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Untitled Document

See Part I for a background on BPM development.



As a result of Business Process Management evolving over two states it cannot only be defined from one perspective -- below are two definitions catering to both the business and technology perspectives of BPM:

  • BPM is a management discipline concerned with managing change to improve business processes that is cross functional in nature and makes extensive use of technology to model processes, analyze the model, automate the processes and measure and optimize process performance.
  • BPM is unifying the previously distinct disciplines of Process Modeling, Simulation, Workflow, Enterprise Application Integration and Business to business integration into a single organizational platform or infrastructure.

If we consider the two definitions above we see three core focal points in defining BPM, as a much confusion has occurred when defining BPM.

The first focal point when defining BPM is that it is a management discipline -- more focused on the business side of the organization, where issues such as organizational change management are taken into account. However, as many of us have realized one is not able to embark on a BPM journey without technology playing an enabling role.

The second focal point when defining BPM is that it is a new software technology -- this is not entirely true as the underlying concepts and principles that the Business Process Management Suites unify under a single organizational platform or infrastructure have existed for many years, the only difference now is that they have been packaged into a single offering.

The third and final focal point when defining BPM is that it is a new type of implementation. This is probably where the greatest progress has been made with regards to BPM, as businesses are now able to drastically reduce if not eliminate the round-tripping aspects of business application implementation. Through the ability that the BPMS's now provide businesses are able to model a business process and then have the preconfigured application rendered for business confirmation of the requirements within minutes, allowing for a more iterative nature of business requirements gathering and the true realization of Model Driven Architecture.

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