Posted by: Adam Deane | 07/01/2011

BPM Quick Tips

BPM ThoughtsTips, Quotes and Aphorisms.
I think it was James Geary that once said “Aphorisms are literature’s hand luggage. Light and compact they fit easily into the overhead compartment of your brain and contain everything you need to get through a rough day at the office or a dark night of the soul.”

Twitter as a great place for aphorisms.

One of the people I follow on Twitter is Malcolm Ross (@mrappian), Director of Product Management at Appian
From time to time he tweets a “BPM Quick Tip”, his way of expressing his thoughts on BPM (in 140 characters or less..)

I quite like the idea. Short, direct, quick tips. These are some of them:

Quick Tip – To show BPM ROI, follow the money trail (cost/revenue), it is best way to prove value to execs. Soft ROI is a hard sell

Quick Tip – Don’t forget the user experience. Your BPM project won’t succeed if your users hate their dashboards and task lists.

Quick Tip – Make sure business leads/owns BPM effort. You won’t get the user adoption if the business feels they are being forced.

Quick Tip – Don’t just talk to the process owner. Interview the lowest level employees in a process to undestand the real issues.

Quick Tip – Evaluating a BPM vendor? don’t just look at the product. BPM is a platform, check out the dev community activity as well

Quick Tip – Don’t re-invent the wheel. Leverage process templates, artifacts, and best practices to jump start your process modeling

Quick Tip – Planning your BPM project? Remember budget time for important non-process parts (Forms, Reports, Dashboards, Training)

Quick Tip – Don’t implement the boring old process you’ve been doing for 10+ years. Take the time to innovate as you implement.

Quick Tip – First Process Project, focus on the low hanging fruit. High ROI with least effort. Prove the idea works before going big.

Quick Tip – Take BPM Software for a test drive before you buy. Make us prove our software is as great as we say.

Quick Tip – Sell each BPM project from the top down. Gain Executive Sponsorship and then sell it to the end-users

Quick Tip – Why BPM in the cloud? IT should focus on process improvement / not just keeping computers running. Don’t be an IT janitor

Quick Tip – IT wondering where to start with BPM? How about your own dept? ITIL processes are a great start

Quick Tip – Huge value can be achieved in the “long tail” of BPM processes. It’s where BPM can really shine.

Quick Tip – BPM of Case Management? Identify your processes style (sequential = BPM, Ad-Hoc = CM) and let that drive process design

Quick Tip – Make processes Self Optimizing. example: Set the deadline for a task to the min completion time of all prev tasks

Quick Tip – Simulation is useful, but based on guesses, not fact. Historical perf analysis is more reliable in improving processes.

Quick Tip – Get your data in order before your processes. “Garbage In – Garbage Out”. BPM will fail if based on bad data

Quick Tip – Explore the power of BPMN Event Types. (Cond.., Msg, Timer, etc..) Deploy these to take your processes to the next level

Quick Tip – Don’t forgot the data model. If you’re building a big process, it might be smart to start with a common data model

Quick Tip – Plan for change. Do your best to identify areas of your process most likely to change and design them to change easily

Quick Tip – Use the tools your BPM Software provides to measure ROI. Re-visit the Exec Sponsors months later and show them the value

Quick Tip – Remember.. BPM is a program not a project. Don’t worry about perfecting your process in the first iteration.

Enjoy your weekend.


  1. Quick Tip – You may ignore/break any BPM quick tip provided that you master it


  2. Hey Adam,

    Thanks for the plug.. Glad to see someone’s reading these.. 😛


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