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BPM from a Business Point of View

Scott Cleveland

Single Greatest Benefit of BPM

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From the 2009 BPM Market Report...

Respondents were asked to indicate what had been their firms 'single greatest' benefit from using BPM to date.

28% - Automation of standard procedures and processes
19% - Ability to visualize, simulate and trouble shoot business processes
17% - Change business rules and processes without impacting underlying applications
11% - Manage and monitoring the performance of operations and personnel
10% - Enforce best practices and required procedures

My Thoughts...

I found the above list very interesting. These people may have gone into their BPM project to minimize non-value activities and to automate activities where possible. But, after they had implemented their BPM solution, they identified some other very important benefits. Although most did identify automation as their single greatest benefit, I would bet that they hadn't expected the others.

Visibility has to be the most overlooked benefit...

Before implementing a BPM strategy, most companies have little visibility into their processes. Status is hard to come by. Inefficiencies are virtually invisible. Many companies hire a program manager to come up with this information.

However, after implementing a BPM solution the status of a process can be found with the click of a mouse. You can easily see if a step is taking too long. And, you can automate the mundane activities that software can perform for you. You will wonder how you ever functioned without it.

What does it all mean?

More efficient business processes lead to increased revenues, lower costs and improved customer relationships. It can differentiate you from your competitors. It can be the key that allows your company to break out as the market leader.

Your Thoughts...

What steps has your company taken to be a market leader?

6 Comments

Hi Scott,

A good summary of the benefits of BPM.

One of the benefits listed, i.e. "17% - Change business rules and processes without impacting underlying applications", is rather worrying, as business rules ought to be embedded in the underlying applications.

This is perhaps one of the primary reasons for so many data quality issues in enterprises, even in those that espouse BPM.

Not embedding business rules in the applications that support Business Functions (= step in a Process), results in enterprises having to enforce these rules outside of those applications. This results in:
o flawed data values being created in the databases of the applications
o which results in the need to find and amend the flawed data
o which results in the need for a whole new industry called Data Quality!

So please, having gone through all the effort to implement BPM, do make sure that the business rules for each Business Function (Process step) are embedded in the application(s) that support that Function. This will enable you to solve business Inefficiencies as opposed to swapping one (in process) for another (in data).

Again, thanks for the enlightening summary of benefits, Scott.

Regards
John

Scott, John
Unlike John I really don't think that business rules should be embedded in the underlying applications (or in the processes for that matter). But of course it depends on what you mean by "business rules". Decision-making rules should be in their own components. Other kinds of rules should be kept with the components they relate to. More in my blog post What, exactly, do you mean by business rules?
JT

It's not a surprise that automation topped this list. With automation comes immediate and transparent savings which improves the bottom line. I would have thought though that visibility would have earned a higher percentage.

Great stats - thanks!
Joe

Hi Scott,

Thanks for this great article with stats. Many customers are wanting to join this BPM bandwagon, but they are clueless about what and how to measure the benefits arising out of BPM implementation. Hence, I would be interested in knowing how we measure the benefits of BPM, say KPIs etc. Do we still require to develop BI solutions around it for this? Pls let me know.

Thanks,
Venkatesh

Scott,

Yes, very interesting statistics. I would love to see the stats regarding what companies perceive to be the "business process which most benefited in their enterprise from using BPM to date?" Is that in the 2009 Report? It is probably time for my company to survey its users and ask this question..."

Thanks,

Brian Reale
http://blog.processmaker.com

The answer is very clear. The automation of STANDARD processes! That means that BPM is only beneficial for those processes that ARE ALREADY standard and thus rigid. Yes, each buiness will have a few of those. Proceses are also seen as an abstraction layer of existing silos, which be definition are the epitome of rigidity.

And yes, it also says that it is used to ENFORCE processes.

Thanks, this report clearly indicates that BPMS are not about agility at all. They are about standardization and enforcement.

Which means BPMS are really not about 'managing' business processes in the sense of making a business more agile. Hence, BPM agility is the biggest marketing lie of the last decade.

More on: http://www.adaptive-process.com

Scott Cleveland blogs about BPM from a business point of view.

Scott Cleveland

Scott Cleveland is a technical, innovative and creative marketing manager with more than 25 years of experience in marketing, marketing management, sales, sales management and business process consulting aimed at high-tech companies. His areas of expertise include: product marketing, solutions marketing, solution selling, sales maangement, business process management, business process improvement and process optimization. Reach him at RScottCleveland[at]gmail.com.

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