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BPM is a Process, Too

Getting started with business process management requires BPM principles right from the get-go.

Miguel Valdes-Faura, CEO of BonitaSoft and co-founder ot the open source Bonita project, provides some fundamental guidelines for getting started:

Model the reality, not the ideal: Watch how employees do things before attempting to map out a workflow. “Identify a benchmark for how people currently perform a given function at an optimal level of output and fix a model of that — you can do this graphically, though it can also be done in a simple document.”

Start small, but with something of value: “Start with simple, visible, low-risk internal
projects before moving on to increasingly critical processes. However,
the first implementation should be one in which real improvement
actually makes a difference to the organization. No one will be
impressed if the first application of BPM results in ‘improvements’ like
better handling of useless, unnecessary, or truly unimportant tasks.”

Encourage IT-business collaboration: “Encourage as much collaboration as possible
between developers and end-users throughout the deployment process. IT
can invest a lot of time developing the ‘perfect’ BPM application, but
unless the end-users who will be employing the process in their actual
work become involved, there’s no guarantee that the two sides will
ultimately sync up.”

Valdes-Faura reminds us that just as every type of organization is different, they will always put their own stamp on their BPM efforts. But whatever it looks like, it’s a worthwhile effort.

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