Blockchain enables BPM beyond an organization’s boundaries

Business Process Management (BPM) software suites enable automation of business processes within an organization to improve its overall efficiency. On the other hand, Blockchain can be thought of as a distributed database where encrypted transactions are recorded publicly and chronologically. When BPM is coupled with Blockchain, business processes can be coordinated across multiple organizations. In the context of multiple organizations, Blockchain technology guarantees that even a transaction that is recorded in the Blockchain outside of your organization’s boundary cannot be tampered with. Such tamper proof audit capabilities offered by Blockchain establishes authenticity of recorded transactions, and paves the way for collaboration between multiple parties across multiple organizations. Another aspect of Blockchain that makes it capable of managing inter-organizational processes is the ability to execute defined scripts as smart contracts. Smart contracts controls transactions between participants ensuring contractual conditions are met.

Let us consider an example of shipment tracking. The shipment tracking process involves sharing of multiple documents such as purchase order, invoice, letter of credit, shipment bill and insurance declaration generated from various related business processes carried out by multiple parties across organizations. BPM technologies can be used to orchestrate related business processes such as requisition approval, purchase order issuance, goods delivery, receipt notice, invoicing, and payments. Documents and transactions generated over the course of such related business processes across multiple parties can be recorded on the Blockchain thus providing transparency and trust to all relevant parties involved in tracking of shipments. Such a combination of BPM and Blockchain can enable managing business processes across multiple organizations.

In summary, BPM and Blockchain can be combined for interesting applications spanning multiple organizations. Should you be interested in learning more about how BPM and Blockchain can be coupled to manage business processes spanning multiple organizations, please contact us at info@polariseme.com.

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Choosing your first BPM Project

One of the key questions organizations implementing Business Process Management (BPM) often ask is “Which project should be implemented as the first project?”. The answer to this question is very important since the first project is the initial proof point for the entire BPM initiative. Organizations should select the first project carefully focusing on delivering measurable results in a short span of time since it can set the pace for the entire BPM implementation. Here, let’s explore few do’s and don’ts for choosing the first BPM project.

DO’S:

Measurable: The first project can be referred as a benchmark to understand the business value of future projects. Hence, the first project should provide measurable business value that can justify further investments.

Quick: The first project is a good place to demonstrate the end results in short span of time. So, the first project should deliver in quick turnaround time with limited time scope to achieve the business value quickly.

Address the pain point: Make sure the first project solves a pain point that BPM addresses easily rather than just replacing an existing system. It will be good to focus on addressing a pain problem and show immediate return of investment to move quickly into BPM.

Focus on featuring capabilities: It’s a good practice to focus on featuring the capabilities of the product selected for implementing the BPM in the first project. This will help the key participants to understand the major features of the product that helps to build the base for future projects.

DON’TS:

Complex integrations: Avoid complex integrations with external dependencies. This can cause delay in delivering the first project on time perhaps due to technical difficulties such as integrations that are not well defined or that do not follow open data exchange standards.

Projects without a clear vision:  Avoid projects that do not have a clear vision or have poorly defined requirements.

Projects with large data transformation: Avoid projects with large data transformations or migrations. These projects may be quite time consuming for a first implementation and might not add any new business value to the organization.

Don’t just replace the system: Don’t just replace a system without improving it. If an application simply replaces a system that already exists, then it’s hard to demonstrate the business value of BPM implementation. Always make sure that the first project is adding value and improving the existing system and not just replacing an older way of doing something.

To summarize, it is important to choose the first BPM project which can provide a measurable success story and it can be a foundation for future projects. The above Do’s and Don’ts can serve as good guidelines to choose your first BPM project. Should you require expertise for your first BPM implementation, please contact us at info@polariseme.com

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Have you considered this before your next BPM implementation?

According to analysis by Market Reports Hub, the BPM market size was $4.71 billion in 2014 and was expected to grow to $10.73 billion by 2019 with a compound annual growth rate of 17.9%. It would be fair to say that the BPM software market is still fairly small and has remained small for many years. Also, some may say that the traditional BPM market segment may be facing something of a crisis of confidence as studies have shown that 75% of BPM projects fail in some way.

So what are these reasons of failure and do these contribute to the BPM software market still being relatively small? Some of the commonly cited reasons are as follows:

  • Business personnel may not have the knowledge to document their processes with proper standards. The inability of business to properly communicate requirements through documented processes often leads to business needs not being met.
  • BPM implementation automates processes without prior proper thought on how the process integrates with other processes across departments, and whether the appropriate goals and measures have been selected.
  • BPM implementation is perceived as a one-time automation exercise without a focus on continuous improvement to align processes with changing market dynamics.
  • Benefits of BPM implementation are not managed and communicated effectively due to lack of Organizational Change Management (OCM). This can lead to the focus moving away from realized benefits to what is missing from their earlier reference system or procedure thus leading to dissatisfaction with BPM implementation.
  • Process excellence team and appropriate visionaries with thought leadership to extract most value from BPM implementations are usually small in number in most organizations. Additionally, they usually focus on methodologies more than BPM implementation tools. Thus BPM implementations don’t always get the right BPM advocates and guidance for success. The lack of advocacy also sometimes manifests as business choosing ERP or CRM software to meet their short-term automation requirements instead of investing in a BPM implementation and starting their organization’s journey towards matured and disciplined processes.

If we analyze the above reasons, they are not inherent failures of a BPM tool or BPM ideology. Instead they are indicative of the need for greater organizational process maturity and effective change management throughout the BPM implementation lifecycle. For instance, accurately documenting a process is critical to realizing the expectations of business, which is just Level 1 of most prominent process maturity models. Nevertheless, this is a good starting point in an organization’s evolutionary journey towards higher process maturity. We do anticipate as organizations become more aware in the area of process maturity, the success rates of BPM implementations will continue to improve. We do foresee the BPM market continuing its strong double digit growth since BPM initiatives when properly implemented lead to improved customer experience, increased revenues, reduced operational costs, and more agility.

Don’t let your organization’s BPM project fail in some way. Contact us at info@polariseme.com for expertise in ensuring success of your organization’s next BPM implementation.

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