Next Generation BPMS

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When reading the 2010 Forrester Wave Report for BPMS there were a couple of take aways for me, but the main one being the considerations for what is required in a BPMS.

One titled ‘Next-Generation BPM Suites Empower Process Owners, Business Users, And Customers’ and the other on how to select a BPMS (‘Which BPM Suite is right for your initiative’).

In the first the key features that were discussed were:

  • Social and Web 2.0 components encoaraging collaboration through the discovery, design, and development
  • BPM as a service (in the cloud)
  • Data Quality
  • BPMN 2.0 helping to standardise modelling notations across tools within large organisations – hence allowing better end-to-end understanding of processes regardless of the toolset in use by different departments.

This lead into the discussion on how to select a BPMS.

If the business plans to drive process transformation, you will want to select a vendor that has strong collaborative process design, prototyping, and shared development capabilities.

So for me we seem to be missing a big part of process analysis – which is about discovery / analysis for processes that have been implemented. What about BAM, simulation and optimisation? Identification and prioritisation of improvement opportunities? The promise of BPM is based on implementing models of continual improvement. Not about one off process implementations.

Not many products seem to actually support the whole life cycle or at least not in a circular fashion. It should be discovery, design, execute, monitor, discovery, design etc.

As a decision maker (assuming a business led initiative based on the promise of continual improvement), I would be keen to know about the products abilities to monitor, identify issues, and feed this back into the analysis phase of the cycle.

In my experience BPM initiatives often turn into BPMS implementation IT projects, and complete at the end of one big business case. This may have delivered one or more process improvements iterations, but has failed to leave the organisation in a place that can deliver continual improvement to their processes.

Am I missing something or is this just a symptom of the levels of maturity we are at in the BPM space, and hence our requirements for a BPMS?

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