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What feature of BPM solutions is most overlooked by businesses?

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From Scott Menter, prompted by this discussion, what BPM feature do you think is most often overlooked by companies?

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  • Continuous process improvement. The premise (promise?) of BPM over workflow was the use of analytics, including simulation, to look at the metrics coming off the system, tweak, refine and continuously improve the process. Very few do it. Fewer still do it well.

    Most businesses automate a process, hopefully improving it while they're at it, then after that first cut they have done with, move on to the next shiny bauble.

    • Yeah, this is exactly correct. BPM offers customers the opportunity to really zero in on the parts of the process that most need improvement. But we rarely if ever see them take advantage of that capability.

  • Thanks for the hat tip, Peter!

    I often bemoan the failure of customers to leverage their BPM solutions to create engaging, attractive, and sensible user interfaces. Many BPM solutions offer some pretty sophisticated UI builders (Process Director lets you use MS Word or Visual Studio directly, for example), but the e-forms that result often fall short.

    These e-forms tend to fall into a couple of categories. Sometimes they are near-duplicates of the ugly paper forms that preceded them. In other cases, they are simply boring and hard to use, either offering users choices they don't understand, or requiring them to provide information they don't posses.

    I've written earlier about the importance of UI design in the age of Google and the iPhone. Many BPM solutions offer the tools: it's up to the customer to take advantage of them.

  • I had to take a 2nd take as I thought the question what feature should be added to a BPMS.

    From what I've seen, depending on maturity of organisations and financial decisions being made beyond the control of a CoE, close to half of the features are barely even tapped into.

    Through my conversations with BAs and BPAs in Level 1 companies all the way to Level 3, very rarely do they even get a chance to maximise the use of the BPMS which is a shame.

  • Decent process optimization.

    This is where real intelligence should be put in in order to help people to identify WHERE a process should be improved and HOW to improve a process helping to create scenarios and make decisions.

    Business Activity Monitoring is no longer enough, iBPMS as defined by GARTNER is a collection of suite fillers. It's necessary a different kind of approach to identify the CAUSES of bad performance and when a process does not fulfill the outcomes and help people to make decisions. Just let them know that something is wrong is not good enough.

  • My thoughts are in line with what Patrick has already said. I tend to agree with Alberto here. BAM, conceptually, is such a brilliant thing to happen(at least to human centric?). Yet it pains me to see that this figures only in a pitch. Vendors pitch, agree. But Buyers buy that idea. And i really can never understand why, 6 months after signing on the check, they don't ask for process performance reports.Bottomline:WHO is really committed to improvement anyway?

  • That good BPM will be the start a journey to see people supported by "IT" in a flexible and understood manner where fear of change can be removed even encouraged by users!
    Good BPM supporting technologies will deliver real time information to allow better decision making across the organisation very often by the users. It is about empowerment of people supported by real time measurement.

  • If a business 'overlooks' a software feature it usually means that it is too complex to implement or it is not user-friendly. That is exactly the case with 'continuous process imrpovement'.

    Plus, 95% of BPM is used to automate to cut costs. Improvement means to cut more costs -- what else? Empowerment can help to improve process outcomes and customer satisfaction, but it doesn't cut costs in-process per-se. It reduces follow-on costs that are hard to account for.

    Therefore typcial BPM does not empower business people do either create, improve or enhance. BAM (=process monitoring), process mining, big-data-predictive-analytics merged into process and what not -- all of it incredibly complex and just there to solve the core problem of BPM: RIGID, hard to change processes that no one understands!

    I really do not see how any of these complex features will in any way improve anything at the customer front. They won't overlooked and if nothing else because of their price tag. But there won't be a benefit for the employee or the customer, while it may squeeze the lemon a bit harder ...

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