BPM and Gartner: Usage Scenarios for Business Process Management

BPM Solution Choices

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:

Choosing the Right BPM Vendor






BPMP, BPMS and iBPMS: Solving the Acronym Soup of The Process World

Definitions for BPMP, BPMS and iBPMS

One of the broadest confusion points within the Business Process Management (BPM) world revolves around acronyms, and actually what defines a platform, a suite and intelligence.  As organizations look to bring process technology into their business operations, it can help to actually understand how the market is defined, and where to look for the right set of features and functions.

Hierarchy of Business Process Management

So, to start off in simple terms, there is a hierarchy of capabilities and features, that goes from basic to advanced.  It starts at the ground level with the basic Business Process Management Platform, and climbs to the Suite, and then the Intelligent Suite.  Below are some basic definitions and attributes:

What is a Business Process Management Platform?

The basic BPM platform is a set of tools that allows an organization to digitize their processes, transform their businesses and compose process-centric applications.  It provides a graphical design environment, and allows you to build out your processes in a graphical environment.  It includes storage for process metadata, and also an engine for executing process and managing business rules.

What is a Business Process Management Suite (BPMS)?

The BPMS lays a foundation for business and IT to collaborate throughout the design and execution of process.  It houses all the features and benefits of the Platform, but the Suite adds additional tools and features to improve process and increase business agility.   The Suite focuses on transformation and innovation, and typically adds no/low code application composition, as well as the ability to handle routine and non-routine work (case management).  It provides robust reporting on process to create a feedback loop for continuous improvement.

What is an Intelligent Business Process Management Suite (iBPMS)?

The iBPMS is at the apex of the process world.  Take all the benefits of the previously mentioned categories, and add enhanced and predictive analytics, process intelligence and enhanced process insight.  The main purpose of the Intelligent Suite is to drive rapid improvement and process enhancement to achieve top levels of efficiency and productivity.  The iBPMS also provides dynamic functionality to change process “on the fly”, for non-routine work.

Hopefully this makes it clear as mud ;).  Did I miss anything?  Comments?