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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action

Dennis Byron

BPM VIEWPOINT: What New AIIM Study Says about BPM

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Last week I posted news about a newly released AIIM study. It says there is a lot of ground to make up in enterprises to take maximum advantage of business process management (BPM) concepts.

The survey said only 3% of enterprises felt that they had achieved "process excellence.? That should not surprise you although I have seen a lot of blogs that—like the police chief in the movie Casablanca—seemed “shocked, just shocked!? Three percent seems about right to me because BPM is a long journey and industry, commerce and government have only just begun it. We are no where near the point where the business processes of all three are melded; that will be “process excellence.?

Despite the 3% finding, 16% of respondents have begun “deploying and implementing? BPM enterprise wide. The bad news from my perspective is that almost all the activity is inside the firewall; that’s not the place where you will find the biggest payback. Only 22% of the BPM activity is what AIIM calls “balanced? inside and out; that’s the goal.

Speaking of payback, most users who had pegged an expected ROI expected it in 1-3 years. My advice is to the scale BPM projects such that you see the ROI in a year or less; that means you are walking before you run and also keeps the boss happy.

Methodologically, the ‘n? of the study was 354 of a few thousand people invited to take a web-based survey. Phone interviews are the best source but this is a good process. AIIM does a good job defining BPM. (I wish it had added its thoughts on the term’s history for my ongoing survey—write me at dennis@ebizq.net if you have an opinion on where the term BPM came from.) In other words, the term means more than just the technology as discussed here often.

The downside of the methodology is that the invitees were all AIIM member and “industry associates;? I am not sure what the latter term means but a wider universe would have removed all biases. Respondents were a mix of IT folks, analysts, management and “other;? it is most useful to look at the results by role.

(FYI, the study was sponsored by IBM, EMC and RiseTime and is available for download to AIIM members. It was distributed to “press? outlets like ebizQ and the sponsors might make it available in some manner as well.)

-- Dennis Byron

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Thanks for covering the Market IQ on BPM. Sure phone interviews are very useful - but take much longer and usually involve less participants. Glad you like the definition we came up with. I too was pleased that it reflected far more than technology.

One point worth clearing up - the report is available to anyone for free download. Just go to:


Carl Frappaolo
Co-author of the AIIM Market IQ on BPM

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Business process management and optimization -- philosophies, policies, practices, and punditry.

Anne Stuart

I am the editor of ebizQ.

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