[This post originally appeared on Redux Online, where I am a guest blogger.]
For better or worse, however, business process management (BPM) doesn't mean the same thing to everybody. Some BPM products involve months-long, top-down implementation efforts. Others boast rapidly deployed point-and-click workflow builders, but provide little flexibility in building forms. Still others offer flexible data links across dissimilar applications, but require skilled programmers to build and maintain these connections.
To some extent, these variations simply represent the diversity of business needs faced by customers. Ultimately, though, there has to be a unifying thread, a core principle joining together the panoply of solutions claiming the BPM mantle. Lacking such a foundation, there is nothing businesses can use to determine whether or not they need to look into BPM solutions at all, much less decide which one to acquire.
Fortunately, BPM does indeed have a central tenet: returning control of business processes to the business. While business needs vary, it is a fairly universal truth that process owners and operators generally desire to have more control, and more flexibility, with respect to their processes. Bringing control over processes directly to business users leads to improvements in a number of areas, including:
- Business process improvement (BPI), which requires an intimate knowledge of the actual process being improved, rather than the technology that happens to implement it;
- Flexibility of response to changing business needs;
- Process Efficiency, as processes are defined and operated by those who use them, without suffering the translation errors intrinsic to the business/IT requirements dance.
All of which is why I'm so looking forward to participating in an upcoming webinar entitled Giving Control Back to the Business. The June 23rd event features well-known analyst Sandy Kemsley.
According to Sandy, the webinar will focus on the ways that "dynamic, leaner BPM is implemented within enterprises: the drivers for adopting it, the types of workflow application and BPM application integration to which it is best suited, and the knowledge workers’ role in creating and participating in processes."
I hope to see you there!