How BPM Can Help Get Your Company To The Next Level

by Jim Berkowitz on May 3, 2010

Here are several excepts from an article by Todd Weiss, ERP Blogger, How BPM Can Help Get Your Company To The Next Level.  See the complete source article for much more:

To help your growing business be smarter and faster, you brought in the right IT hardware and layered it with the right applications, from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite to packages for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)and Supply Chain Management (SCM).

Yet at the end of the day, or the quarter, or the year, does it sometimes seem that things inside your business aren’t improving as quickly as you’d like, even though you are using all of that promising, updated hardware and software?

Maybe, according to a sampling of analysts and IT users, that’s because you’re always trying to change the wrong things. New hardware and software applications are flashy and alluring and can offer great productivity and revenue potential, but before those things can bring real benefits, your company has to do some changing and improvements itself in the ways that decisions are made and internal processes are accomplished, they say.

That’s where Business Process Management (BPM) applications fit in.

Often, it’s not the hardware and software that needs to be refreshed first. Instead, what’s needed is change in many of those stodgy, outdated, hard-to-change business processes that your company repeats over and over again, with the same mediocre results.

The problem is, this is the really hard work, and there are plenty of people and processes inside your company that are going to be very resistant to that needed change, said Daryl Plummer, an analyst and chief of BPM research for Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.

Plummer, who talked about this subject earlier this week at PegaSystems, Inc.’s PegaWORLD 2010 user conference in Philadelphia, said the natural resistance that humans have to change is often very evident within companies of all sizes when it comes time to make things work better.

“Today, in the 21st century, you just can’t compete if you don’t change something about the way you used to operate,” Plummer said.

“It’s always going to be hard” to raise and implement changes inside a business culture, he said. “But companies that don’t adjust and change will die.

“To implement a BPM culture inside your business, you have to train your employees to think differently — to closely think about the processes they use to do their jobs to determine where process improvements can be made on behalf of the organization. “You need to have objectives and goals that are matched,” Plummer said. “Transformation must become endemic.”

To get started, companies will have to obtain a BPM modeling tool, a process engine, to begin evaluating what they do and how they can bring about changes that will help their operations.

Yes, change is scary.  But the risks of doing nothing are even scarier.

Just ask the folks who used to work for the now-defunct companies including Pontiac, Saturn and Edsel.

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