MicroPact Blog

Business Process Management Practices Must Evolve

Will Future Methodologies Mirror Case Management Approaches?

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By: Bob Ragsdale

June 7, 2013 | Case Management/BPMAnalystsSocial BPMAgile Development

Traditional BPM methods and practices have been under fire for some time because they often don’t connect well with the way we actually behave. In her closing session at the 2012 Gartner ITxpo, Janelle Hill noted that “Only 10 percent of the organizations pursuing BPM achieve enterprise success.” That was a theme that continued into this year’s Gartner BPM Summit where Chief Gartner Fellow Daryl Plummer, in his final keynote address noted that many traditional BPM initiatives push beyond a person’s capacity to adapt to change.

Consider "Experience-First"

This month in TechTarget, Clay Richardson of Forrester Research delivered some solid suggestions regarding how to address these issues in an article titled For effective business process design, focus on user experience first. In the piece Clay likens much of the dysfunction with the BPM industry to “Fight Club” in which the main character is revealed to be schizophrenic and is fighting with himself.

I see many teams struggling to reconcile the multiple personalities and approaches for driving process improvement and business transformation.

Clay Richardson, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research

Clay goes on to highlight that a good deal of this dysfunction is caused by new disruptive drivers such as customer experience, mobile and social that are more “user-centric.” He lays out some great proactive steps that place a greater emphasis on generating enhanced outcomes for both system users and the audiences these systems serve. These are:

  1. Prioritize key processes that can benefit from optimized experiences.
  2. Connect customer journey to process maps to surface critical touch points.
  3. Redesign business processes to skip or accelerate tasks.

Clay concludes by forecasting that in the next three to five years, we can “expect to see traditional BPM methods and practices to decrease in adoption, with new ‘experience-first' approaches emerging to play a greater role in driving business process improvement and business transformation.”

Evolve Your BPM Design Approach

I am pleased that the conversation is now shifting to concrete suggestions of enhanced approaches to system design. Historical BPM approaches are fraught with trouble – they don’t connect well with the way users operate and think about their roles. As BPM methodologies continue to evolve I predict they will end up looking much more like the modeling we advocate for Case Management scenarios whereby we begin with data (information) modeling, then layer on policies and processes in an agile, iterative fashion – an approach that aligns well with “experience-first” design. That being said, I do lend my support to any methodology that moves in the direction of an agile, discovery-happens-as-you-model approach.

About the Author

Bob Ragsdale is Director of Marketing at MicroPact. Bob has over 20 years of experience leading the international marketing and branding efforts of software and technology companies at nearly every stage of development.


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