The Federal Government Needs #BPM

Scott Francis
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Ben Farrell of Appian notes on their blog recently:
Dealing with varying levels of security requirements in ramping up new federal employees and contractors is a common pain. It is usually handled through manual, paper-based processes involving lots of documentation to be passed around, verified and tracked across multiple systems. This means major time and effort for the staff performing the processing, and delays in getting new hires into a productive work mode. Other process areas common across government organizations include things like Procurement and Sourcing, Program Planning, Budgeting and Management, Grants Management, and a variety of HR processes. Not coincidentally, these are areas where Appian is seeing great success. BPM software helps the federal government solve pervasive cost and productivity problems – and not in the “tried-and-failed” approach of commercial off-the-shelf software packages that cause as many headaches as they solve thanks to rigid coding. While attacking an area of common concern, BPM solutions are easily configurable – by business users – to the unique requirements of an individual agency.
I’m not an expert on which BPM vendors have market share in the Government space (it is hard to measure this kind of “market share”), but being based in or near DC doesn’t hurt Appian’s chances.  And as probably every BPM practitioner has noted, BPM is what the government needs – processes that don’t get lost in the paper stack on someone’s desk, processes that proactively notify participants about progress within the process, and processes that have consistent performance.  Ask anyone who has gone through the green card application process and you will get a story of broken processes – or at the very least, broken visibility (the applicants rarely have any sense how far along they are in the process). One interesting note from Ben’s post on cloud computing:
There will be more to come on government adoption of BPM in the Cloud. For now, I’ll close with a reminder about why BPM in the government really matters: every one of us, as taxpayers and consumers of government services, benefits when government operations are conducted more efficiently and effectively.
Government adoption of cloud computing is interesting.  I think most people assume that most government functions won’t be in the cloud – but clearly some could be.

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