BPM has emerged into a holistic management discipline; BPI is focused on specific process improvement.
Business Process Management is the way you manage the whole processes matrix within the organization. The focus in BPM is to align all efforts, either individual processes or resources, to the same strategically defined results in the most effective and efficient manner. BPI -Business Process Improvement, instead, is focused on specific process improvement.
BPM practices leverage methodology and technology-enabling tools to achieve business operational excellence. It is evolving from document management services into performance management, and integrated services for operational processes which maximize synergies and should synchronize the actions. BPM has emerged into a holistic management discipline covering process-centered technologies, modeling and analysis methods, as well as strategic alignment, governance, people and culture. This shows that integration and application of process management and improvement methodologies.
Business Process Improvement (BPI) vs. Business Process Optimization (BPO) vs. Business Process Automation (BPA): They are almost exchangeable and should be under overall BPM practices. Sometimes people would like to prefer to use BPI or BPO for methodology-driven exercise and sometime use BPA for technology driven application development.
Business improvement concepts involved BPO, BPI, etc, as key elements for Business Process Management. 1) First, have a corporate vision to guide the company to success. 2) Second, learn how the business adds value to the customers which is what makes you differentiated with respect to your competitors, and ensure that your product and service has high quality recognition by the user, understanding, quality concept, as the fulfillment of the expectations that the user has. 3) Once you have mature processes and governance, the next step could be adding data that can give information regarding performance of processes (lead time, specific quality aspects, cost information). In that case it will turn into what being called a Performance Management System with use of registered KPIs. At this level, BPI can play an important role. 4) The following step would be an Integrated Management System to keep track of Risks, IT systems and specific data objects attached to the process or process steps.
So both BPM and BPI are important process management effort. The basis in management principles is - you can't improve what you are not managing, you can't manage what you are not measuring, you can't measure what you are not focusing. In most cases, BPI only focuses on process metrics. On the other hand, the BPM focus is the enterprise business processes which underpin your key business capabilities. Hence, BPM also encompasses the greater picture of meeting business objectives, aligning to strategies, executing the strategies, delivering values to stakeholders.