes are designed and managed in short iterations or sprints, with a focus on continuous improvement and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Some of the key principles of agile BPM include:

  • Embracing change: Agile BPM approaches are designed to be flexible and adaptable, and welcome change as an opportunity to improve processes.
  • Collaboration and communication: Agile BPM emphasizes the importance of strong collaboration and communication between team members and stakeholders in order to be successful.
  • Continuous improvement: Agile BPM approaches focus on continuous improvement, with a focus on identifying and addressing bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Agile BPM approaches are able to adapt to changing circumstances and requirements, and are able to pivot and change direction as needed.

Agile BPM is often used in industries where there is a need for rapid iteration and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, such as in software development, finance, and healthcare. It can be a useful approach for organizations that want to be more responsive and adaptable in the face of change.

Learn more about Agile Process Management

What is the difference between Jira Workflow Management vs. Business Process Management (BPM) vs. Project Management?

The terms workflow, business process, and project are sometimes hard to keep apart and are often misused. The difference between a project and a process is how often you repeat it. Projects are one-off instances, whereas processes are regularly repeated. If you reuse a project template a few times, it should be considered a process.

This is how to differentiate:

  • Jira Workflow Management is fucusing on solving individual tasks.
  • Project Management handles one-off process instances, which have a dedicated end and are not repeating.
  • Business Process Management (BPM) handles repeating processes at a strategic level. Business processes may include Jira Workflows as sub-process.

A process management software like Flower Workflow Automation makes this challenge realizable and easy.


Can Jira be used as BPM System - what are its limitations?

Yes, Jira can be considered a BPM system with some restrictions.

A Jira workflow is a set of statuses and transitions an issue moves through during its lifecycle. It describes how the status will change serially for one single Jira issue. But a typical expectation at a BPMS is to describe multiple activities in serial and parallel order and decisions and particular events.

Luckily, Atlassian Jira has a huge marketplace and apps that close this gap. Therefore Flower Workflow Automation is a very nice addon. It enables you to draw a Business Process in the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN), which has become the industry standard in BPM. Finally, a Jira task will be created automatically for each of your BPMN activities.

Customer On-boarding Process

Let's mix both: Your BPMN describes the overarching value chain (or in the example above, the customer onboarding business process), which may span multiple project teams and departments. Each single Jira task acts as a sub-process; After resolving the Jira sub- process, the succession activity of your BPMN model becomes active.

Check out this article to learn more about Jira vs. BPMN.

What is the difference between Jira Automation and Flower BPM Automation?

Many users mention serious limitations in Jira workflow because it only manages the serial status change for one single Jira issue.

In contrast BPMN allows, to manage multiple activities in serial or parallel order. When designing a Flower BPMN model, you can consider the Jira Workflow as a sub-process; After resolving the Jira sub-process, the succession activity of your BPMN model becomes active.

What is the difference between workflow and Bussines Process Management

The Jira workflow as a sub-process in the greater strategic context of a Flower BPM model.

A good example of a Jira Workflow sub-process is a widely used 4-eye principle release step, which is much easier to design as a Jira workflow.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Use Jira workflow for small workflows, which focus on status transitions in the context of only one Jira issue, project, or department;
  • Use Flower BPM models to design bigger pictures, which might span multiple projects and departments.

What is Business Process Mapping?

Every business has its business processes, where data, information, and material must pass certain stations inside or between different departments. It works but it looks like the clutter at the bottom of an embroidered image.

Business Process Mapping flips your image so that the clear, orderly side appears. It is easy to communicate this picture to all related stakeholders.

By using flowcharts, and symbols, Business Process Mapping answers the following questions:

  • What are the tasks in the business process? Business Process Mapping identifies every single task in a business process.
  • Who is responsible? Business Process Mapping defines responsibility without a doubt.
  • When is the task due? By mapping a business process, every task gets its predefined place in relation to the whole, and dependencies become clear.

What’s the Difference between Business Process Mapping and Modeling?

As with many other terms in our context, Business Process Mapping is often used as a synonym for Business Process Modeling.

Mapping can usually be done on any medium, including a piece of paper or a whiteboard. While Business Process Modeling means using specific methods and notations like BPMN. These digital models are the base for workflow automation. Modeling is a special approach to mapping.

Automate complex Business Processes and Workflows with Simplicity

Mapping single Jira workflows won't necessarily go far enough. Flower Workflow Automation adds the strategic layer to your business process management.

Unlock the full power of Jira by aligning and streamlining your BPMN processes and workflows directly with your team: Every business process turns into an automated workflow by creating a Jira issue for each business process activity.