Could 2009 finally be the year BPM comes into its own? My own opinion is – YES!
This may seem a bit odd – after all, in previous years I have been a bit hesitant about BPM adoption, finding instead that many users were working on lower level integration problems first and then ‘backing into’ BPM. On top of this, with all the trading uncertainty around surely no-one will be rushing to BPM?
In fact, Lustratus thinks that the current economic environment is EXACTLY the right time for BPM. My worries in the past have been to do with people trying to move completely over to a BPM model. This requires a heck of a lot of effort, thought, maturity in process engineering and resources, and can take some time to generate a payback although the eventual gains are admittedly great. However, the current economic situation is forcing people to be much more pragmatic, and it is here that BPM really starts to deliver.
Lustratus recently produced a paper discussing the Lustratus BPM Sweet Spots – five potential targeted uses of BPM technology sorted in terms of speed of return, ease of implementation and overall benefit. A number of these sweet spots represent quick ways to improve a particular process, increasing automation and hence providing the opportunity to reduce people costs. It is this improved efficiency and productivity that attracts companies in the current economic downturn – anything that makes use of what is already there but cuts the staffing bill is almost a no-brainer. In addition, the visibility BPM brings with it into process execution is of enormous use when trying to implement responsible risk and compliance management measures, something greatly desired in the current circumstances.
So, 2009 should be the year when companies turn to BPM – but note the distinction of pragmatic, targeted BPM as opposed to grand BPM strategies that will make everything better ‘sometime’.