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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

BPM is a Process, Too

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Getting started with business process management requires BPM principles right from the get-go.

Miguel Valdes-Faura, CEO of BonitaSoft and co-founder ot the open source Bonita project, provides some fundamental guidelines for getting started:

Model the reality, not the ideal: Watch how employees do things before attempting to map out a workflow. "Identify a benchmark for how people currently perform a given function at an optimal level of output and fix a model of that -- you can do this graphically, though it can also be done in a simple document."

Start small, but with something of value: "Start with simple, visible, low-risk internal projects before moving on to increasingly critical processes. However, the first implementation should be one in which real improvement actually makes a difference to the organization. No one will be impressed if the first application of BPM results in 'improvements' like better handling of useless, unnecessary, or truly unimportant tasks."

Encourage IT-business collaboration: "Encourage as much collaboration as possible between developers and end-users throughout the deployment process. IT can invest a lot of time developing the 'perfect' BPM application, but unless the end-users who will be employing the process in their actual work become involved, there's no guarantee that the two sides will ultimately sync up."

Valdes-Faura reminds us that just as every type of organization is different, they will always put their own stamp on their BPM efforts. But whatever it looks like, it's a worthwhile effort.


In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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