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Creating BPM awareness within your organization. Part I

Have you ever found yourself staring at yor tv set in the middle of the night, watching a brainless infomercial, where some hard pumped fitness-chick explains how you can obtain this:



using strange contraptions like this:


Well I have, and I’m not proud to admit it, but quite a few times I’ve been tempted to “pick up that phone and dial the number on the screen” which the nice fitness-chick urges me to do again and again…


And why is that? Why is it, that even though my brain keeps telling me that the infamous piece of machinery would only collect dust under my bed, that I’m still tempted to buy it? Well the answer is simple, the tv program isn’t selling the machine – it’s selling the amazing abs on the guy! The end product of using the machine, and THAT’s what I want.


It’s time we started using these exact same means when we explain what Business Process Management is. We need to show everyone around us what it will do for the company, show those abs!


But we don’t… We keep focusing on the “machine”! Questions like:


  • What tools are we going to use to model processes?
  • What tools should we use in order to apply proper governance to our artifacts?
  • How should we monitor our processes?
  • machines, machines, machines!


All fair questions, but in order to get things moving and start turning the heads of the decision makers, that will, eventually, allow us actually start considering what machines to use, we must start by showing what BPM looks like.


So what does  BPM look like? That really depends on how you use it. If you’re an end user, then BPM is the cool looking, highly intuitive, applications that you use to perform your daily tasks and the UWL entries that tells you what to do. If you’re a process owner then BPM is the process monitoring applications that you use to continously follow up on process performance based on you process performance indicators. And finally if you’re top management then BPM is the ability to drill down through your KPIs to individual processes for review.


We decided that the end users should be our focus for showing off BPM capabilities, and here’s what we did in order to visualize it:


A few of us BPXs got together and designed a Business Process. It’s not a real live process, but it’s close enough that people can relate to it and simple enough to implement.


Since we’re a consulting firm, the handling of tasks from our customers, is a central process to us, so we selected this process for our demonstration.


We modelled it, first on a very high level:



and then detailed the individual parts of the process (this is only the create part):



Then we inlisted the help of some very talented programmers and went ahead and implemented applications that facilitate the individual activities in the process. Finally we tied it all together using guided procedures and other process dispather tools.


In part II of this Blog I will show you the end result, that we are now using to turn heads, and enlighten everyone that wants to listen to us, about the wonders of BPM – talk about a cliffhanger :).

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  • the blog is very interesting and educative. Can you please differentiate the existing(before BPM) process of performing the same task compared to the one you are talking. How does it make it very different and the advantages.
  • Welcome Bjarke,
    So glad you kept your promise (made during BPM2008 in Marseille) to blog here.  You seem to have found a creative way of grabbing our attention (much like the infomercials you poke fun at :-))
    When in BPM2008 in Las Vegas last week, there was a recurring question of just how to sell BPM to an organization.  I’m waiting breathlessly to see how you do it here…..without all those machine words and with clear examples of concrete results.  Lets see you transform some of those puny 95 pound weaklings…