BPM Still has a Long Life Ahead

Scott Francis
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I didn’t pull too many punches with my take on the whole BPM is Dead meme among bloggers, but it is nice to see a very different take on the discussion, from Neil Ward-Dutton.  Whereas our own blog picked out specific passages to respond to, Neil writes a concise defense (defence for Neil) of BPM without getting into the point, counter-point:
In my mind, though, all these shifts are doing is representing the ongoing maturation of the market for tools that help people improve the way that work gets co-ordinated and managed, through the intelligent application of software. You might call that something else, but I’m going to carry on calling that BPM technology for now.
That captures almost perfectly how I feel about the subject.  The overriding impulse of most analysts and vendors to come up with new names and acronyms for software and tooling that clearly plays in the same space, and competes for the same wallet-share of customers, is exasperating. But it doesn’t mean BPM is dead.  It means that these vendors and analysts are trying desperately to differentiate.  In some cases, they aren’t doing it the hard way – by just consistently producing better outcomes for customers over a long period of time and building on those successes.  Instead, they’re looking for the silver bullet – a marketing or sales tactic or flanking maneuver that can get them the market share gains without the hard work of delivering on promises. But the fact that BPM is hard – even complicated – to deliver is a real opportunity for software and services vendors to provide differentiated services to their customers.  As well, it is a real opportunity for BPM adopters to differentiate from competitors with better process.  Because BPM doesn’t have to be quite as complicated as it currently is.