Chapter 2. Evolving Workflow and BPM into Process-Driven Applications

Mike Talley

The evolution from traditional application development to workflow and business process management (BPM) resulted in a much more human-aware application design. Toward the end of this chapter we take a look at the next step in the evolution, setting the stage to get a clear vision of what that application is and how we can refer to it.

In this chapter, we cover the following topics:

  • Defining BPM

  • Common failures of traditional applications

  • Defining a new type of application

  • Approaching process design

  • Process-driven application examples

What Is BPM?

You might have a good idea of how workflow and BPM are related, but we haven't defined yet what BPM means. According to the article "ABC: An Introduction to business process management (BPM)"[3] published CIO.com:

BPM is a systematic approach to improving a company's business processes. For example, a BPM application could monitor receiving systems for missing items, or walk an employee through steps to troubleshoot why an order did not arrive. It is the first technology that fosters ongoing collaboration between IT and business users to jointly build applications that effectively integrate people, process and information.

BPM gives an organization the ability to define, execute, manage, and refine processes that:

  • Involve human interaction, such as placing orders

  • Work with multiple applications

  • Handle dynamic process rules and changes, not just simple, static flows (think ...

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