What do you think is more important for today's business: BPM as a methodology or BPM as a technology?
Processes have been processes for billions of years.
There are several methods to get more grip on them and gadgets keep on being developed to support that.
But, it does differ from process to process.
See for example in 'simple' financial processes. You see a lot of automation stuff there.
In more craftmantship-like process it's less.
But it's the trick to define what's the best way to manage a process and how much of technolgy (besides many othere enablers) is suitable for that.
And defining that; sounds like methodology to me...
You can throw in zillions of BPM technology; if you don't have a well thought through BPM methodology, you are basically in the dark.
That being said: As we speak I am (again) witnessing a company that bought BPM technology but there is no plan, roadmap, methodology. Result: Inconsistency. A babylonian confusion of tongue and waste all over the place...
Hi all !!!
I would say that BPM as Discipline is more important for the business.
To support the BPM as discipline, We gonna have some methodologies and technologies that also are important to maintain and sustain a governance and to speed up the transformation required by business and market.
Between technology and methodology, methodology is more important ... because methodology will determine the level of technology to be adopted by BPM..... but at same time, there's a certain level of dependence between them. One can't succeed without other.
Paper beats rock just like methodology beats technology. This is almost always true. This is true even for something like Uber. Just think about it. The technology is cool (my kids love watching the cars move around the screen), but the concept of the sharing economy is even more important.
What a provocative question. I look forward to the religiously charged answers this week.
I will be a good fence sitter and say, both. How I see it, if you are a company that has a physical supply chain and assets your process focus is on standardization and BPM is much more a methodology—with some supporting technology—to you. If you are a digital business, your BPM focus is on change and innovation and BPM will be far more of a technology to you.
Since the transformation to becoming a digital business doesn't happen overnight, most companies will have a period of transition (that could last for many, many years) where they will need to focus on both. In turn, BPM as both a methodology and technology will be important to them. I recently wrote a blog about this very topic and what I thought was at the core of the digital business transformation here: http://tibco.cm/1NfF7tz
Let's remember that BPM was a tag created to remind IT there is an important need to recognise the importance of the people and process which is key to any business. Sadly the drive by big vendors to sell "processing" solutions had failed to truly support business the way the business really works. This resulted in a "gap" between people and such systems filled by many "off line" ways in creation of information which was both inefficient and risky.
So clearly BPM foundations lie in being that discipline but in context of expectation of being supported by relevant technology. As a methodology it really followed on from the BPR movement where expertise was readily accessible but the early supporting technology had to go through the natural evolutionary phase which undoubtedly did not truly support the people first thinking. In many respects the required end game was so also the hope articulated by many in the 1980s to write less code to see applications driven by businesses people indeed seen as critical to achieve the full potential of information technology. Interestingly such a dream was articulated by Bill Gates in 2008 calling it the "holy grail" of development.
With such poor relevant software to support BPM with early tools such as BPEL and BPMN perhaps the hype was very oriented towards methodology with poor follow up with the early technology tools. Undoubtedly BPM was becoming a little discredited which of course suited the big vendors.....and maybe why the Gates vision has yet to materialize from that source....? However with some original thinking and many years of R&D the game begins to change where how people actually work can be readily recognized resulting in removal of coding to deliver exactly what business requires, including the ability to readily change reflecting real business needs.
So to the question; now with knowledge of just how this new supporting software actually works in the hands of business people so the driver changes to the original Intention where technology is now the important driver as the enabler with methodology setting the scene...As users begin to realise it is now their ideas which can be implemented so methodology becomes easier to structure. The current drive for. "Digital" will see this evolutionary change for BPM accelerate and bring enterprise software to being a "commodity" with pricing benefits for customers...and real challenges for BIG vendors...?
Methodology is important, I agree.
But we have to realize that methodology usually requires experts (AKA consultants) and not all businesses are willing to invest in BPM.
That's why technology has to help overcoming that barrier.
Technology can be the tool to provide a more realistic BPM solution for smaller businesses and organizations. That's what we are aiming at with Flokzu. It would be great if you, BPM professionals, could provide us with honest feedback.
Short answer - a right combination of them.
Unfortunately, at present, we have too many different BPM methodologies and, as a result, too many incompatible BPM technologies. Thus, for today’s business, it is important to have a unified BPM methodology and as many as possible BPM technologies which follow this BPM methodology.(see the 4th law of BPM – ref1)
If you put the word "should" in the question this would be easy :) It should be methodology. But, having understood a methodology you need to pick good technology to support the methodology. (If you don't think technology counts, pick a methodology that requires you to monitor public opinion and then try to gather that opinion without using surveys or social media... and only using a phone... wow, way harder and more expensive).
The other issue is to understand that BPM methodology well-followed means you can climb the hill, and good BPM technology means you climb the hill faster. But neither one will tell you which hill you should climb.
Maybe BPM Leadership is most important...
There is the old joke about the Irishman asked for directions. His answer... "Well, if I were you, I wouldn't start from here".
Nick de Mey put it differently... "You can’t look into the future with the tools from the past”
Harnessing the power of data is now life or death for any sizable business. It comes from everywhere - every financial transaction, every movement of goods, every customer event. Ignore or discard this data at your peril.
BPM is from another era. One where gathering data was so hard you only did it once and used it to set a process in stone, imposing it on everyone - not just employees but customers too. The methodology assumes change is a rare event and puts in place complex hierarchical management procedures. Basically it starts from the wrong end.
The technology assumes that data connections are hard. It takes a single set of procedures and designs them into a process, without cognizance of the fact that they are actually part of a web of interconnected processes. It creates a strait-jacket of rigid processes, which quickly become based on outdated information.
There are now remarkably few processes where a human adds value. Simple automated processes with an intuitive web or mobile front end can put the customer in control of the service they receive and align company procedures behind them to make everything happen seamlessly in a timely manner, completing the loop with data informing and improving the next iteration of the process.
That is a true process driven company. Many of the lessons of Lean, Six Sigma and BPM are informing the process. But we have much to unlearn too.
“Most companies do not have a strategy,” Freek Vermeulen, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School, states. He thinks most organizations cycle between drifting and reacting. “To be emphatically blunt,” he states, “most companies and their top executives do not have a good rationale for doing the things they are doing and cannot explain coherently how their actions should lead to superior performance.”
Methodology helps in envisioning a business functionality in a theoretical/ideal/systematic way whereas Technology helps in realizing it in the most real-time/practical way