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SAP is putting great emphasison business process management these days.  The platform and tools it provides push us closer to agile development model.  The agile development model somewhat a copycat of Toyota’s lean manufacturing methodology. But it took sometime for enterprise system world to adopt it.  The biggest advantage of agile development is the reduction in time-to-market for solutions.  The solutions can be far more productive and less defective.  That being said, everybody are gunning at the process redesign as it is economical to do now than few years ago.  I distinguish three groups of drivers that fuel process redesign, which can exist separately or in any combination in real life situations.

Drivers for process evolution:

 

  • First, business objectives and goals drive the creation and evolution of business processes. Evolution of business processes can be driven by attempts to improve the achievement of business objectives (based on their measurement), or by the need to adapt to changes in these objectives.

  • Second, the availability of new IT systems (any kind of components-on-the-shelf) can drive both the creation and evolution of business processes. The introduction of new information systems can enforce or enable or require the design of new business process; new possibilities of business process management or assessment can drive the evolution of the processes.     

  • Third, the need to comply with external standards and regulations may drive the creation of new business processes and the evolution of existing ones. There may be other drivers that do not fall in any of these categories.  

Issues:

 

  • Issues related to business drivers include their systematic identification, integration into process design and evolution, performance measurement, and others.

  • Issues related to IT drivers include business process-IT alignment, process mining and others.

  • Issues related to compliance drivers include constrained process design, compliance assurance and verification, and others.

The drivers fueling the change are here to stay and agile development platform further innovate and change business processes.  It is very important go into a new business process management project with an open mind to these mentioned issues.  That only is not sufficient. A comprehensive strategy for business process analytics should in place as the processes evolve rapidly.

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