BPM Program Implementation – An Important Checklist for Success

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Since the emergence of Business Process Management (BPM), organisations adopting it have had a wide variety of experiences – some successful and others less so. Some would argue that because BPM is so amorphous that any project is considered to be analogous to ‘boiling the ocean’ and therefore the outcomes may vary from exceptionally successful to, in some cases, disastrous.

Typical challenges that often cause concerns during a BPM initiative include:

  • Focus on automation supersedes process excellence and continuous improvement
  • Complex transformation programs end up in failures, as the business scope is not prioritised and the program roadmap not defined in advance
  • Traditional Waterfall business requirements & process analysis phase takes  an average of 6 – 9 months  with no results to show in production for at least a year and as a result, business sponsors often get disillusioned with BPM
  • Lack of alignment between the investments across business strategy, process improvement and automation activities

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Who’s next on the HP BPM Aquistions list?

After the recent news that Open Text is to acquire Metastorm, it has been revealed that the long rumoured HP talks with Tibco have not gone as planned.

According to a Reuters article,

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) had considered buying business software company Tibco Software Inc (TIBX.O) until two weeks ago when talks fizzled, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Reuters article goes on to say that

It was not clear why the talks fell apart or if they will be resumed, although the tech giant is currently scouring the industry for other software targets, the sources said.

Tibco has been the subject of takeout rumors for the past several years, yet the company has never disclosed that it has been in talks to sell itself.

The question now is who will HP target to fill its capability gaps? Doug Henschen (InformationWeek) thinks that

If HP is now shopping for other companies, as Reuters’ report suggests, Software AG and Progress Softwareare both potential targets, given their integration, SOA infrastructure, and business process management software. Software AG is larger than Tibco, with about $1.4 billion in revenue last year. Progress is smaller, at $156 million in 2010 revenue.

What are your thoughts?

Yet another BPM acquisition – Metastorm bought by OpenText

OpenText announced earlier this month that they have entered into an agreement to buy Metastorm.

According to the press release OpenText said:

“Metastorm will add complementary technology and expertise that enhances our ECM solutions portfolio,” said John Shackleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of OpenText. “We look forward to welcoming its employees and customers to OpenText.”

Metastorm commented that:

“We are excited by the opportunity to join the OpenText team,” said Robert Farrell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Metastorm. “Combined with OpenText, Metastorm will be able to provide a broader and deeper range of offerings to our customers, while leveraging the strength and stability that comes with being part of a larger global organization.”

Follow the various opinions and comments here:

Interested in hearing your thoughts.

BPM Centre of Excellence – Strategic & Tactical Value Explained

Foreword: Having recently completed the design and implementation of an operational BPM Competency Centre for a Global Insurance company, I thought I would share a bit of my recent experience on the subject. The Competency Centre initiative formed part of the extremely ambitious IT and Business Transformation programme that is fundamental in redefining the organisation and laying the foundation for its expansion strategy across Europe.

Over the decades, the search for IT and/or Business ‘Excellence’ has led to a concept that is often misunderstood and can be very amorphous in definition and execution – Business/IT Transformation.

A term also commonly used in the same context is that of a Centre of Excellence or ‘CoE’ aka ‘Competency Centre.’  In this post, I will not attempt to redefine either, but rather explain a bit more about how the various constituent parts of a CoE can support Transformation projects and more specifically Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives.

The purpose of a CoE is to act as a nucleus for promoting and managing the collaboration of people, processes and technologies around key organisational objectives by ensuring the application of best practices, education and training, support services and technology awareness.

In most organisations, this is an extremely complex challenge, especially if the level of organisational maturity is low and their existing operational model is disjointed. That said, more mature and integrated organisations find the exigency and necessary focus for adopting a CoE a challenge.

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BPM in the Cloud – What’s it all about?

Business Process Management is becoming more common place and has become accepted as a business imperative by most organisations. The adoption of Cloud based solutions that provide integrated process SaaS offerings is however still not as widely accepted but is finding traction.

A recent event from Cordys explains “How Cloud Computing Will Change Business Process Management” in which George Barlow, the CEO of Cloud Harbor, Inc. a Cloud computing software and services company presents a view of how:

…the  increasing relevance of Cloud computing, using BPM systems will be offered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model and be delivered in on-premise service appliances behind the firewall.

… it explores these topics and provide a glimpse into these significant new business technologies to be delivered “in the Cloud”.

It is obviously a vendor and service provider view of the business and technological value proposition but in my opinion, the webinar (with audio option) is one of the better introductions to ‘BPM in the Cloud’ and is also supported by various analyst market forecasts.

Check out the webinar  here (requires short registration) or alternatively, the slides from the presentation are below for those who are ‘time challenged’   🙂

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IBM BlueWorks – Value Proposition & Overview

Since the news broke earlier in the year, there has been much discussion regarding what IBM BlueWorks is and what its value proposition is comparison to WebSphere. As can be expected, there has also been some confusion.

In the light of the Lombadi Software acquisition, I thought this brief overview would be useful for the uninitiated. More information can be found at the IBM Blueworks Community site and for an overview of Lombardi refer to this post.

BPM Conference – Vendors Showcase BPM and EA Capabilities

The recent event from BPM CON II – Intelligent BPM for the Productive Enterprise highlighted something that I have posted about before – the importance of EA & BPM convergence.

Admittedly, everyone has a different view on what BPM and EA is and how value can be derived from each but as with most things, real benefits come from combining individual concepts, methods and tools rather than just working with them individually on a case by case basis.

This  general principle of holism was concisely summarized by Aristotle in the Metaphysics:  “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”.

Reductionism in contrast, is sometimes seen as the opposite of holism. Reductionism in science says that a complex system can be explained by reduction to its fundamental parts. This sounds very much like the abstraction capabilities that Business Process Mangement and Enterprise Architecture provide.

No matter how you choose to define it, ultimately the focus should be on  how both can be used to solve tactical business problems while executing a longer term strategic roadmap. But I digress…..

The BPM II conference had four vendors presenting their capabilities and approaces to how BPM & EA could be used.

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