Quality of BPM = Quality in BPM

by kirangarimella on March 27, 2007

The “M” of BPM is an unfortunate understatement in a discipline that is supposed to address all aspects of business processes.

The “M” can stand for “monitoring,” “management,” “modeling,” and even “measuring.” While no lexical distortion can make “M” stand for “Quality,” our minds need not be tongue-tied. We have the mental freedom to incorporate the domain of Quality into BPM.

There are truly three major aspects to business processes.

One is the notion of managing them: keeping business processes in running condition, pumping business transactions through them, adapting to changing conditions, etc.

Second is the notion of measuring: collecting data about how processes are performing, how business transactions are flowing, etc. These two are well-appreciated aspects of BPM.

The third aspect is that of improvement: business processes must be continually improved.

This last aspect of BPM is underserved by most of the BPM market. Only one phase of process improvement is given some attention, and that is “modeling.”

The logical approach is to offer full support to all phases of process improvement.

But this begs the question, what are the phases of PI?

Here, we are lucky, because two of the most successful PI methodologies exist: Six Sigma and Lean. Their benefits are recognized and non-debatable.

From this perspective of rounding out BPM capabilities by including support for formal PI methodologies, the actions of webMethods in hiring well-known CPI expert, Bruce Williams, makes sense. A long-time consultant in the CPI space, Bruce is the author of Six Sigma for Dummies, Six Sigma Workbook for Dummies, and Lean for Dummies. He was a co-founder of the Six Sigma Management Institute. He is an active speaker, with keynote presentations at Gartner conferences to his credit.

Having seen first hand how BPM, Six Sigma, and Lean can work together, I’ve explored the synergies between them in my book, The Power of Process: Unleashing the Source of Competitive Advantage.

Having Bruce Williams on board as VP and GM of BPM Solutions is fully congruent with this vision of offering to customers a full set of capabilities that manage, monitor, measure, model, and improve business processes.

It is the Quality in BPM that determines the quality of BPM.

 

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