World without BPM

We all struggle with the zillions of different definitions of BPM fostering endless discussions to find the one true meaning for the term.  In one such discussion, Thomas Olbrich, came up with an intriguing idea: what would be different if there was no BPM?

A rose by any name is still a rose.

This is not about a universe where nothing was called BPM;  this alternate universe would be the same as the real one, except that thing that we call BPM would be missing from it. In reference to the Shakespeare quote above: it is not that there is nothing called a rose, but that somehow all of the flowers that are roses are mysteriously missing from that alternate universe.  The rest of the universe is clearly not-the-rose.  Thus it helps us gain clarity on what is or isn’t included in what we mean by a rose.

What would be missing in a universe without BPM? Make a comment and share what you think the essential differences of such a universe would be.

My Attempt:

We would still have business processes. People would still look for ways to improve their  business efficiency. But no one would model those processes in a way that supports enactment, simulation, or analysis of the performance of work according to those models.

We would still write software to orchestrate web services, to exchange information between servers, even using graphical depictions of those exchanges (e.g. UML). BPEL would still be a programming language. There might still be BPMN since that is not the essence of BPM.

What would be missing is the discipline of modeling the business process, sharing those models as a way of explaining the process to others, and measuring business in terms of those models.

Agree with this?

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2 Responses to World without BPM

  1. Thomas J. Olbrich says:

    Keith,
    my slightly different take on the alternative universe (and much more pessimistic I admit): http://taraneon.de/blog/2010/09/17/a-world-without-bpm/

    Thomas

  2. I think without BPM as it stands today, we would have moved towards a far more adaptive and agile way of dealing with work processes. Single silo approaches are not great for business, end users of efficiency, rather they are simpler for us to understand. BPM falls into that category in a big way. Modelling, processing, using designers etc enforced rigidity on the way we work, and as such detracts from the big ideas behind BPM, such as streamlining, automation, efficiency, improved SLAs etc etc…

    BPM needs to evolve if it is to deliver for current and future business process needs. At present, BPM vendors, and the whole way BPM is thought of (using flowcharts modelling tools) means we cannot move forward to a place that really empowers end users….

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