What is meant by business process, process improvement and process management? 
Business processes are collections of cross-functional activities that are the only way any organisation can exchange value with customers and other stakeholders. Business processes are the conduits through which value is exchanged. By themselves, the separate functional areas of any organisation cannot exchange value with external customers or other stakeholders.
The definition, improvement, and management of business processes include all the resources involved in the execution of each process. Business process management (BPM) is not a once-off project, nor an IT system; it is a management philosophy.
Value is accumulated, not up and down the functional organisation as represented in an organisation chart, but across the organisation as the various parts collaborate to create, collate and exchange value.
A more common description would be to say that processes deliver value to customers. However, this is too one-sided. The continuous flow of value in one direction is neither realistic nor sustainable. An organisation executes its strategic intent via its business processes.
Given the context described above, can there really be any good reason for not measuring the performance of our business processes?
Process-centric organisations discover, document, analyse, manage and continuously improve business processes within a consistent and ubiquitous framework. Being process centric means it is easier to consistently make the right things happen, at the right time, for the right result, for the right people. To achieve that, users must be continuously measuring processes.
Measurement friendly culture
One of the most significant roadblocks to robust performance governance – and subsequent process improvement and management – is the absence of a measurement friendly organisational culture.
In an organisation where measurement is a precursor to the allocation of blame, the instinct is to measure as little as possible and to conceal the measures that are unavoidable. Where performance measures are collected to facilitate disparagement, we cannot expect enthusiasm for testing and reporting performance.
Most people and organisations will readily agree that continuous improvement is a noble aspiration and a practical objective. The other side of the coin, however, is to be continuously finding aspects of the organisation that are not performing as well as they might.
This “negative” perspective is not always as welcome. Explaining to a manager that users have found ways to cost-effectively achieve significant improvement in the performance of one of his/her processes may not be received as the good news users thought it was. The manager, and the organisation, might focus on that as a past failure rather than an on-going success.
To some extent, this happens in all organisations. When was the last time that finding a new performance problem triggered a celebration in an organisation?
Measurement phobia, caused by an organisation’s predisposition to use performance data, to censure rather than improve, is the enemy of process improvement and management.
The personal, team and organisational culture must be such that all stakeholders are always looking for, and openly finding, things that need to be improved. A measurement-friendly organisation culture is a prerequisite for the success of process-based management.
Process performance perspectives
The following six perspectives are used to measure performance. These perspectives provide a balanced view of a process,  taking into account both the needs of customers and other external stakeholders, and the equally real needs of internal stakeholders. The six process perspectives are defined as follows:
* Inputs – all that is taken into a process and transformed into outputs;
* Outputs – the results of process execution – the value delivered by the process;
* Guides – things that guide or constrain the transformation of inputs into outputs;
* Enablers – people, technology and facilities used to transform inputs into outputs;
* Flow – detailed activities within the process that develop and deliver the value; and
* Management – governance of all aspects of the process; oversight of the other five process performance perspectives.