BPM is NOT a Technology…

I have been reading a number of blogs, wikis, user groups and forums lately on the topic of Business Process Management (BPM) and am shocked to see how many still treat BPM as if it was a technology.  It would appear that many still see BPM initiatives as IT projects focused on system to system integration, workflow automation, and performance monitoring.  I guess it should be no surprise then that fewer and fewer of these initiatives are being undertaken, given that the Business is being kept out of the loop and they are the ones with the budgets and being asked to change how they operate.

In my opinion, BPM represents the greatest possibility for stakeholders (business, IT, executives, customer, user) to come to together to work on improving organizational and operational performance.  BPM is a design approach where everyone should be getting involved to clearly define existing processes, and work together to determine the best way to move forward.  A full featured Business Process Management System (BPMS) should empower the group to perform this task collaboratively, with as little signal loss as possible (Lombardi’s Teamworks, Software AG’s webMethods).  Proof that this is moving towards a collaborative activity can be found in the recent tools to support team based BPM work (Lombardi’s Blueprint, Software AG’s AlignSpace).

I just ask that we, as a group of subject matter experts, try to keep our terms in check.  Writing out of context like this only confuses people not fully versed on the topic, there by ruining the credibility of all parties who touch on the subject.  Worse then that, it makes it difficult for organizations to make any progress when they spend the beginning of meetings arguing semantics.

1 Response to “BPM is NOT a Technology…”

  1. 2010/02/16 at 03:20

    I’d say it isn’t that fewer and fewer of these projects are being undertaken – but the “action” is in the more business-driven projects. Recent analyst reports have shown a “decrease in bpm budgets” but I believe that might only cover IT-driven BPM budgets, and even then we’re talking about research based on a relatively small footprint of the corporate world.

    Fully agree that BPM itself is not a technology (too bad the SOA guys didn’t get that part right in their own discourse, might have set a better precedent for BPM related terminology).


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