Niels Doeleman wrote: Maybe my answer is too simplistic but what comes to my mind is: if you regard ROI as just financial benefits, then yes. The focus, especially in regards to BPMS, is often too much on ROI. However, much in line with the other comments, if you regard ROI in a broader sense such as knowledge, efficiency, effectiveness, organizational maturity, collaboration, continuous improvement capabilities, financial benefits, and even culture. Then I would say no, unfortunately.CEO/CFO/COO folks generally have only one definition for ROI They have other things they care about, but they don't call it ROI, they call it something else- customer satisfaction, net promoter score, churn, etc. It is hard to escape the hard financial definition of ROI, which is why I just go ahead and talk about ROI, *and other stuff*, rather than trying to expand the definition of ROI.
In the introduction of BPM it is important to show some metrics and ROI is just one of them. Time-to-market is another one – just estimate that process-centric solutions will be delivered 4 times faster than by the classic development. Other non-financial benefits could be: less stress, higher performance, higher security, less risk, higher predictability of results, better operations, and liberating client’s business potential.
Also (with a proper architecture):
Strange that so many BPM Forum questions have a sales angle. And already we have lots of great answers concerning the value or not of a focus on ROI.
I suggest that ROI can be seen as an artifact of management perspective. "When all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail" as the cliche goes. And management is always looking for hammer -- any hammer please! Because management is hard and complexity of organization is overwhelming.
So from a sales orientation, ROI is a question of governance. If you only think of your operational metrics, then you'll probably want to automate to kill jobs -- and to heck with any concern about tacit knowledge or "hollowing out".
On the other hand, if as a manager you have responsibility for "customer journey" or "customer experience" or "customer value chains", then a narrowly defined ROI isn't so helpful in guiding project investment decisions.
Normally though, when selling software, governance is a given.
It would be an unusual situation were the prospect to say "hmmm, ROI really is too narrow, we should take a broader perspective!". I live in hope.