Posted by: Adam Deane | 03/08/2010

BPM & ECM: End Users

End UsersSit down son. It’s time we had a talk about the birds and the bees.
I know it’s an embarrassing subject, and believe me, if it was up to me we wouldn’t be having this conversation…
But your mum has been nagging me to do it, so we better get it over with…

So… Where should I begin…

As you know son, when BPM and ECM love each other very much and get together to implement a solution – an end-user is born.
Although end-users look adorable at birth, they straight away start crying, whinging and complaining about missing functionality.

ECM vendors look at end-users differently than us BPM vendors.
They are more emotional about end users than we are.
It’s all about genetics… They are more attached to the end users needs. They want to pamper them, provide them with access to content whenever they need. If users want to change the process route – let them. If the end-user is happy – they are happy.

We are more rational about end users:
• We know that end-users don’t care about business processes
• We know that end-users don’t care about enterprise policies
• We know that end-users don’t see any personal benefit in using these enterprise “management” systems.

They do care about completing a specific goal. They want to:
• Get a purchase request approved
• Have an expense claim paid
• Track and audit decisions

We are more attached to the business policies. We can’t have end users changing the process flow based on a whim.
If it was up to them, they would probably forward all their hard tasks to someone else, leaving them only with the easy ones..

It’s not that we don’t care about end-users. We do. It’s just that our first priority is to ensure a structured business process environment for the organisation. We want the end users to be happy, but like every kid they need policies, governance and boundaries. They need structure.

ECM processes can’t allow themselves to be as rigid as our processes. Content needs to be available to end users all the time, in different situations, for different cases.
ECM needs to have flexibility, agility and the ability to change the process route based on the user’s discretion, or based on different content. They need to be more dynamic. Case management is exactly the same…

It’s not that we or they are better. It’s just a different approach to the organisation’s needs.
You don’t have to worry son. BPM and ECM get along fine. It’s a true love story.
It’s the small differences that make living with them exciting…

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