Onions have layers, Ogres have layers, BPM has layers

Let’s put one thing to bed right now: Mike Myers has a lousy Scottish accent. Period. But he did make an interesting analogy about layers I’ll try to expand in context.

BPM is made up of many different layers, some more apparent than others, some relatively new given todays trends occurring.

Social BPM is a layer and you could warrant it has 3 layers on top of that itself:-

  • A customer interaction layer, which offers the external customer a rich way to interact with customer-facing processes
  • A rapid discovery layer, which offers the internal professional a way to quickly share information on processes, collaborate with others and create processes
  • An enterprise community layer which offers a business an entirely new way of organising itself outside of hierarchy

Peel back a layer and you could have a process application or automation layer, again made up of further layers that support the customer processes, so :-

  • a structured process layer for repeatable processes which can be quickly built using application-based BPM suites
  • a dynamic process layer for those processes which cannot be predetermined in this fashion, underpinned by more sophisticated suites, human centric or advanced adaptive case tools

Peel back further and you could find event processing and predictive analytics that feed the upper layers.

Near the core, a Master Data layer, where one single version of the truth exists and supports it all.

You could have further layers where control and risk information is served by BPA tools not interested in automation or dynamic processes but still enabling the information to flow to the right levels of the organisation.

And right at the heart of the onion, is the BPM business discipline itself which without it the layers would just flake off and be pretty useless.

Depending on the size of the onion (BPM strategy) you can have as many layers as you want, but it’s still an onion.

What’s my point ? Don’t think of BPM as just one thing, but as something which is greater than the sum of it’s parts, put them in the right order and it’s one hell of an onion. Make a hash of it and you’ll end up with a terrible ogre of a problem.

Just don’t try to speak Scottish, Ok ?


2 responses to “Onions have layers, Ogres have layers, BPM has layers

  1. Extra layers, and a Hard covering layer too! As interesting as it could be, I would agree no more with what you said, although I thought it would be a little more that simple layering only.Based on my humble experience, I think there are 3 main thick layers that would be added, inserted, and/or augmented with the general format of your presentation:1. Psychological factor which is purely an organizational behavior derivative2. Realistic and definitive business functions (mostly referred to as analysis)3. level of actual commitment to the business automation that truly comply with the pre-defined business processesNot to leave out (the covering layer of Peale-able onion of Shrek!) all management ultimate fear of "BPM maintainable cycle! simply the "Don’t want to change their documentation, where they will resort mostly to resisting the change unless it is enforced by a "higher authority"! Cheers 🙂

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