BPM, the Third Wave

Howard Smith and Peter Fingar have written a new book called ‘Business Process Management the third wave’.

In it they say the first wave of BPM began in the 1920’s with the introduction of theories around work practices, methods and procedures.  Processes were implicit in work practices and not automated.  In the second wave of BPM of the past decade or so, processes were manually reengineered and through a one-time activity, cast in concrete in the depth of today’s stovepipe applications.  In the third wave of BPM, the business process is freed from its concrete castings in technology and made the central focus and basic building block of all automation and business systems.

They also pointed out the following…

Consider the fact that every modern management theory ever devised – reengineering, process innovation, total quality management, Six Sigma, activity-based costing, value-chain analysis, cycle-time reduction, supply chain management, excellence, customer-driven strategy and management by objectives – has stressed the significance of business process and its management.

My Thoughts…

This seems like an accurate summary of where we have been and where we are going. 

I think that their statement – every modern management theory ever devised has stressed the significance of business process and its management – is very profound.  When you look at the list, you can’t help but notice that those theories address high value processes.  And, companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs and increase revenues, especially in down-turns. 

My conclusion – this supports many of the points in my previous blogs.

I have pushed the notion that a company is a collection of processes.  These management theories – reengineering, process innovation, total quality management, Six Sigma, activity-based costing, value-chain analysis, cycle-time reduction, supply chain management, excellence, customer-driven strategy and management by objectives – address the significance of business processes within companies. 

I have to believe that companies would not be spending the effort [and money] to address processes were they not of high value.  Translate that into a little improvement yields lower costs and/or increased revenues.

And, finally, effectively managing your business processes is important for your company’s success today and may be a key to your future success.

Your Thoughts…

Would you draw a similar conclusion?

Process Management – Keeping it Real!

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