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I was never much of an artist. It didn't matter what media I used - crayons, pencils, the occasional paint-by-numbers oil paint - I simply couldn't create a realistic, compelling or even interesting piece of art. The story in sculpture class was even worse-most of my projects devolved into awkwardly-shaped bowls or inelegant renderings of animals that looked like they escaped from some mad scientist's Botox laboratory.

In short, in my art projects, there was a gap between the goals I set out to achieve and the work (or implementation) that I did.



Unfortunately, that same type of gap can exist when it comes to IT projects. Or business projects. Or business and IT projects-especially business and IT projects like business process management (BPM), which typically require a wide variety of involvement from different IT and business stakeholders.

An important part of a BPM project happens at the beginning-the definition of what an organization is attempting to do through the deployment of a BPM solution.

In order to create an effective BPM solution, an organization has to have a good understanding of what it's trying to accomplish. In other words, it needs a good definition of high level strategy, the goals and the vision. You have to know what you want to do. But it's equally important to know how you're going to do it-you need to know how that strategy/grand design/goal can be connected to the individual steps required to make that goal become a reality.

That's the part that I was always missing in my art projects. While I usually had a great vision of what I wanted to achieve, I simply didn't have the underlying tools and technical abilities to effectively implement that vision.

With BPM, an organization needs to make sure it not only has the vision, or a good, clear understanding of what it's trying to accomplish, but it also needs to make sure it has a way to connect that vision down to the technical components and steps necessary for a successful implementation. The high-level strategy an organization is undertaking-say, making the order-to-cash process more efficient-needs to be connected down to the infrastructure and the actually steps involved in achieving that goal. But the high-level planning and overall requirements might be done by a completely different set of people that the ones that are implementing those steps in BPM software.

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