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What was the biggest development for BPM in 2010?

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It's that time of year again where we start to take an assessment of the year that was, which in this case, 2010, was called the year of BPM.  So what do you think was the biggest development or advancement that happened to BPM in 2010?

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  • Very senior management understanding the importance of BPM for cost cutting, efficiency, process improvement and compliance.

    We have seen a marked increase in the level of seniority of person in the customer who is driving the programmes and a resulting increase in scope of project, ROI and hence license fees 8-). We are seeing that it has moved from a project approach to being part of Operational Strategy.

    This is very evident looking back at our Inspiring Performance (www.inspiring-performance.com) annual conferences over the last 3 years; the level of speaker (now VP), the scope of projects (global roll-out) and the ROI ($100m+).

    We now have clients who are developing TV quality videos to promote the value of BPM (and use of Nimbus) for INTERNAL USE, AT THEIR COST. This signals that BPM's time has come.

    Maybe this image form Just a Thought sums it up:

    I was recently interviewed by IQPC on the future of BPM, which is here http://www.sixsigmaiq.com/podcenter.cfm?externalID=866

  • A "cooptition" in form of Case Management. It expands the purview of BPM, rightly so, to the real essence of BPM which is to make the organizations more effective; and also points back to the wrong presumption of BPMS representing BPM. Choice is with industry leaders whether they want to embrace or compete with case management.

    Other one could be BPMS on the cloud but still in nascent stages.

    As for social - it would be unfair to call it out for BPM since it impacts everything - technology, enterprises and personal lives.

    PS: And I think finally, people are really looking at BPM beyond just modeling and execution tool-set - I mean, senior management.

    Happy Holidays and a more progressive next year to you...!


  • I think the big thing this year was finally more understanding from senior management in organisations. I think this year we have seen organisations looking for ways to increase efficiency, this has meant more organisations have "stumbled" upon and investigated what BPM is, and potentially what the wins are of such systems...

    However, I strongly believe that there is a hell of a long way to go for BPM before it will be picked up by many more organisations, or effectively rolled out to incorporate more and more processes within organisations that already leverage BPM. BPM has finally got some recognition and big interest, however, it has to now evolve to deliver on organisations ever increasing expectations, of what BPM can deliver...

  • Although I would like to agree with Ian and Andrew that senior management is understanding the value of BPM, I think this might just be a reflection of their particular client bases. In my experience, many management people still see BPM as an IT issue, or something that will cost consulting dollars, because we should try and fix up Sharepoint to do it. Maybe we are starting to see Case Management as being valid, but there is too much investment in that other stuff for it to make real headway.

    As an industry we are helping ourselves by recognizing that BPM is not just technology or not just methodology. It is a combination of approaches that allows companies to achieve continuous process improvement. We are not necessarily playing nicely together, but we are at least starting not to trample on each other's creations as "not BPM". Given this, maybe Ian's experiences are really an indicator of a trend, and 2011 will be the true "year of BPM".


  • The biggest development for BPM in 2010 was that businesses began to uniformly recognize tangible benefits from addressing the issue of process improvement. BPM has long been thought of as a nascent, undefined end goal, describing in theory what could happen if business users defined their process requirements and automated their workflows.

    Simpler solutions aimed at freeing IT to focus on infrastructure while business focuses on efficiency have made that theory a reality, and in the past year we've seen more success stories than ever before.

  • Recognition! BPM has now become a proven toolset/platform/methodology for reducing operational costs, enabling innovation, and improving customer service.

  • The realization that 75% of business proceses are still done via email and excel, and current BPMS technology isn't going to change that.

    Jacob Ukelson - CTO ActionBase

  • #1 realization for 2010: BPM is not dead.
    What, you forgot? that was the big discussion at the close of 2009, early 2010. Lombardi and Savvion were bought by IBM and Progress, and the thinking went that essentially, BPM is dead. Additionally, many argued in this forum that BPM growth would be stunted by the economy. Or by the rise of Case Management (or ACM or Adaptive *(process|case management).

    But BPM grew regardless of the skeptics. It grew for service providers and it grew for software vendors (just take a look at Appian, Pega, and IBM public statements).

    And people keep forgetting that the # of processes out there is huge. 25% of a very large number is still more work than most companies can tackle in a reasonable time frame. And not all processes are "valuable" processes in their own right. (think value stream analysis - there are many non-value-added activities and processes in our organizations).

  • All of the above posts raise great points about BPM's rise in 2010, as well as the likelihood that it will experience even greater levels of adoption in 2011 and beyond. One additional bit worth discussing here is the maturation of open source solutions within the BPM domain. This past year has seen the rise of open source BPM offerings that are able to compete with leading proprietary offerings. Earlier this fall I recorded a podcast here with Peter Schooff that delves into this very topic. (http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/2010/10/the_real_value_of_bpm_talking.php)

    There's a proven path for enterprise open source adoption dating back to Red Hat Linux. While there has been wide open source adoption in other enterprise IT spaces, from business intelligence to SOA, BPM has lagged behind. However, we're now seeing the same patterns in BPM as we've seen in other enterprise IT areas just prior to their wide embrace of open source alternatives: namely, massive adoption levels of open source and advanced features that offer the same basic functionality as leading proprietary suites. At BonitaSoft, we've just surpassed 500,000 downloads of Bonita Open Solution and have made key upgrades to our product, including business process simulation and cloud support capabilities.

    Hope this discussion continues on, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing BPM go mainstream in 2011!

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