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Will shared services and global business services accelerate interest in BPM?

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As Ian Gotts writes in this blog, 'The principles of BPM are fundamental to a successful SS (shared services) or GBS (global business services) strategy."  So do you think shared services and global business services will accelerate interest in BPM?

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  • Ian has a good point in his blog that for world class operational excellence you need a focus on clearly communicated, end-to-end processes. BPM can make that happen. Shared services though require businesses to think less about process methodology and more about how to get the best out of the available service, treating it like a black box.

    Businesses that adopt shared-services for their operations seem to be more concerned about their touchpoints with the service, than the details of BPM. They like that they can outsource the responsibility for much of the process to the service, while still getting defined services levels.

    Interest in BPM becomes heightened in the shared service 'center of excellence', and probably largely ignored outside. Business units can now get on with delivering products and services without having to worry about BPM. Now they just have to worry about working within the constraints of a service, while ensure it adapts to deliver their evolving needs. Hmm, maybe BPM is needed after all.

  • Of course the principles of BPM are fundamental in both. In fact all new applications should focus in frontline of business which is what "BPM" is about. The bookkeeping (ERP) comes second! The real question is can the technology support both effectively. SS needs to be flexible enough to allow variations for each "group" whether in simply their own form design but also in applying "rules" as individual groups require. Like all good digitised BPM agility in software ensures constant improvement just with SS you have more ideas!
    In a recent post MDM (Master Data Management) was raised linked to BPM supporting technologies. This joined up capability takes the whole BPM into mainstream applications. This opens new ideas for GBS but again every territory will have "local ways" and should be catered for, but there will be underlying key requirement/measurements that are common to allow real time transparency what is happening. The technology being able to deliver such capabilities will be welcome by business decision makers and see growth in BPM thinking.

  • This has prompted less debate than I thought. Perhaps you are all in agreement. Or maybe I should have taken a more extreme (Scottish) view that BPM is dead and SS/GBS revives it from the dead!!

    • Come come Ian, you think GBS will really revive BPM on it's own ?

      Shared Service visions are just internalised versions of Outsourcing, only without the offhsore call centre headache.

      The Shared Service vision is an old idea that's great in theory but invariably rarely delivers. Oh sure, the CO-Whoever wants synergy and less of a process mess but in the programmes I've been involved in it degenerates into a system integration and rationalisation effort with process given a cursory glance. Why ? Because a service vision means loss of power and crumbling ivory towers. That is the unfortunate reality.

      Because of this, BPM is the last thing on people's minds, so I wouldn't bank on a GBS vision to pique interest in it.

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