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Architecture & Governance I – Invisible Pillars of Successful BPM

Submitted by sanoojk on Wed, 2011-12-07 21:58
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I am among those of you who have failed in a BPM implementation. I am also among those who have found satisfactory success in BPM.
 
Interestingly, the failure involved integration and automation. The success had neither of the two. A better view of this is echoed in this interesting article by Neil Ward-Dutton, “5 things you need to know about BPM ROI”.
 
Better Performance, Reduced Redundancy, Cost Savings, Customer Experience and the like have always been the key reasons driving the BPM motors forward! However, except for the legendary KITT, motors even today require them to be manually driven, remote-controlled, or set to move towards a pre-defined target or path. BPM implementations behave mostly in a similar manner, no matter what the objective, the journey is pre-determined.
 
Business, though, behaves totally dynamic and spontaneous. A simple attempt by myself to enhance my social media presence was thwarted by simply the innumerable number of channels, each channel being driven by various mechanisms from hash-tags to status to micro-blogs to blogs among others. Now, how could I define a process to manage my social media presence. Most businesses today face the same challenge of managing their product or solution. And in reality there is no “process” to doing this.
 
However, a business can be managed through structure, ethics and discipline… and a lavish dollop of innovation.
 
Innovation may be creative and for the sake of maintaining pure rationality in this blog, let’s leave it out. Especially, as all business need not be innovative, but merely implementors of someone else’ innovation.
 
Let us though consider the other 3 traits of structure, discipline and ethics. As a discipline, I truly endorse BPM (no link.. just google and you’ll be flooded). However, is there ever discipline without structure and ethics? Unlikely!
 
For a successful BPM implementation, it is, therefore, important to have  both our structure and ethics drawn up first.
 
Structure can be derived from having an architectural view of one’s business by applying the principles of Business Architecture (my preferred available architecture is the “Service-to-Process-to-Activity-to-Task”).
 
Governance doesn’t need much explanation from myself. Enron has made it more popular than my humble blog can ever dream to. However, being ethical definitely helps run better businesses and more managed processes. After all, you don’t run your business to execute fraud and abuse. If at all, you would have processes to prevent them.
 
More on Business Architecture coming up in Part II. So, watch this space.
 
The original article can also be read at theinformationmanager


Sanooj Kutty
AIIM Ambassador, Business Process Management Practitioner and Electronic Records Management Specialist. He has worked in India and the Middle East in varying roles covering Business Development, Business Analysis, Business Architecture and Project Management.
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