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Untitled Document Now that the holidays are done, I start thinking about money-and how much I'll have to pay in taxes for last year's earnings. Yes, I know it's early-after all it's not April-and thinking about taxes isn't really the best way to start the year, but I think it's a form of reflection for me. It's like a New Year's resolution-this year I will promise to keep better track of my receipts and write down all my mileage and I will make sure to organize and add up my receipts and expenses each month, instead of in one mad-ditch scramble to get it all done before taxes are due.

It's pretty much the same thing with business process management (BPM). Every organization that's considering business process management (or any similar IT technology investment), wants to know what they have to put in or spent on it, and what they'll get back at the end of the year. Okay, so it's not exactly like saving expense receipts and paying taxes, but the analogy works-there's always a trade-off between the investment you're making and what you're getting out of it.

Let's take a closer look at some of the ROI-related factors when it comes to making a BPM decision. One of the key issues to consider when investing in BPM is that the benefits of BPM can vary from other standard technology investments, primarily because a BPM system can address such a wide range of potential process issues, rather than solve only one problem. In addition, another consideration is that BPM solutions are typically implemented for more than process. In effect, a BPM project is actually a doorway to many more projects, as well as an opportunity to increase an organization's return from its investment. Implementing one process provides one ROI for a BPM investment, while implementing 20 different processes greatly alters the ROI equation. Generally, the greater the number of processes, the greater the ROI (and perhaps even the faster the ROI). Many companies can expect to recoup their investment in BPM with measurable business gains-sometimes within a one or two processes and sometimes with ten or twenty.

Just as I like to know how much money I made last year and how much I owe or may be getting back in taxes, organizations certainly have a desire to know what type of ROI they will receive from an BPM investment. And while we can't calculate a specific ROI for organizations BPM implementations in this column, it's worth taking a look at a few of the important factors that can dramatically affect the ROI you might receive from a BPM implementation. There are a number of considerations that organizations should pay attention to in order to increase their potential ROI and reduce the amount of time it takes to generate a positive ROI, including:


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