I was going through a bunch of old slide decks last week and came across this one particular slide that struck me. I think it gave me pause because I don't normally use the slide, and I hadn't seen it in a long time. I think the material is workwhile for anyone thinking about using a business process management (BPM) suite, so here goes.
Consider a BPM suite when you need to:
Change processes frequently. This is probably the most important reason to look at using a BPMS, but a few years ago you wouldn't have seen this on the list, much less anywhere near the top. Back then, everyone preached the mantra that you should find a repeatable process and use BPM to automate it. Maybe this came from a Six Sigma view of the world in which practitioners were trying to drive out variation in order to reduce defects and increase quality. Anyway, the old thinking has been turned on its head now: use BPM for processes that constantly change (in addition to the highly repeatable ones) because processes that constantly change are 1) hard to automate and 2) probably some of your highest value processes because they are usually people and knowledge intensive. A BPMS coupled with a continous improvement mindset (this latter point is the really important part) can really make a difference when it comes to processes that change. And let's admit it right now--business processes change a WHOLE lot more than we think they do.