Choosing the Right Platform for the Right Scenario
So, I started a series of posts to help folks looking for BPM solutions to navigate through the series of acronyms and the deep confusion that usually revolves around business process management and associated tool sets. My first post ( BPMP, BPMS AND IBPMS: SOLVING THE ACRONYM SOUP OF THE PROCESS WORLD ) focused on setting the hierarchy in the BPM and BPA space, outlining basic features and functions of basic platforms, suites and intelligent suites. These 3 types of BPM solutions can solve a set of simple or complex business problems, and are associated with different scenarios. Below, as defined by Gartner in Their BPM Market Guide, are the scenarios outlined with my own definitions, and can help guide an organization in product selection.
Application-Centric, Model-Driven Composition – Many of the BPM solutions today pride themselves in providing a No/Low Code app development environment. This usage scenario allows non-developers to build out robust applications through the use of four pillars: Data, Forms, Workflow and Reports.
Process-Centric, Model-Driven Composition – This particular usage scenario revolves around the use of a binding business process. This process can be modeled in a workflow designer in a basic BPM tool, and then deployed to create a digital framework for getting the job done.
Opportunistic Application Creation (OAC) – This usage scenario revolves around having so-called “citizen developers” build applications to solve business problems. These types of apps are typically low in complexity, and have little dynamic behavior, and are usually isolated to process specific information.
Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) – CPI is an iterative process used to constantly improve efficiency and results. It can be combined with process methodologies, like TQM and Six Sigma, to examine existing processes and inject incremental changes. This requires a significant reporting and analytics component, and is only found in advanced systems, typically BMPS and iBMPS.
Intelligent Business Operations (IBO) – The IBO Scenario is typically a very advanced stage in BPM implmentation, and involve leveraging information from external systems (CRM, ERP, etc) to make intelligent and dynamic decisions during a process. In user interaction, this information can be provided through a UI to enable intelligent decision-making.
Digitized Process (DP) – DPs are a type of IBO that leverages interaction between individuals, business entities and things. This type of scenario requires an iBPMS, and uses information to make dynamic decisions, and allows extreme agility.
Case Management (CM) – CM is provides a framework for unpredictable processes. It is composed of a single governing process, with multiple independent processes that can happen at any time, any where. This is also a very advanced usage scenario, and requires an advanced system type to execute.
Business Transformation (BT) – BT is utilized to transform and innovate, and is a fairly radical use of technology. In this scenario, the BPM solution is leveraged to provide a “game changing” impact within an organization. Technology is utilized to govern change ,drive innovation, and redefine business operations.
By understanding the above, you can make an intelligent decision for your organization in the short-term and long-term based on your tech strategy.
In Gartner’s guide, they evaluate vendors and provide which of the usage scenarios above you can expect from their technology. For example, K2 received a check in every box, and was one of the only vendors that provides for all the listed scenarios. Nintex on the other hand, limited to usage in SharePoint environments, can only provide limited OAC and Process-Centric solutions. Whereas Pega fell short in the App-Centric realm, along with opportunistic app creation. So you really need to look at your vendor and make sure they will meet all your BPM needs.
Hopefully this helps and provides additional guidance on evaluating BPM technology for use in your organization. Comments? For more on picking a BPM vendor, see the following post: