I recently came across an interesting discussion, can you do Business Procecss Management without using a technology solutions or a BPM Suite (BPMS) posted by Nicholas Kitson. That got me thinking for a few moments. If an organization is doing process improvement without using BPMS, can that be termed as a BPM effort?

Well, some people will definetly argue that it is a BPM effort, but these people are missing the point that BPM as an organizational practice is incomplete without a BPM Suite. They need to draw a line between classical Business Process Improvement (BPI) and utilizing BPM for BPI. This is because:

  • Business Process Improvement is nothing new. For decades organizations have been using IT Softwares and Solutions for reducing the human intervention and improving the processes.
  • Organizations have been utilizing tools such as Visio for orcestrating Business Processes.
  • Processes owners have utilized Business Intelligence (BI) tools for getting reports on how the processes perform and in some cases, tried to utilize those for improving the processes.

So, why now organizations are setting up BPM Center of Excellence (COE) and implementing BPM Suites?

That is because BPM Suites have revolutionized the way organizations can approach Business Process Improvement.

We know that in the current times organizations have to be agile to change with the market needs. Also, Managers need a real-time view of the organization to make the right decision.

Here are some of the features of current BPM Suites that have resulted in these BPM initiatives:

  • Business Process Modeler to orchestrate the as-is and future process.
  • BPM Engine that runs the process you model, providing an easy handshake between business analyst and IT developers.  IT builds on the same shared model that the business has come up with as a part of the future-state process.
  • Rich UI Framework to automate human tasks.
  • Ability to integrate with ERPs and Legacy Applications to ensure that the investment in those applications is properly utilized.
  • Ability to monitor the process instances at run-time and quickly point out the bottle-necks.
  • Real-time reporting on the application data.
  • Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) to track KPIs.
  • Governance capabilities to manage the processes effectively.
  • Additionally, some BPM Suites also provide Social BPM features which let your end-users participate and contribute to the process improvement effort.

This is the reason why BPM is catching up as an Organizational dicipline for process improvement. Organizations are able to setup BPM COE as an umbrella group working with the IT and Business teams for automating processes.