Why you need to think about BPM in a different way

Business process management (BPM) has an unfair reputation as one of the least sexy areas of IT.

But look at BPM the right way, and it has the potential to transform businesses, says Theo Priestley, newly-appointed chief technology evangelist at Software AG.


The problem, says Priestley, who has built-up a reputation as an influential blogger on BPM technology, is that most organisations regard BPM as an overhead rather than a technology that can drive business growth.

Necessary evil

“I think BPM is still seen as relatively unsexy, a sort of necessary evil,” says Priestley. “We must do something to streamline our processes. And unfortunately its always driven from a project or process perspective.”

Used in the right way, BPM can help companies become more agile and more profitable, but it needs a change in mindset from IT leaders.

“For a CIO, it’s about getting away from project mentality, from cost-efficiency mentality and to actually start thinking of BPM as a way to enable your business to be more reactive, proactive or adaptive to the changing conditions that are out there,” he says.

Treat BPM as a continuous process

That means treating BPM as a continuous process rather than the one-off project – the way it is viewed by most organisations.

“You perform a process every day and you have to think about how you can change it and improve it continuously, as the world is changing every day,” he says.

Mobile BPM 

Mobile technology is helping to broaden the scope of BPM by enabling, for example, applications that allow customers to order food, clothes or insurance from their mobile phones.

But building mobile processes requires dedicated mobile apps or web interfaces specifically built for mobile, says Priestley.

“You can’t really work the same way on a mobile as you can on a webpage on a desktop. The user experience and user interface has to be built in to the process according to the form factor,” he says.

Cloud slow to take off

However cloud has been slower to take off in BPM than it has in other areas of IT, such as customer relationship management (CRM), says Priestley.

“SalesForce, for example, has made cloud software its mantra, almost, and that has really propelled CRM into the limelight. BPM not so much,” he says.

One reason may be that a CRM implementation, by its nature, is simpler and more defined than a BPM project, making CRM a more obvious candidate for the cloud.

And BPM systems tend to handle more data that typical CRM implementations and that means more compliance issues – the second reason why BPM may not be so popular as an off-premise technology.

“If you look at the German market, for example, it is extremely stringent on data privacy,” Priestley says. “So much so that you can’t have your data leave the country.”

Financial services industries have been particular cautious about adopting BPM in the cloud. “They are a lot more regulated. They don’t really want to be in the limelight or in the press around a data breach,” he says.

Social BPM 

Meanwhile, the incorporation of social media into BPM is making it easier for organisations to map their business processes.

“If you are working on a particular step, you are not confined just to speaking to the supervisor, you can actually ask a network of people to feed in and impart their knowledge,” says Priestley.

Nevertheless, suppliers and industry analysts will need to work harder to educate businesses about the benefits of BPM.

The technology still means different things to different people, and there is still  much confusion out there, Priestley suggests.

“Some CIOs see it as a means to document processes. Others want to improve compliance and transparency of process, streamlining and cost efficiencies,” he says.

Why companies cannot afford to ignore BPM 

One thing is certain, however; if businesses want to stay ahead of the game, they cannot afford to ignore BPM, Priestley claims.

“If you don’t understand your business, the way BPM can understand your business, how can you change your business to beat a competitor and get ahead in the market?” he says.

Source: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240204297/Why-you-need-to-think-about-BPM-in-a-different-way


Why does BPM matter?

Scott Cleveland

Author: Scott ClevelandWhy does BPM Matter?

The Business Process Management Professionals Group posed this question:

Why does BPM matter? Why should we practice BPM?

Brian Vinson’s response…

“Either you’re in control of your business processes or they are in control of you. You manage your suppliers, revenue, cash flows, inventory, distribution and personnel. Why would you not manage the processes that make sure all these things work together effectively?”

My Thoughts…

I keep thinking about his first sentence – either you’re in control of your business processes or they are in control of you.

I think that this is true, but I question whether having your process control you is a bad thing. If the process is working and no one is complaining, is that a bad thing? [If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?]

I do think that it is important to monitor processes to make sure they are working properly. If you are not aware that customers don’t like your process, you have a problem and it could be a big problem.

Compare this to the squeaky wheel getting the oil. If the process isn’t functioning properly or it is annoying the people in the process, then it needs attention. The bigger the problem, the easier it is to sell the problem to management.

Your Thoughts…

How do you see it?

2 Key Benefits of BPM…

Scott Cleveland

Author: Scott Cleveland2 Key Benefits of BPM…


BPM Software provides 2 key benefits – Control and Visibility.

Control prevents people from taking short cuts.  Let’s use onboarding for an example.
I am sure hiring processes vary, but you may want certain people to interview the candidate.  You will need to schedule the interviews to fit everyone’s schedule.  You may want to set up a second view with another person.  Next items may be a background check, a reference checked and an offer letter prepared.  Assuming they accept the offer, you now have to set up their phone, Email, computer, office or cubical.  You may want to provide some initial training or other training.

BPM software can make sure that all of these steps take place.  It can make sure that they happen in the right order.  It can make sure people are notified of the schedule.

Control is what you need to prove in an audit.

Visibility allows people with the right access to see the progress of any process.  Instead of hiring a program manager to keep track of what is going on, BPM software can provide that information in the form of a report.  These reports can be ad-hoc or generated each morning and sent to you via Email.  You can make it work for you.

Control provides you with efficiencies that will save you time [money].  Visibility provides you with real-time information as to what is going on in your company.  You will not have to pay someone to gather and update the status of a process.

Companies that have successfully implemented a BPM solution will generally go on to manage more and more processes to gain control and visibility.

iFlowBPM website now in Spanish

bandeira_espanhaFrom now on, the iFlowBPM website is presented in spanish language as well.

With the purpose of reaching official Spanish speaking countries, iFlowBPM team and Mediterranean Consulting
worked together, providing quality information to all users, allowing the opportunity of new business
among these countries.

We appreciate the open source community cooperation in the translation of the website, more specifically the Mediterranean Consulting.