Taking on a BPM Project in Three Steps

Scott Cleveland

Author: Scott ClevelandTaking on a BPM project in 3 steps

Company: Impac Systems Engineering


BPM [business process management] is about managing your business processes.  Software is not required to manage business processes.  Companies have been defining and managing their processes without software for years.


Identify the Business Need

You are looking at BPM because you have a problem.  Maybe a process takes too long or it costs too much.  Maybe the problem is just a daily annoyance that you would like to get rid of.  No matter the reason, its always about money.


The Discovery Phase

Start the discovery phase with a project manager and a ‘cross functional’ team.

Define the problem process.  Identify the steps that take place.  At each step, who performs what activities?  What do they need in order to perform those activities [information, materials, etc.]?  What are the dependencies?  Are there business rules that must be followed?  What are the customer ‘touch points’?  Where has this process been failing?

Document your findings.  Document the process.  Confirm with your ‘cross functional’ team that you have accurately documented the process.  Put in place some metrics to measure this process – you will need these numbers to determine costs and success.


Decision Analysis

You now have some ideas of the cost.  What would you have to spend [opportunity cost] to make the needed improvements?  If the spend is less than the cost, you can move forward.  What is the cost of a BPM software implementation?  When you implement BPM software, you still have to manually make the needed improvements and then implement them in the software.  So, you add the 2 costs together.  If the spend is less than the costs, you can make the case to move forward.

BPM Software provides control and visibility. It is not automatic, you have to define the controls and you configure what you want to see from the software.

There are some great benefits to be had managing your business processes either manually or with software.  I recommend that you look into it…