For business professionals across the globe, the core value of business process management (BPM) remains as a solution for building links and integration bridges between various IT application systems. A report published by Butler Group, Europe’s IT research organization, “Business Process Management – Building End-to-End Process Solutions for the Agile Business,” highlights that BPM is often brought in to a business to solve a particular problem or provide facilities in a part of the business operation where there is currently a technology gap or integration shortfall. This approach leaves the value-to-business model for BPM being driven by the technology’s ability to allow business professionals – process owners and business analysts – to develop operational processes that accurately reflect their business requirements.

 

A significant issue that divides the vendor and user communities is the automation (the vendor position) versus human workflow (business analyst vision) disparity. Unfortunately, many BPM vendors still struggle to move away from their entrenched position of seeing BPM as a technology sell, a stance that works to the detriment of human interaction.

 

From a business perspective, one of the oft-promoted benefits of BPM is that it will help remove the functional mismatch that occurs with more traditional development methodologies. This is certainly the case, but it has to be underpinned by a codified structure – which involves bringing together the management of process activities with the rules that underpin their use. Understanding, managing, and aligning the rule element of processes is central to ensuring the success of BPM.

 

Over the years, vendors have promoted BPM on the basis that it has the ability to dynamically link disparate systems by providing a build methodology that will significantly reduce the need for IT involvement when new processes are required or existing processes need to change.

 

This, Butler Group believes, is an important point that must be emphasized because history shows that business differentiators tend not to be driven by all organizations making the same use of standard technology. The real differences and advantages come when the innovative skills of the business community to seek and deliver change can be aligned with the effective use of technology solutions that have the flexibility and ease-of-use to deliver change whenever it is required. Fundamentally, Butler Group believes that this is the BPM advantage, but it can only deliver on its full potential when the facilities that the vendors provide fully match up to the requirements of the end users.

 

Hear former General Electric CIO, Dr. Kiran K. Garimella, talk about
business process management on DM Radio this Thursday, April 10 at 3 EDT.
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