Finally I've had a bit of time to catch up again on some news and blog feeds. As I'm reading I'm noting some of the key areas that could benefit from BPM, ECM and associated analytics that I don't think are well addressed. Treat this as a little brainstorm from me that hopefully will lead to some comments, perhaps from vendors telling me how wrong I am and how they do all this stuff already. So to get going:1. Basel II - using BPMS to measure the accumulated risk in business processes
Nancy Feig writes in Bank Systems and Technology a nice review of Basel II and its gradual adoption in North America. The spend on Basel II focused analytics software is big, with a large amount of attention being paid to cleansing and importing the data in enormous data warehouses.
I wonder if any thought has been placed on the dynamic side of the business, the capital and risk floating in business processes like loan origination and new business accounts and large transactions, which the data warehouse is weeks away from incorporating into an institution's new credit and risk calculations. This takes true end-to-end process management and analytics that can deliver business metrics rather than the typical business activity monitoring (BAM) tools can - something closer to business intelligence for process, than counting the number of workitems in a process and drawing a bar chart.
2. Project Management - using a BPMS to track progress and provide visibility
Admittedly there are more powerful tools than Microsoft Project out there for complex project planning and tracking, and there are many business processes that are repetitively performed that use Project or Excel for definition and tracking that don't need this level of functionality. These 'process projects' often fall into the bucket that are implemented through combining a number of disparate applications through a written or Excel driven manual process.
3. Service oriented architecture (SOA) - for services that aren't automated
Focusing on the human components of processes alongside the truly automated requires some powerful services, integration, content management, modeling and process execution capabilities, if the whole end-to-end process is going to be managed effectively. As many integration vendors wait for BPEL-4-people before really being able to work out how to model the human element of business processes (most treat humans as just another 'system'), and many human centric process tools put an SOA tag on their current poorly performing web services, there is a need for systems that can cater to both.
In doing so 'super-solutions' that blend the requirements of pure automation, human workflow and collaboration alongside services technology enable more seamless systems to be delivered faster. And they can also deliver far better business metrics around what is going on across the whole system, not just the limited portion they manage.
So I've written about three ideas that offer food for thought around the underutilization of BPM. Many organizations have a need for handling of these types of requirements and could benefit from BPM to do it. The issues is that most need a visionary leader to work this out for themselves, since it falls outside the standard pattern of an HR onboarding process, accounts payable or one of the other typical business processes that BPM vendors choose to market to.
A post from the Improving New Account Opening blog