Editor's Note: This feature, the last in a three-part special package on dynamic BPM, explores considerations for choosing the right technology platform. Part I defines dynamic BPM and addresses some myths about the methodology; Part II provides examples of industries where the methodology is rapidly becoming a must-have.
The first thing to keep in mind when looking into dynamic BPM platforms: Make sure you and your potential vendors are talking about the same thing.
For one thing, analysts say, dynamic BPM is often confused with other terms and capabilities, such as dynamic or adaptive case management. Complicating matters even more is the fact that some vendors may offer both dynamic BPM and case-management capability.
"Another myth is that [service-oriented architecture] is dynamic BPM," notes Jim Sinur, a Gartner Inc. research vice president who specializes in BPM. "SOA enables you to have better dynamic BPM," he continues. "But it isn't dynamic BPM."
"The ability to reassign tasks also doesn't qualify as dynamic BPM, notes Clay Richardson, a senior analyst with Forrester Research and another BPM specialist. "If I get a task and I decide I want someone else to do it, or, as a supervisor, I decide who in my group needs to complete a particular task, that's not dynamic BPM," he says. "That is just a way of allocating work."
Dynamic definitions, process challenges
So what exactly is dynamic BPM? According to Gartner's definition, the approach provides "the ability to support process change by any role, at any time, with very low latency." In Forrester's view, dynamic BPM is increasingly critical for true employee empowerment. "Dynamic BPM allows knowledge workers to reach beyond structured processes for maximum benefit," Richardson says.
Process challenges that companies currently face include: