Business Process Management (BPM), while in demand, isn't yet implemented consistently or systematically across organizations -- at least, not by those surveyed by the Enterprise Content Management Association's Industry Watch study.
This was the overriding theme of "BPM: Not Just Workflow Anymore," which was released this week. Many organizations seem to understand the importance of having BPM, but face overwhelming challenges that obstruct their progress. With no premier best practices emerging from within the field, it's no surprise that enterprises don't start. Where do they begin? What information is out there to guide them?
The survey indicated internal politics and organizational issues as their biggest obstacles. Overall, organizations don't know what group should lead the process, what the focus of the process is and what should dictate the model they follow and ultimately implement.
With such confusion, it's not surprising that organizations are not able to successfully measure their BPM, let alone implement one at all.
Organizations need to know that their efforts will pay off in some capacity, but because no one seems to have a model to follow, no hard evidence exists to justify the time and energy required for BPM.
In addition, the perceived benefits of BPM are not always consistent among management: "If benefits are not clearly defined and measured in a way that resonates with the organization, justification will be difficult at best," researchers write. Does size matter? Fifty percent of respondents worked at large organizations of more than 1,000 employees. A little less than a quarter of participants worked for companies with fewer than one hundred employees. Do bureaucratic tendencies influence the struggle to implement a BPM? Could be, as the three most popular industries, banking and finance, consultants, and state and local government, are often dependent upon ROI, and face regulatory compliance impositions that force them to follow strict rules. What can we learn from this study? If anything, that BPM, a process that strives to "simplify process automation" shouldn't be so hard. Alan Petz-Sharpe, an industry analyst & advisor for CMS Watch, contends that "it is in the handling of business processes -- that ECM projects stand or fall" and that "the failure rate for ECM is staggeringly high -- and the reasons for this are manifold, poor selection techniques, under budgeting, etc."
The study supports his claim without a doubt. Check out the full report at the ECM Association website.
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