When and how to use BPMS?

Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) is a set of tools truly enables the following key strategic objectives

  • Business – IT alignment
  • Time to market (Agile software development)
  • Adaptability
  • Process Efficiency – Foundation for Six Sigma
  • and lot more

If BPMS is in the technology road map and the organization is following the road map to move towards the vision, BPMS must be articulated to the executive management teams both in IT and business. The executive management teams may ask high level questions to understand how the BPMS fit in the organization landscape and how it will assist the organization to move towards the vision. When you deal with executive management team before you make them understand some concepts, ensure you erase the misconception they might already have. What BPMS can not do?

BPMS is going to replace all ERP like SAP, PeopleSoft?

BPMS will not replace the existing ERPs, portfolio systems. BPMS will stay top of it and orchestrate any new system development involving all key enterprise systems like ERP, portfolio

BPMS can be used for technology migration projects? Example, From database version 1 to version 2?

BPMS purpose is not to use technology migration project. First of all, BPMS can not add any value in the technology migration projects.

Few frequently asked question by the executive management team related to BPMS direction are listed below.

When to use it?

Use for a new system development if – the business processes changes frequently and they are core business processes, services provided by the new system can be used across different products, the requirements of the systems are relatively vague and would change frequently, involves multiple teams to complete the life cycle of the system function.

How to use it?

From get go, approach the BPMS will be used by both business and IT teams. Get the business teams involved from the beginning, engage them in the initial market research, selection & evaluation and financial commitments in procuring, establishing the foundation like infrastructure, competency centers. Bottom line, it should not be perceived as IT tool. It is a tool used by both business and IT team. How to use it? Capture all the business process flow, analyze the business processes, implement and manage it. All done in the same tool.

How the teams from IT and business work together? (particularly how the IT architects and business process designer work together)

The tool, methodology and approach brings both the IT and business teams (IT – Business alignment, partnership) together by design. The business team will be using the tool to document the business processes (for any project requirement), business analyst/consultants from both IT & business will analyze the business requirements using the tool (like simulation, identification of bottle necks etc), IT architects will build the connectors (to the ERP, Portfolio, enterprise database ware house), IT architects/consultants will auto build (code generation) the application using the tool, business analyst will using the same tool to perform business activity monitoring (let us say, the requirement is to build the credit decision engine and BAM will used to monitor the approval rate by state, product, type of loans etc)

What are the core competencies the IT organization must have to move in this direction?

Business consulting to business, innovation, business process management, business process modeling, business architecture, enterprise architecture, strategy, IT finance management, SLA management, vendor management, etc

How the development partners (like out sourcing partners) play a role in this setup?

Like any software system, the quality of the software systems are not guaranteed until verified/tested. Out sourcing partners can a play major role in verification (testing) of the newly build software system. They can play a role in building the connectors in BPMS. They can play a major role in maintaining the enterprise systems like SAP, PeopleSoft, CRM, etc They can play a role in assisting in capturing the business processes in the tool (the percentage should be very low in this category)

General mentoring advise..

I was asked by many mantes that how they can get a promotion in the organization. Well, it is a difficult question to answer. For anyone in an organization with any responsibility to move to the next level is contextual. In most of the organization, the organization structure is hierarchical, that is a pyramid, and higher you climb the pyramid, the lesser the growth opportunity. The top most of the pyramid is a point which is a person like CEO, CIO based on the organization you are in.

How to go to next level?

In an organization, generally, no body is going to tap your shoulder and ask you to move on in your career step. There are lots of opportunity exist in an organization and it is up to an individual to learn and grow in an organization. It is generally true. Luck is also a factor and persistent hard work creates luck.

Key principle to keep in mind before anyone consider to go to next level.

  • Be great in what you are currently doing (master the subject and be evangelist in that subject)
  • Let everyone know that you are really great in what you are doing. Do it shamelessly.

If you follow the above two principle and you consistently do it over a period of time (time depends on your position and organization) AND you need to ask this question to yourself. Are you ready for the next level? You need to honestly answer this question to yourself. Do NOT answer yes because of power, money, prestige etc. Honestly and truthfully answer to yourself. If the answer is yes because you think you are qualified to the next level then start build the network through mentoring. Perform mental shadowing. Observe the members in the organization who is in your to be level and analyze how they are performing their daily operation, how they deal their situation in a daily manner and position yourself in their shoes. How they did certain things, how they answered few questions asked in the town hall, deparment meeting, staff meeting etc and position yourself how you would have done it if you were in their position. Perform a variance analysis. The key is to select the top successful person in your next to be level. A role model.

If you keep doing this, I’m confident you will get where you want to be.

How different architects work together to define software system architecture?

The involvement of various architects in the system architecture definition process is given in the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) in the table 1. All the architects work together to define the software system architect.

Table 1. RAM for architects.

Architect IV FV CV Dev.V DV OV
SA C C C AC C C
AA I A I I I I
DA A I I P P P
IA I I I P P P
INA I I A P I I
SECA P P A P P P
PA NA NA NA I I I
NA P P P P A A
SEA P P P P A A
WRA P P P P A A

Table 2

Code Description Comments
A Accountable Responsible for success/failure of this activity
P Participant Actively participates in the activity
NA Not applicable This person is not applicable for this task.
I Input Provider Project Team needs input from this person in this activity
S Sign-off Required Must sign-off the appropriate document
C Co-ordination Co-ordinates and Leads the effort.

Table 3

SA System Architect
AA Application Architect
DA Data Architect
IA Information Architect
INA Integration Architect
SECA Security Architect
PA Process Architect
NA Network Architect
SEA Server Architect
WRA Web Runtime Architect

Table 4

IV Information Viewpoint
FV Functional Viewpoint
CV Concurrency Viewpoint
Dev.V Development Viewpoint
DV Deployment Viewpoint
OV Operational Viewpoint