Ken Vollmer kicked off the last day of the event with a view from the field – a survey on BPM that Forrester did at the end of 2007. The theme is that “BPM has already achieved mainstream status inside of most enterprises but we still have a long way to go to achieve the full benefits”. For Forrester, BPM – business process management – refers to the designing, executing and optimizing of cross-functional activities that incorporate people, systems and partners. They separate the market into two main groups – human-centric (from workflow) and application-centric (from EAI) with document-centric a minor grouping within human centric. In general BAM and process modeling support is pretty even but the human-centric tools do better at collaboration and workflow while the integration-centric ones do better in terms of SOA.
Some factoids from the survey:
- In terms of adoption, 16% had completed at least 1 BPM effort, 29% had something underway and 42% had planning underway. The ones with no plans worried about cost, lack of proven benefits but the vast majority were doing something.
- Large companies were split with 35% still in planning, 19% in development while 12% had one and 28% had more than one in production.
- BPM functionality is in use across the board – most of the elements of BPM get good usage rates in large and small companies
- IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP were all widely used for BPM followed by Sun and BEA. These are all Integration-centric. Then came a couple of document-centric ones (EMC and FileNet), Software-AG and TIBCO (both HC and IC) then the pure-plays. No definition of BPM was given for the survey question so people are clearly using lots of things to deliver BPM – custom development, for instance, probably dominates in the top few e.g. .NET shops using Sharepoint etc.
- There’s not much variation by industry but manufacturing has more integration-centric relative to human-centric when compared, say, with Financial Service (16% human-centric v 28% human-centric).
- When asked what the primary benefits were they got some interesting answers. 24% had increased productivity, 18% real-time visibility, 15% easy change, 13% modeling processes, 12% consistent execution. Process optimization was surprisingly low (12%) but this may just be a reflection of the maturity model – where process optimization is the last and most sophisticated stage.
- Impact to date was interesting with 37% had clear measurable benefits, 42% had mixed successes and 18% said nothing to date. A BPM Center of Excellence had a strong correlation with success (49% in positive results, 10% in those without).
- Metrics include traditional ones (lower costs, more efficiency etc) but also ones related to supporting innovation (doing things that were too complex before, more rapid response to new opportunities).
- BPM success was often measured in terms of process cycle time reduction and customer satisfaction (top) then process error rate and risk reduction (second).
- Lots of companies succeeded with BPM (28% exceeded goals and 68% met them) and strong correlation between centers of excellence and results. The correlation is a result of a couple of things – a commitment from senior management to go cross-functional and to put budget into BPM as well as a better way to train and keep experts staff.
- BPM is a hot technology with a majority of firms already engaged with BPM and more are planning to begin. Proven results in case studies appearing in the last couple of years are driving this.
- Manufacturing leads the way – process improvement (Six Sigma, Lean, TQM) has been a big deal in manufacturing for a while so it makes sense that BPM would be used here to support these.
- We’ve got a long way to go as 60% of large enterprises are still in initial phases and even those with projects often have many more to do
- Multiple BPM tools are needed. Unique capabilities of each kind provide real value so businesses should not push for a single BPM tool.
- Make a BPM Center of Excellent the focus of your BPM efforts
- Populate it with business and technical members
- Have a process visionary lead the team from the business side along with business process experts
- Enterprise architects should server as the liaison to IT but should expect deeper involvement – many times IT is expected to lead the CoE.
- Ensure metrics are in place before you start – operational efficiency metrics and innovation ones.