The Value of BPM

7 Nov

When considering the question what can BPM achieve for its’ adopters, first it is necessary to assess the deliverables which an organisation wants to achieve. The CIO agenda 2010 puts the top two priorities as ‘Business Process Improvement’ & ‘Reducing Enterprise Costs’.

So now we are aware of what organisations want, how can the value of BPM be proven?

In the last few weeks we have been discussing the difficulties that companies face when measuring IT value within an organisation and how this difficulty can be a barrier for introducing new IT systems, I came across a paper ‘ Building a Business Case for BPM – a fast path to real results’http://bps.opentext.com/resources/ot-bps-building-business-case-BPM-whitepaper.pdf which indicates that BPM can overcome these issues.

In the summary for this paper, Palmer states that ‘Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives are growing in popularity – largely because so many organizations have proven the value that BPM can deliver’. He intends to introduce a framework for the development of business cases for new BPM projects, he believes there are three characteristics, which make BPM technology a game changer, that BPM is Incremental, Measurable and Repeatable.

What I found most interesting was his definition of ‘measurable’- ‘BPM is unique among technology-based initiatives in its ability to incorporate metrics and measurement parameters at the outset of the project and to automatically capture and track them along the way. BPM presents the opportunity for an immediate and material impact on business performance and visibility’ (Palmer 2011)

Palmer also refers to his view that the impact of BPM is significant and quantifiable, he references what I interpret as his attempt to differentiate BPM from other types of IT systems which promise change and innovation.  ‘The opportunity for realizing business value from Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives is significant and unlike virtually any other area of software. This is due in part to the intimacy and interplay between BPM systems and the core business activities within which they exist’ (Palmer 2011)

Is this the reason that BPM is becoming more popular than BPR, is it the simple fact that in this economic climate before an organisation implements a system it needs to know it will work & needs to feel that impact immediately?

Any thoughts?

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8 Responses to “The Value of BPM”

  1. ismisetusa November 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Do you perhaps think it is possible to implement a successful BPM or a re-engineering system with the previously existing staff?
    my concern would be that the primary aim of engineering the company would be strip it apart and start from scratch. would a team leader who has been part of the company for many years be too dedicated to the cause (ie not see the opportunities that a ‘fresh set of eyes’ would see)

    • roisg November 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

      Thanks for your comments ismisetusa

      I do think it is possible to implement a BPM system with the exisiting staff, as that is one of the fundamental differences between BPM & Re-Engineering, BPM can be implemented incrementally without creating the massive disruption that re-engineering could potentially cause.

      To address your concern re: needing a fresh set of eyes , while I would agree that perhaps a third party could be used to evaluate the capabilities and assess the current processes within an organisation, I wouldn’t be confident that replacing current staff would be the most effective approach to achieving successful system re-engineering , as I think a knowledge & insight into the processes that are to be re-engineered would be invaluable.

      • ismisetusa November 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

        What would you perhaps do in the case of total process re-engineering?
        I would not recommend replacing all staff as this would have more repercussions with team members and employees questioning their worth yet I would still believe in introducing at least one new team member to perhaps oversee the team manager and monitor the development and identify if old habits were being introduced!

  2. roisg November 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Certainly that would be a concern that any project manager would need to be cognisant of – I do think with process re- engineering it would be necessary to re- assess the core capabilities of the team & identify the need for ‘new blood’ if so required.

  3. irishtechylad November 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Good afternoon roisg. Read your blog there about the value of BPM in organizations today and its ability to overcome issues such as introducing new IT systems to an organization. I can see the benefits of what business process management can provide ‘eventually’ but it seems that there is a hype surrounding BPM and possibly a certain element of delusion in relation to implementing it in certain organisaitons based on ”because so many organizations have proven the value that BPM can deliver” as stated above which to me is a case of acting like a sheep. Following the crowd. Not to mention that BPM will always have a different fit for every organisation.

    A paper I’ve read in relation to BPM seems to present us with findings from major BPM experts as well as BPM tool vendors from the around the world that there are major issues with this type of management. I wont go into to much detail but maybe you can give me your perspective on these findings which are based on three different levels in an organization. 1. Strategic 2. Tactical 3. Operational. Feel free to discuss these findings and if you agree or disagree?

    Strategic

    • Lack of governance
    • Lack of employee buy in (Already argued in comments section in relation to staff)
    • Lack of common mind share of BPM
    • Broken link between BPM efforts and organizational strategy

    Tactical

    • Lack of standards
    • Weaknesses in process specification
    • Lack of BPM education
    • Lack of methodology

    Operational

    • Lack of tool support for process visualisation
    • Perceived gaps between process design and process execution
    • Miscommunication of tool capabilities.

    Keep up your interesting blogging. Enjoyable reading.

    • roisg November 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks for your comment irishtechylad. I would agree when we are looking at things from a theoretical point of view that an innovative revolutionary approach would be more attractive rather than ‘following the crowd’, however the approach I took when writing this blog was to look at it from an organisational viewpoint & particularly the mindset of the organisations’ management when faced with the decision to implement BPM – generally BPM is considered when systemic processes are slowing them down.

      I would ascertain that most companies in this situation will look to implement a BPM system with a proven success rate rather than an unproven idea with a higher risk factor.
      With reference to the issues that you refer to under the headings strategic, tactical & operational, if you could post a link to the paper you read I would gladly give my feedback.

  4. irishtechylad November 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Ya no worries. Appreciate the response. Looking forward to hearing your insight http://www.bptrends.com/publicationfiles/09-07-ART-MajorIssuesinBPM-Chong%20et%20al.pdf

    • roisg November 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      Interesting article and I think all the points raised are valid, what it is most valuable is that the experts in the field have been interviewed and not only identified problems but also solutions to those issues. I was particularly interested in the section on employee buy in and i think they offer a good perspective on how to overcome it!
      Great find irishtechylad!

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