I have a pet theory on this. Countries that are more socialistic tend to "get" BPM considerably more than capitalistic countries.
I think that socialist countries tend to see the value in the long run, and can get the different business silos to give up a little bit of immediate need/pain relief for the greater good. Whereas, capitalistic countries want it all up front and typically have to be forced to play well with the other business silos.
Just a theory of mine from the years of selling BPM solutions worldwide. :)
French-speaking part of Switzerland:
1) What is the difference between workflow and process?
2) We tried workflows and they didn’t work, maybe processes are better.
3) We tried processes and they didn’t work, maybe workflows are better.
German-speaking part of Switzerland:
We have developed something process-centric for a client and we got an excellent review for this BPM-suite tool from respected industry analysts.
Original ISO quality management was built from our usual practices. What is BPM?
We have a printed manual with all our processes. We plan to digitize them.... in Aris.
1) BPM? C’est la gestion d'entreprise par processus!
2) Quality unit: All our processes are perfectly documented in Aris. IT unit: Processes? Sorry, we must modernise our 7000 applications first.
Somewhere in Africa
I will carry out only activities which are given to me by my boss. I will complete them at the last second before the deadline.
Processes? Let us outsource them to our partners from India.
Definitely understanding and practice of BPM differs by country. Cultural differences are there, of course. But also, cost of labor often dictates the interest in BPM for solving problems. Ie, is it cheaper to throw more people at a problem or to automate the simple stuff or build a streamlined process for people to leverage?
Doing business is different country-by-country as well, which changes the role of BPM in the business. In a place where laying off workforce is not allowed or encouraged, BPM may be all about improving quality, performacne, customer experience, etc. In a place where jobs are more fluid, a reduction in headcount on a task that isn't perceived to be high value tends to get priority - in some cases so that you can reapply those heads to other areas of growth in the business.
The best advice I can give is to keep your eyes and ears open and make every effort to understand your customers. There's a lot to learn from them!
Business is actually quite simple when focused on how people work to create information and as such the discipline to adopt BPM thinking is relatively easy. However the delivery of the supporting software is where technology challenges start to differentiate the outcomes of a project. Does this technology delivery vary between countries yes I think it does.
The industry has thrived on complexity but now the delivery of the outside in BPM driven solutions requires a completely different approach that must deliver simplicity for business to understand just how. In general I am seeing huge resistance in countries who have long established supplier interests who dominate and find such simplicity a serious challenge to their business. This includes US, UK and northern EU. interestingly as you head south so adoption of the new becomes easier almost welcome! Yet it is the mature established organisations in the north that have so much to gain but are struggling with their legacy problem.
I think US in particular where most core vendors reside have held up progress for BPM support and made very tough to challenge their love of complexity. It is just a question of time but meanwhile a focus on emerging economies in south is a safer bet where the greenfields allow BPM to drive all operation business needs quickly and efficiently?
There is no much differences in methodology and/or technology used by BPM practitioners all over the world I guess. Yet there is the significant difference in the corporate culture, e.g. change adoption, risk acceptance etc. that affects BPM practice.
The huge "white spot" on the BPM map is China. Anyone knows about BPM vendors/implementors/practitioners/consumers from this country?