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Per the last question on the biggest BPM myths, as Steve Weissman wrote:
That BPM is a technology. It's not; it's a business practice.
So is it time to take IT out of BPM and BPMS?
Anatoly Belaychuk Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Sure it is. Isn't it too late to do that - that's the question!

Hopefully not but the way to go is a little bit different: not getting someone out but getting someone (i.e. business) in. There is a lot to do indeed - most business people have vague understanding of what the business process is or even worse have wrong idea about it.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Patrick Lujan Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
No. BPM(S) is a practice and technology(ies) both. It's business and IT both, collaboration. The IT part is not a means in and of itself, but an end to a means, namely to align with and support the business. There's been a large cart and horse, dog and tail thing going on for the better part of fifteen years now with BPM and those who DO get the business about collaboration and alignment succeed. Those who engage in feudal politics don't. I've seen and continue to see both. Starts and ends with the corporate culture and the desire to succeed.
Comment
Agreed. BPM bridged the gap between the business and IT. It provided a common platform for business and IT to build, change and improvize based on feedback.
Business and IT should go hand-in-hand.
Moreover, it is also the difference in thoughts of the two groups and debate that helps us to identify the loop-holes and make a better systems.
  1. Pritiman Panda
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
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Steve Weissman Accepted Answer
To be clear, I was and am not advocating getting IT out of BPM. But IT without the business practices is largely a waste of time, money, and effort, so the whole initiative has to pivot around the business first.

For more, see Patrick's comment above -- what he said!
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Faun deHenry Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
I must agree with Patrick. As long as we are using technology as a means of improving processes, success with BPM means a collaborative effort between IT and the business. Once again, I see this situation similarly to that of ERP and business intelligence. We use technology to improve our transactional activities (payables, receivables, fixed assets, and so forth). As a consequence the business and IT must collaborate regarding ERP systems. Business intelligence uses technology and, again, IT is necessary as an enabler.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Garth Knudson Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
No, IT is essential to designing, implementing, and deploying business solutions. Business users may know what they want, but many don't know how to render it into a solution. IT needs to help the business understand the possibilities and required investments and resources. IT also needs to help with installation, configuration, design, development, etc. BPM solutions cannot be created with a few clicks to meet the needs of the enterprise. Best case is when all stakeholders come together to talk strategy, align objectives, understand costs and benefits, understand scope, dedicate resources (and train and equip them to be successful), hire great project management to keep everything on track, quickly deal with potential changes/opportunities, conduct sprints so everyone can know what's going well and not so well from an implementation perspective on a monthly basis, create many more use cases than first considered, and test soon and often. Also, the software and servers need to be available on a timely basis to ensure timelines are met.
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  1. more than a month ago
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David Chassels Accepted Answer
YES and NO!

NO first - "BPM" was coined by "IT industry” to recognise importance of the front end of business where people make any business and digitising is vital for the empowerment with real time feed back, improvement etc and that needs digital.

YES in terms of the Software Technology can now wholly support any such "BPM" thinking and is now driven by business people not IT techies/ coders. Of course "IT" delivers infrastructure security etc but the business logic now belongs to business. Digital operational projects (which may not even be called "BPM";) must be driven and built by the business professionals. IT will be in support and of course be ready to allow access to legacy and deliver the reliable infrastructure?
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Keith Swenson Accepted Answer
I am agreeing with most of the posts here, IT is a necessary part of BPM because IT is a necessary part of everything we do. Part of the reason for the original comment is that IT has traditionally been too influential in BPM, driving toward what is easily automatable, instead of toward what is right for business. I think we all would like to see the business reasons be more significant in guiding the BPM, however we can't, and shouldn't, eliminate IT completely.
References
  1. http://social-biz.org/2014/04/09/overautomation-automating-too-much/
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  1. more than a month ago
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Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
Whilst any business initiative has IT involvement, because without IT most businesses won't function, but it is a question of who leads the initiative. Just as any ERP implementation lead by IT turns into an ERP "installation" any BPM initiative procured and lead by IT turns into a BPMS project.

The difficulty is that as BPM normally requires a technology purchase, so IT is in the driving seat from procurement through to installation. Rarely does the business have enough IT knowledge to be able to get themselves firmly in the driving seat, and instead abdicate responsibility. Only when that changes can IT be put back where they need to be - a support function.
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E Scott Menter Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
IT's role is to design, implement, and maintain technologies that exist solely for the purpose of advancing some business goal. We (I include myself, as a lifelong nerd) can be accused from time to time of doing things more because they're (obviously) cool, rather than utilitarian, but I can cite plenty of examples of CEOs who have done the same. IT will continue to have a role in the majority of BPM implementations.

The paper-based BPM of the Six Sigma / OpEx / Kaizen / TQM era is neither interesting nor relevant enough for us to keep "confusing" it with the technology. Let's get past that. My suggestion is, whenever we're talking about the technology, we call it "BPM". Whenever we're talking about the discipline, we call it "Piatnitzkysaurus" (yes, that's a real thing). That will serve two purposes: distinguishing between the two, and discouraging discussion of the latter.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
Comment
This is really nerdy talk ;-)

But be aware there are so much more processes on this world that are not 'administrative' and where other enablers are much more important than IT.

But indeed, BPM is mostly associated with information processing processes.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 2 years ago
silly but so true.
  1. Jason Noker
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
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Kevin Parker Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Great debate! Great question! Impressed that the conversation has stayed above the "turf wars".

The one thing I would add though, is that there is a need for BPM systems to be more modifiable by the users themselves. Not every change to a process or state or form should require IT to intervene. Much more has to be done that empowers users to modify business rules and update domain knowledge in the automation and that should not mean the user needs a computer science degree and access to /ROOT.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Max J. Pucher Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
There is no 'time to take IT out of BPM'. Surely one can do BPM as a business methodology only and the consequence will be the same as for so many outside-consultant driven initiatives. Nice documents, some positive effects and then things go back to whatever it was.

The problem is that it makes no sense to do BPM without technology. The further problem is that current BPM solutions require not only BPM consultants to do the analysis but then additionally a BPM-technology expert team to actually do the implementation. So you can't take IT out of BPM.

The time to take technology out of personal computing came when Apple started to deliver iOS based applications that ANYONE could install and use without IT knowledge. No one could take IT out before. You can't do away with fossile or nuclear energy unless you have an alternative.

BPM makes only sense when there is neither IT-knowhow nor BPM expert knowledge necessary to actually create and improve processes.

The further point is that the current expert community has no interest to take IT and BPM experts out of the implementation. What would they do then? But they are missing the boat, because BPM is not delivering the benefits that it could if the business could actually create and imrpove processes themselves. And it most certainly won't use BPMN or similar.

It is perfectly alright that IT installs a BPM solution and implements data and content interfaces. After that they should not be involved at all in the process creation. Neither should be BPM experts.

When we show how business people can create processes without needing a flow diagram, create wizards and content easily and how they can fairly simply write rules without IT knowledge then the answer is too often: 'Oh, we already do BPM and have a large team doing it.' When we inquire what they are actually doing, you would be surprised that it is either purely process documentation or they do simple application programming using BPM tools. Thats it. And they need IT to do it.

That is the current state of the 'ART' ...
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  1. more than a month ago
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Amy Barth Accepted Answer
No. Business needs IT, and IT needs business. It's a symbiotic relationship.
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Gary Samuelson Accepted Answer
Business Process Management... is not critically dependent on Information Technology/Systems.
Unless we agree that either taking a picture of a whiteboard (showing a process flow) or Visio (etc) constitutes "Technology".

BPM by itself is a practice and methodology. IT provides it's fair share of modeling tools. But, saying that BPM is inseparably bound to IT is like saying that there's no "English" without MS Word (in hindsight - there's some truth to that...)

BPM+IT, as a composite, is integration and application development. This isn't BPM - though apps' and infrastructure do have their place during implementation.

Any attempt to jump past BPM development (modeling) and dive directly into BPM-implementation (application development) is risky. Truth in this warning is that IT tends to obscure process with too many activities/tasks of questionable business value. These sorts of IT-related tasks often representing topics better left "off-stage" via a proper transparency of infrastructure. This meaning that IT should not occupy process analysis.

I like to use the cell-phone metaphor for proof...
If we're modeling a "call restaurant for reservation" process - we leave cell-phone/smart-phone technology relegated to a detail whose implementation offers very little to no value towards our goal. "Any phone will do" - meaning, we've abstracted "phone" to a refined class of communication. It's implied and not necessarily included. The technology is represented by "call" - predicate/action part of our process.

There are other reasons for leaving IT out of BPM and these have mostly to do with the counter-productive nature of mixing methodologies while attempting to run both BPM and IT together... during the same effort/project.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
The essence of the process-based management of an enterprise is to improve the enterprise functioning by better coordination, by removing duplications, by doing routine activities perfectly, by avoiding reinventing the wheel, by predictive planning, by liberating people for addressing business challenges. All of these together, at the scale of the enterprise and within the complexity of the enterprise.

Neither IT nor business are trained to manage complexity of complex systems such an enterprise. (Actually, often both IT and business are only increasing this complexity).

I think, it is time to invite an architect to BPM and BPMS.

Thanks,
AS
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  1. more than a month ago
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
BPM should start from a business perspective, but in most processes IT is involved these days. It's just one of the enablers (like people, information, workflow etc) to make a process perform.

I see still processes in certain areas that perform well without IT, but in most processes IT can benefit the performance of the process, whether it be a luxury BPMS, ECM tooling or just a cool app.
'
But it should start at the end; what promise should this process fulfill? And then you can decide how to design the process and what kind of IT (along with all the other enablers you need).
Common Sensei at Procesje.nl
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 15
Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer
In a world where everything gets (mostly) better when you put technology in it, why take technology out of BPM?

If anything, we need smarter IT into BPM. And vice-versa, we need more business process logic and assets into our lame enterprise apps.
Managing Founder, profluo.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 16
Peter Johnston Accepted Answer
Apple redefined computing in 2007 with iPhone.
Suddenly programming meant downloading an app. Sign-in became clicking a Twitter or Facebook logo. Integration meant hitting “connect”. Everything swishes into the next. The result is an app store where most products are free, download in seconds and work without tech support. And downloads are in tens of thousands, not ones and twos.

But IT departments didn't listen. They continued their trajectory into ever-increasing complexity. Consultants on a thousand a day. Developers the other side of the planet - the only common language with the client is code. Solutions which empty the coffers of even multi-nationals.

A dangerous gap has opened up between BigIT and reality.
This applies just as much to BPM as any other “Your IT Department knows best” solution.

We’ve had simple and cheap, collaborative, drag and drop process design for years now.
But the minute the customer pays for BPM it disappears into a whole different era of IT – slow, expensive, bureaucratic and as far from collaborative as you can get.

BPM should be modern IT. Drag and drop, skinnable, simple to set up, use and get insight from.
The wish list…

1. Social front-end connecting everyone involved in the decision process.
2. Drag and drop form design the user can do.
3. Skinnable themes and customisable HTML/CSS driven look and feel.
4. An app store of common processes to start from and modify collaboratively.
5. Simple configurable databases which simply connect by selection from a list.
6. Calculation engines you can set up like a spreadsheet.
7. A People per Hour add-on market for doing the more complex tasks.
8. Automatic "pretty-picture" reporting similar to Tableau.
9. Survey management to continuously monitor how well everything is working.
10. And an automatic list of the five biggest problems every day/week/month, for everyone to sort as part of continuous improvement.

A BPM process should be the easy way to do things, not the long, hard, expensive way.
It should be the default for every business process and unify web, sales and support.
And tech people make money from supporting hundreds of processes, not setting up one.

Yes – it is time to take the IT - the BigIT - out of BPM!
Dynamic Process
Oxfordshire, UK
+44 (0) 1491 874368
+44 (0) 7590 677232
#dynamic_process
peter@dynamicprocess.uk
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 17
Jose Camacho Accepted Answer
I see this question in two distinct plans:
> First, BPM as a management discipline should start as business perspective (what is business strategy?, what processes to achieve strategy?, etc.), and afterwards, what IT that better support the business processes? in order to achieve the best business performance.
> Second, to have a solid base to organize the business itself, it's necessary to recur to the IT through BPM tools.

Anyway, what I think we should to avoid is to have business solutions imposed by IT, without any measurement of business benefits, and maybe it's the spirit of the question.

In my opnion, it's time to arise professionals with skills that allow the establishment of a solid bridges between business and IT (i.e., knowledge about organization methods to understand and organize the business, architecture principles, process modeling and data modeling, some principles of computation, etc.).
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