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Anne Stuart’s BPM in Action


Top BPM Forums For 2009

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The final Forum tally for 2009 is BPM, and with all the promise that BPM offers companies to save money, along with IBM buying Lombardi, means 2009 was a very exciting year for BPM.

So the top 5 BPM Forums for the year are:

1) What Do You Think of IBM Buying Lombardi?


Brian Reale: Think of IBM's announcement as the opening of a flood gate. It is going to be the first of many acquisition announcements in 2010 in the BPM space.

Jaisundar V: This acquisition will upset the balance of power among BPM product vendors in the market and is likely to trigger many reactions from other players.

Michael T. Rowley: I get the feeling that IBM shares the market fragmentation philosophy of some analysts, where the BPM market is divided into document-centric (IBM's FileNet), integration-centric (IBM's Process Server) and human-centric (now-IBM's Lombardi).

2) Why are Business Rules Subjugated to Process Management When Business Rules Should be Leading Process Management?


Scott Francis: If we take the word "Lead" out of your question and ask the real, underlying, less controversial question: "Why aren't business rules used to start BPM?" Well, they often (I hate to use absolutes like "always") are.

Neil Ward-Dutton: Because the vendors selling BPM technologies are bigger than the vendors selling BRM technologies.

James Taylor: I think part of the challenge here is the number of potential uses of business rules in a process. Rules can handle routing, escalation, assignment and many other process tasks.

3) What Comes First: the Process Improvement Methodology or the BPM Software?


Doug Mow: The best case scenario should be a blend of a number of sources of input - technology, business, process....it is more critical to have a methodology that is flexible and can accommodate changing definitions.

Michael T. Rowley: The most effective process improvement methodology will be one that is tailored to the culture and realities of the organization that is doing the work, with a consideration of the strengths of the BPM tool that is being used.

Neil Ward-Dutton: If you're in a position to use a process improvement methodology, it's likely to be a good idea to at most blend a vendor's approach with something more industry-standard. Here's the caveat though: methods like Six Sigma and Lean are great at helping you with *continuous improvement*.

4) Do You Think BPM and SOA Are Going to Merge? If So, How Soon?


JP Morgenthal: This question further exemplifies the misunderstanding over what BPM and SOA are. BPM is a practice focused optimizing your business processes based on your business mission. In this way, you might optimize around cost, speed, etc

John Michelsen: I think this merge is already in process, especially when you look within US government and to our peers in Europe, who are approaching "BPMSOA" in a more pragmatic way than some technology-driven IT shops are in North America.

Miko Matsumura: I propose that a good way of looking at it may be that BPM and SOA are getting married. Clearly when two people get married, they dont "merge" and that there is a danger in thinking of them as one person.

5) What's Your BPM "Elevator Pitch?"


Jaisundar V: Over the years we have invested much on many Enterprise Apps, and that's all been good. But while they've helped us automate functions, we think we can get more competitive if we can help all those functions and apps work in better symphony. We found BPM the perfect way to work across those silos and plug all those gaps.

Stephen Zisk: Hi, Boss. We're not buying BPM, we are buying a solution to our specific problem - [insert description here]. The reasons for doing this with BPM are that we get there faster and cheaper, and we end up with a solution we can change easily.

Dave Youkers: I don't care what his elevator pitch is, the CEO's response should be: "I understand what your saying, and it looks like something we should consider. I tell you what - I'll consider giving you 6 figures to allow your staff to work with the VP of Operations on a pilot program. I want you both to come back to me in 10 days with a recommended pilot project plan, and we'll take it from there."

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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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