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Editor's note: In this Q & A, ebizQ's Peter Schooff talks with consultant Anatoly Belychook about trends in and best practices for process discovery and modeling. Belychook, a frequent contributor to the ebizQ Forum, is president of Business Console, a BPM consultancy based in Moscow. Schooff opens the conversation, excerpted from a longer podcast, by asking Belychook to describe the system of levels, or classifications, that he has developed for BPM.

AB: BPM Level 1 is pure modeling and documentation. Then, BPM Level 2 is automation of isolated processes, also known as workflows. And BPM Level 3 is closed-loop management of the network of processes comprising an end-to-end process. We may also add Level 0 here for processes that are executed informally—"under the carpet," so to speak.

This classification system resembles the well-known Gartner [BPM maturity] model; it corresponds to the first three levels of Gartner's model. But I believe it’s a little simpler and easier to articulate.

Another difference is the concept of "multi-speed" BPM behind this classification. Even if an organization has reached Level 3 of BPM, that doesn't mean it applies the Level 3 methods and technologies to all its processes. No, it just means that it can take any process it wishes to Level 3, but the majority of processes would still be managed at Level 2, 1 or even Level 0. The level of BPM is about capability, not about the actual implementation.

PS: Now to drill down: What do you see as the current state in the enterprise of process discovery and modeling?

AB: It's a very, very interesting moment just now, as BPMN [Business Process Modeling Notation] becomes mainstream quite rapidly. We can see this from the growing number of customer requests for BPMN. We can see this from the growing number of orders for BPMN training.

And we can see that BPMN drives many organizations to rejuvenate their process efforts. Some organizations are thinking about reshaping their existing diagrams and models into BPMN. Some others are considering executable BPMN, which is a new and refreshing idea for many of them, and this is the way right to reach BPM Level 3.


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