6 Scaling BPM Adoption from Project to Program with IBM Business Process Manager
1.1.3 Process automation, visibility, and control
Process automation, visibility, and control are compounding elements of the
business impact realized from a BPM project (Figure 1-4). Process automation
immediately accrues business value by increasing efficiency, reducing errors,
eliminating process variation, and removing rework for human tasks. It is
important to recognize, however, that automation is not the end goal of a process
implemented with BPM.
Figure 1-4 Three elements of the compounding value of a managed process
Process automation is not limited to activities that require system integrations.
Shadow processes and
swivel chair activities provide business value with
process visibility and process control. An early release of what feels to be an
incomplete process solution rift with manual swivel chair integrations often
exposes new information about that business process. This new information
typically exposes new opportunities and removes previous assumptions that
feedback into the next release. The overall impact is shorter delivery cycles,
increased business impact, and lower cost of development and maintenance
(because you did not build what you did not need).
Process automation is only the beginning when it comes to realizing value from
BPM. Process visibility enables you to see what you could not see previously.
Process visibility allows you to measure what you could only estimate or guess
previously. This visibility is relevant in real time (versus waiting for quarterly
reports), giving you insight into the performance of your process while there is
Defintion: A swivel chair integration refers to a manual interface where a
human user reads data from one system and keys it into another.
Chapter 1. Introduction 7
time to correct it. Process visibility also means that your process participants
have perspective into the end-to-end process that is not limited to the activities
assigned to them.
Figure 1-5 shows an example of how an un-managed process suffers from poor
visibility and lack of control.
Figure 1-5 An un-managed process suffers from poor visibility and lack of control
Process owners benefit from process visibility at both design time (implement
and deploy) and runtime (manage and optimize) states in the life cycle of a
business process. At design time, process visibility means that all aspects within
the organization know which business processes are being discovered, planned,
implemented, and deployed across the enterprise. Such visibility is key to
enabling continuous discovery of new opportunities to collaborate on BPM
projects and share process assets in a standard way.
For process owners and corporate managers visibility into the runtime state
provides the business with a level of actionable insight that they require to
produce better outcomes and keep processes in alignment with corporate
objectives. Today’s complex and competitive economic environments demand a
new level of business agility that can only be made possible with the automation,
visibility, and control of business processes with BPM.
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8 Scaling BPM Adoption from Project to Program with IBM Business Process Manager
Figure 1-6 shows an example of a managed process with real-time visibility and
control bringing order to chaos.
Figure 1-6 A managed process with real-time visibility and control brings order to chaos
Process control is what ultimately differentiates a managed process from an
un-managed process. Having control over your design-time and run-time
business processes means acting on the insights identified and deliverying a
hands-on approach to process improvement that ensures that the correct people
are working on the correct problems at the correct time. By default, control
demands governance of not only design-time business process definitions, but
also the infrastructure, the runtime business process, and all other aspects of the
business process. This ensures that processes are operating consistently and in
compliance with both internal and external policies and regulations.
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