More now than ever in these tight economic times, leading financial services companies are turning to business process management (BPM) solutions as a means to accelerate time to market, increase operational efficiency and streamline IT. Gartner predicts that investments in BPM will increase by over 500 percent by 2012. At the same time, Gartner also reports that more than 50 of these initiatives will fail.
This clearly is an extremely high ratio that is creating significant risk to organizations embarking on BPM-based solutions. That risk is not only in sunk costs but also visible in lost market opportunities, decrease in revenue and erosion of competitive positioning. While some percentage of failure can be attributed to “normal” project challenges, the majority of failure is due to organizations failing to adapt old methods of application development to the paradigm that BPM solutions require.
Traditional application development methodologies have included waterfall approaches with heavy front-end emphasis on requirements documentation and solution design. It emphasizes control gates at each stage of the waterfall which allows management to measure progress and make decisions about future phases while delivering the desired functionality. While this approach has been and continues to be successful in many areas, it creates several challenges when applied to BPM initiatives.
BPM projects are focused on changing an organization’s processes to achieve benefit. This is a subtle but core difference. Among the key benefits BPM projects typically strive to achieve are agility, flexibility, quality improvement, cost reduction and performance improvement.
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