New Year Resolutions of a BPM project manager: Resolution #2

Resolution #2: I will not be swayed by vendor “sales talk” about product features and capabilities.

During sales cycles, vendors will tell you that almost anything and everything is possible through their Business Process Management (BPM) suite “on-the-fly”. Rome can be built in a day and Taj Mahal would be constructed in a matter of minutes. May be. But make no mistake, BPM is serious business especially if you are using BPM System to automate and manage your mission critical processes involving integration with back office systems.

Terms such as SOA, ESB, Dynamic Process Management (DPM), Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), Process Simulation, Business Rules are buzzwords. Treat them very very carefully. In theory, they certainly have the potential to maximize business process agility and minimize time to production (system development cycle time). In practice, the picture could be a lot different. Process modeling, deployment and system readiness for use or plug and play can be a myth. A huge amount of effort is still required in integration (BPM & back-office systems, BPM UI & back-office systems UI) and customizations, without which meaningful and “business valuable” BPM enabled processes cannot be built.

Most of the time, vendors and consultants lack understandings of real world business problems. Pre-built sample applications or process templates offered along with the product are built based on “lab environment” process complexities. BPM to automate conference room bookings and leave approval is waste of money.

If you are the first “BPM” implementation of its kind, PRAY. If you are not, talk to industry colleagues or references who have undergone similar implementations. If you have clarity about your business requirements, do not talk to vendor sales teams, get solution feasibility validated by vendor’s delivery team before you begin. Ask vendors to build prototypes; ask vendors to do Proof-of-Concepts.

Resolution #1.

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