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In a research note dated December 5, 1997, the Gartner Group identified "Nine Reasons Why IS Organizations Do Not Do BPM." At the time, "BPM" referred to business process modeling rather than business process management. All that has changed. Today, process modeling tool vendors are forming alliances with companies that supply platforms for Business Process Management..

"Business units will not make the effort." Many companies viewed process modeling as an IT-led initiative that would require the participation of business units in facilitating an increasingly complex software engineering process. Needless to say, some business units were quite reluctant to make such efforts.

On the other hand, business process management is now conceived as a business-driven initiative that no longer requires the participation of IT organizations for the transformation of business process models into executable processes.

"We tried CASE and did not like it." The shortcomings of Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE), which usually led to some form of "analysis paralysis," are now well understood, and business process management incorporates the lessons learned. BPM is not CASE. CASE was an intermediate step that automated the mapping of business requirements and design parameters onto existing software artifacts-objects, components, interfaces and so on. UML beware.

BPM is a new type of software, not based on objects, but on processes-a new first-class information type-and because this new type is oriented to the expression of business, BPM does not require the translation steps of CASE or other unified development approaches. BPM provides the fundamental building blocks required for developing complex business logic and computation without conventional software development.

"We do not have the time." When it was owned by IT organizations, business process modeling was often perceived as an unproductive additional step in the overall software engineering process. It was usually incompatible with increasingly tight delivery schedules, schedules that were squeezed even tighter with the Y2K bug looming on the horizon back in 1997.

In contrast, third-wave business process systems can be understood as the fastest rapid application development (RAD) methodology ever made available to business. There is no translation of the process model to software-none, zero, zilch. The process model is the system. The system is the business. BPM can model not only computer-based processes, but also manual, abstract and real world processes, opening the door for a more complete digital model of businesses. This includes management processes, abstract processes, knowledge management processes, and organizational learning processes. There is no distinction between these and the traditional view of processes as applications. Models are just models and include all required elements and participants.


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