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Do most businesses fail to get the most out of their BPMS?

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As Sandy Kemsley reported from a Paul Harmon keynote at bpmNEXT, "Most BPM technology vendors are selling the ability to implement level 5, yet most organizations are at level 1 or 2, and struggling to improve their process maturity."  Is this true of most companies, and how can it be changed?

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  • http://bpmredux.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/bpms-selection-a-fool-with-a-tool-is-still-a-fool/

    Don't confuse ambition with understanding.
    Maturity is the biggest ignored factor when selecting a BPMS.

    If all your processes are written on PowerPoint slides do you really think you’re ready for automated workflow and simulation ?

    If your business analysts are entrenched in the business and have only business knowledge are they capable enough of understanding how to configure a BPMS and its rules engine without initiating an IT project ?

    Understand BPM and your capability before you invite sharks to the table.

  • Yes, most BPM Suite customers use less than 50% of the functionality. Their main goal is to document a process and move it into automation. Essential functionality to achieve this goal includes process modeling (to design the workflow and add business rules), application design (create the interactive forms), general UI (configure the interfaces where users navigate work), and reports. Most customers are not taking full advantage of dynamic routing, ad-hoc reporting, intelligent analytics/BAM, full SOA integration, different user configurations, advanced form design, and big data capabilities. It takes time to master all areas of BPM. That's way continuing education and process excellence methods must be adopted so BPM team members can maximize their investments while creating real slick, flexible enterprise applications.

  • Not sure it is failure but more a maturity question whether companies are getting the most out of their BPMS. There are a couple of dimensions to that.

    First, where are clients on their BPM journey. Early stage clients are modeling and doing limited implementations thus by default they are not using the full BPMS. Maybe from an implementation lifecycle they are using the high level components but certainly not with any depth or more than one component, ie. modeling or case management and supporting functions. Companies further along should be using more of the BPMS functionality but then again based on some other factors, noted below, they may not be fully utilizing the BPMS.

    Second, what is the maturity of the organization and/or the implementation partner with the BPMS. BPMS can be complex. Though BPMS vendors strive to develop simplicity and ease of use, not every BPMS platform approaches the BPM implementation needs the same, thus the challenge of how to develop and leverage the BPMS. In addition, not every BPM consulting organization will approach the BPM journey the same thus marrying the approach and the BPMS is a dimension in itself for whether BPMS will be fully utilized.

    Third, what part of the business is BPM being utilized. Not every part of LOB will utilize or need to utilize the full BPMS. This might be a really good question for this forum as I am sure folks have different opinions and philosophies on whether all functions of a BPMS should be used or not in a given situation or for solving a business problem. Thought BPM is enterprise wide or intended to be, not every organization thinks enterprise. I find more of our business is enterprise but the LOBs and the roadmap for deployment does affect how a BPMS is used.

  • Yes, but you can't really blame them. BPM solutions have become pretty powerful, offering a huge range of options including mobile, multi-media annotation, and social features. The perfect is the enemy of the good: there may be functionality left on the table, but if the system is doing the job, everybody is happy.

    Put another way: the speedometer on my Acura TL goes up to 160. Do I “make the most” of that available speed? Well, no—at least, not that I'd admit in writing. And yet, I find that I generally get where I'm going at the time I need to be there. Pushing the limits just isn't required.

    • You don't push the limit ?
      Feeb !

      • Yeah, men talk.. The speedometer of my zx10r goes to ....actually I don't know... it's digital.

        But I live close to the German border, where there are still places with no speed limit.....301 km/h. To the max!!

        Conclusion. German companies probably use all the capabilities of a BPMS. (And they expect the rest of the world to use all the capabilities of the wannabeepms, SAP ;-)

  • First recognise what is the "S" Suite or System? A Suite is a vendor hard coded application that may have some configurability but like all COTS the business moulds to the "Suite"? As indicated already not all the vendor Suites offer what is required so basically is not a really getting the most out of such a compromise?

    A System is the final end to end application and if supporting "BPM" should cover all aspects to support people at work creating information. It may involve a "Suite" but the important point is it must reflect how that business works recognising all businesses are different and the flexibility to change as required is a must have.

    Theo is right understand what is available. Indeed before any software is purchased follow Naomi Bloom’s advice “It really matters how your vendors build their software, not just what they build”. This is very relevant when looking at a BPM project.

    Recently I commented that BPM needs to move on with better supporting software see http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/2013/04/bpm_needs_to_move_on_with_bett.php To make the most of a BPM project get answers to those questions.

    The BPM build should be a business project with “IT” in support to help work with legacy and ensure secure delivery. The core build should be by the business analyst or business process mentor working direct with users.

    Such an approach will be a beginning of a journey that should have no end as change takes place over the years. Adopting this approach with good supporting software will significantly improve the deployment of BPMSystems.

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