In a recent white paper entitled, The Four Factors Driving Business Process Management (BPM), the author, Pejman Makhfi, identifies the four drivers for BPM adoption:
Each organization will have a different impetus for looking at BPM. Generally these are the areas we see a problem with and want to improve; this is also the value proposition of BPM: increased revenues, improved customer relationships, and reduced costs. Which of these drivers is your primary impetus for looking at BPM is obviously influenced by your specific vertical, company culture, strategic objectives, market conditions, etc.
While I generally agree with the drivers laid out in the paper, it should also be noted that economists (Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke in particular) state that there is a general limit on productivity increases. The “great recession” we are currently experiencing has forced companies to cut payrolls and put pressures on the remaining workforce to greatly increase productivity. This “productivity boom” we have been experiencing since 2007 has probably run its course as there is not much room left for marginal increases.
Of the BPM drivers, I believe the biggest marginal gains that business process management can offer will come from reduced costs and increased quality of goods and services. BPM can help you achieve these gains mainly through elimination of redundant processes, process automation and standardization, and a decrease in process errors. But I believe the real gain is through process visibility and the ability to anticipate proactively respond to changing business conditions in real-time. Progress Software has termed this “Operational Responsiveness”, and it is one of the key aspects of the “triple-crown” of business: increased revenues, improved customer relationships and decreased costs.
In future postings, I hope to continue this discussion in attempting to answer the most common question I hear from customers: “How do we do BPM?”
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