Simulation will help your process improvement effort, not justify BPM

Jim Sinur posted today on his Gartner blog about how “companion simulation” will create an easy way to bring to life process improvements before you make them and help justify your BPM effort. This is certainly the growing trend in where vendors are placing the emphasis on simulation capabilities just now, helping build that business case with numbers that actually prove (or disprove) that an improvement will (or won’t) have the desired effect. 

Take into account some of my recent lite touch reviews; iGrafx Process for Six Sigma and Global 360’s recent analystView, all state that using simulation should be seen as a precursor to process improvement not just a cartoon way of depicting the process in action. taraneon Consulting recently announced an entire service proposition based on simulating processes for an enterprise for the same end goal; proving that the scenarios you’ve designed will actually work in practice.

What we need to remember before we get all excited is that simulation requires data, and a lot of it. Not only that, but accurate data or you’re going to face off to that ugly demon known as GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.

But the main point I want to make here is this: Simulation can help justify process improvement, simulation will not justify BPM. Big difference.

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One response to “Simulation will help your process improvement effort, not justify BPM

  1. I am not a friend of business simulation in the early beginning of a business process project. First, I studied Physics and have learned much about error calculation. Second, as Theo stated out, there are too many estimations mit errors. The can not really beleave what you get as results. So the effort to get these estimated data is reciprocal to the reached result.This can be better in the context of a productive system. Taking these data into account for a simulation what will happen, if I start a marketing mailing in the next week or taking in a new outsourcing customer into my credit factory.And, Theo, the step from here to a self balancing system is a short one: use simulation for e.g. selecting the next user for the next activity in a process or to decide whether a proofing step should be skipped or not. This is something justifying BPM in an operational environment.

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