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BPM from a Business Point of View

Scott Cleveland

BPM and Content

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My view of BPM grew out of EDM [engineering document management] beginning in the late 80's at a company called Sherpa. Fortunately, the software had a workflow component. And, the workflow wasn't just 'bump and run' - it allowed a company to add if, then, else logic to the flow.

Our market was engineering, so they cared about engineering documents.

A little marketing history - Over the years, EDM software vendors that had a workflow component didn't want to be lumped in with EDM vendors that did not - so they created a new category called PDM [product data management] software. The PDM companies wanted to sell to departments other than engineering so they created a new category called PLM [product lifecycle management] software. This is where we are today.

Over the years, I learned that all engineering documents go through a formal or informal approval process. Drawings need approval signatures before they can be 'released'. And, companies that have implemented PLM software will likely put all documents through a process to become 'released'.

Some believe that documents can exist without process. I don't believe that is possible. As I write this blog, you could believe that it exists without process. Even thought I am the only person involved in the process, it does go through a process. Ok, so the process is informal - still...

I write a rough draft and leave it overnight. I edit it the next day removing grammatical errors that I see. I make sure to credit anything I might quote. I review it one more time and then I post it. It is definitely a process to write this blog.

Where BPM fits

When I map a process, a part of the analysis is to determine what information a person needs to perform their activity. I identify where that information is located and how I can provide it to that person. And, as a result of their activity did they create information? If they did, where does that information need to be stored so that it can be retrieved. Only then do you have a clear picture of a step [activity] in a process.

Why wait?

If you remove non value add activities from your process; if you have a computer perform an activity that a human doesn't need to perform; and if you have a person do what a computer cannot, you will reduce costs. While the economy is struggling to get back on track, now would be a good time to get more efficient.

Your Thoughts...

What is holding up your BPM project?

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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