I recently wrote about Big and Little BPM and how in my view the term BPM has been misapplied by many to be too narrowly focused on the automation of processes from an application development perspective. I defined BPM and clarified it was much more than application development. I also acknowledged the usefulness and value of process automation as a tool in the context of Big BPM.
This led to questions about how I see process automation fitting in with BPM and how iGrafx envisions enabling our customers applying BPM to use process automation and obtain the benefits it offers.
My view is that the context of BPM is what enables process automation to not just be another application development technology. When you look at the history of what I called little bpm projects and the ongoing struggle of application development in general, a vignette based on the movie Cool Hand Luke comes to mind:
IT: “You gonna get used to doing it that way after a while. Don’t you never stop listening to how the system needs you to do it… Remember what I been saying for your own good…”
Business: “I wish you’d stop being so good to me, IT.”
IT: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
Business: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
One of the most difficult problems of managing any change is understanding what the current state is, what the desired state is, and how to get all the participants to agree and transition. That is the context that BPM provides. Without a BPM approach the odds of the “failure to communicate” causing problems rises significantly.
Many studies indicate that process automation projects have high rates of failure as do other IT application development projects. One of the most commonly identified root causes is communication challenges between various constituencies involved in the project. By providing a common model around which to communicate, BPM becomes the lingua franca that raises the odds of success and lowers the risks of miscommunication.
The iGrafx approach is to support process automation in the context of BPM. It is one of the many capabilities that help enable BPM.
We support industry standards such as BPMN 2.0 and XPDL to enable process descriptions to be exchanged with standards supporting process automation platforms.
We also have introduced with our iGrafx 2015 release, iGrafx Process Automation, our own platform for process automation which is fully integrated into our overall BPM offering.
We believe this full integration further reduces the chances for miscommunication and streamlines the effort to successfully implement and manage business process changes associated with process automation. This enables our customers using our BPM and process automation capabilities to apply process automation with less effort and higher rates of success to obtain the following kinds of business benefits: