So, you’ve invested in a BPM. Hopefully your company is making breakthrough advancements in process improvement with your easy-to-use and quick-to-production product. Way to go, your company!high five

But are you really using that product to your best advantage? Are there other applications you haven’t considered yet? What about your infrastructure?

I know, I know…it might sound crazy, but listen.  Once you’ve invested in a BPM product, it only makes sense to apply it (and the logic behind BPM as a philosophy) as often as possible, not only to get the biggest bang for your buck, but also to harness the power within that product to manage all the miniscule things your company must manage outside of projects.

In mentioning “BPM as a philosophy,” I think I should probably offer an explanation. A lot of us mistakenly think of BPM as a type of technology, but it’s not.  In Keith Swenson’s article, “BPM Philosophy, Not Technology,” he hones this concept down to this:
“BPM/workflow is a philosophical approach to producing applications that allow people to work in a more coordinated manner. That approach starts with a model, but not just any model: it must be a model of the business aspects of the organization that will use it. The model must be time-aware in a way that standard programming models are not: it represents not only transactions that take time, but it must represent concepts of deadlines that are relevant to people and legal agreements. The model must be useful to business people both in training, understanding current status, and agility. A BPMS should have connectivity to components outside of itself, and those components should not be considered part of the BPM/workflow. These are all things that BPM/workflow uniquely adds to the approach to application development, that are not available in a non-BPM development environment.”

Futuristic-Cloud Consider how you could reshape your company from the inside out with a business process/workflow designed just for your needs. Tasks and deadlines can be managed in the way you’d like them to be managed, not just how that one app forces you to manage them. The power of the tool, when combined with the philosophy of BPM, provides agility and adaptability.

Of course, it takes time to set up an infrastructure, and if you undertake construction of your own customized system, it may feel like you’re recreating the wheel. There is, almost always, “an app for that” already. But ask yourself, is it easier to just use a deck of disparate apps, especially if they are free?  It might be.  For a while.  But with those apps that are agnostic to your business and your needs, you are probably using more than one that could (or should) do the same work as another.  The dreaded app overlap!mad at work

So then, the next question is, do your employees end up duplicating work and wasting time with each of these different apps, maybe even resisting their use as a result?  Probably.  As someone who used to work in the trenches with 20-some different applications required to do my work, I can attest that my co-workers and I all grumbled about it to each other, even if we didn’t complain to management.  No one wants disgruntled employees, right?

Then, the last question is, would it be worth the investment to create a “one-stop-shop” for your company to use as an in-house management tool that combines the functionality of these apps into something you really, really want?  In the long run, I’d say yes.  That’s the beauty of BPM.  It’s customizable, adaptable, and can become the “goldilocks” solution to your infrastructure shortcomings.

If you are looking for a team of folks who can assist with an infrastructure revamp using BPMs, contact Architech Solutions by email at orangebpm@architechsolutions.com or by phone at 703-972-9155.

Follow me on Twitter @ArchitechBPM, @Arch_Sol, or on Architech Solutions’ Facebook page.

By Amy Barth, Sr. Business Analyst at Architech Solutions, LLC.

Note:  This blog was inspired by a discussion from the August 11, 2015, BPM.com forum.