Preparing the technical side of the BPM CoE (Part 4)

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Dan Morris

Building the Foundations for a BPM CoE – Part 4

The business side is critical to the BPM CoE, says columnist Dan Morris. But don’t forget about the technical details. Here’s what you need to think about.

There are those who don’t believe a BPM CoE should have anything to do with Technology. there are those who believe that BPMS, BPMN, data, interfaces, SOA, web services and other technology are the real focus of the BPM CoE. I have built BPM CoEs and to be successful, the CoE must be a melding of both.

So far in this column series we have talked about the business side of creating a BPM CoE. That is actually the trickiest part of establishing your BPM CoE. But, care must also be given to the technical side. This side is complex and just plain difficult. It is not for the novice or faint of heart.

But like all technology it is also straight forward. You can work with the vendors to find or build expertise. You can work with vendor user groups to obtain insight and standards. And, you should do all of these things to gain the technical expertise you need.

The place to begin defining the technical side of the BPM CoE is to identify anyone else in the company is using a BPMS tool suit or a formal modeler. If they are, you will need to identify what tool suites are being used, what they are being used for and how many models / applications the business has in each of the BPMS suites.

The technical side of your BPM CoE is not for the faint of heart

Some of the things you will need to consider are:

  1. Has IT chosen a single BPMS as the company standard?
  2. What tools will the BPM CoE support?
  3. What will that support include?
  4. Does the BPM CoE currently have expertise with each of the tool suites?
  5. How long will it take to obtain the needed expertise? What is the plan to obtain the needed skills?
  6. How will the technical managers and staff in the CoE work with the IT department?
  7. How will collaborative processing be supported?
  8. How will the technical staff in the BPM CoE deal with infrastructure issues?
  9. How will the BPM CoE deal with data?

These questions represent the tip of the technical iceberg. If you are going to license a BPMS, you will need a separate study and a realistic evaluation that makes certain the BPMS will operate in your technical environment, can scale as you need it to, and is right for the people who will use it – business people of technicians. If your company is using more than one BPMS, you will need to determine what you will support – and fight the politics. But, whichever path, you will have readily available help from the vendors.

The fact is that both the technical and business operations sides of the BPM CoE must support your BPM vision and the strategy. All of the issues that are discussed in this column form a set of capabilities that the BPM CoE will bring to the company. To be effective this must all align and form an integration of skill, tools and business acumen that will allow the BPM CoE to deliver value.

The next column in this series will address the creation of the policies, procedures, standards, BPMS skills and models that will be needed.

As always, I welcome discussion. Opinions on this topic differ and no one has the last and best word on any BPM topics, let alone starting a BPMS/BPM CoE. My columns are based on my experiences in several different companies. But, experiences in other companies can provide other insights.

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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