Gary Comerford has posted a thoughtful and widely circulated piece on his Process Cafe blog about The State of BPM.
It makes dismal reading. After looking at the competing definitions of BPM, and the high rate of BPM project failures, he concludes: 'Is it any wonder BPM is in such a state?'
So why is BPM delivering so little?
Actually it's not. From where I sit, every day BPM is demonstrating its value as the key to successful business transformation:
BPM has gotten hijacked by vendors many times over the past decade and forced to perform some unnatural acts. But everything I see points to a return to its roots.
There's an emerging consensus that BPM is an enabler for operational excellence and continuous improvement. Which means, as a happy consequence, that the long separation between BPM and the mainstream Lean and Six Sigma practitioners is coming to an end.
Process is the language, and the BPM platform is the essential enabler, for the effective collaboration that underpins operational excellence and continuous improvement.
It's a framework for collaboration that is comprehensive. How could it be otherwise? It's an enterprise framework. It enables collaboration across the IT-Business Divide, across functional and organizational silos, across the extended enterprise, even pulling in the Risks and Controls teams. And it's not just documents, email and shared folders: it includes the governance features that make it a sustainable framework.
That BPM is finally discovering its true self is good news for everyone. It provides the framework for collaboration that will make BPMS automation projects bankable in the eyes of the CFO. It will draw EAs and BAs, and the technical BPA vendors, into the real world and get them walking in step with the business. It's the key to working together to achieve something.
Normally at this stage I would issue an appeal to Gary to please step back from the ledge. But I see he's got two more posts to come on The State of BPM ;-).