I am attending Gartner Symposium and ITxpo this week and blogging as I go.
Robert Handler presented on The New Business Architecture: Enterprise Architecture and BPM. Robert made some interesting points
- Automating a bad process is bad, automating a good one is good so fix a process first, then automate
- EA and BPM are on a collision course for various reasons
- Archiecture is a bridge between business strategy and implementation - most strategies fail due to implementation failure not bad strategies
- Enterprise Architecture includes various viewpoints including a business context (as well as information and technology) and the intersection of these in a solution viewpoint as must mesh business with technology and information.
- Change is hard - both business change and technology/information change
- Many different layers of abstraction within each perspective, all of which connect both within a perspective and between them
- BPM is the management of all of the processes supporting a business transaction from the beginning to the end while applying the organization's rules
- BPM Suites becoming more complete, more useful, better at handling events and exceptions etc. as well as simulation, scenario management.
- BPM can have a dramatic impact on architecture but once the pilot suceeds, the real work begins
- Beware the tendency to get sucked into modeling and BPM, like EA, can suffer from this
- He emphasized the value of using these approaches to improve processes and demonstrate compliance. Me I think compliance requires rules too.
- EA and BPM are going to merge around models of optimized processes that can be automated but only if you think about sharing models and modeling standards.
I think he is right about the intersection of these approaches - it seems unlikely that one would be successful in widespread adoption of BPM without a clear architecture and that BPM might be an effective consumer of EA artifacts. I also agree that making sure you don't keep asking people about the same process for different perspectives (Six Sigma, BPM, EA) but combine these approaches.
BTW Fair Isaac is at booth 305 and I am presenting at 12:15 on Wednesday on Real-World Experience in Applying Business Intelligence to Business Processes