Go look in a random, reasonably mature organisation, and it is likely that you will encounter a number of places where people think, discuss, record and analyse process.
Let's see where.....
First of all we see BPA centers, that model processes so the organisation can... be compliant, reach ISO certification, communicate to people (knowledge management). Often the procesmodels and instructions are published on some intranet.
Then we see enterprise architects, modeling processes (often from a higher view).
We see business analists, working in a change project, trying to find the As-is and To-be situation, and documenting them in requirements tool (parts of business or system use cases) or documents
We see BPM engines running, with procesmodels.
That's a lot of process models, with often a lot of overlap.
Duplication of data and of simular tooling is often the case.
Currently, we see that the tools in the various areas are not integrated. It means remodelling processes in the other tool. And we see that the tools are limited. A BPA tool can have great modelling capabilities, but can't link things to (abstract) services. Or the BPM-suite is great to model processes, but we can't publish them to do knowledge management.
The key question - will we end up with convergence?
There are signs.
- Some companies are using BPA (for instance ARIS) to also model requirements, next to as-is and to-be processes
- Some companies are using their extended BPM suite to also publish the processes to some intranet (for instance Pega systems)
- Some BPM companies are buying BPA tooling
- Some BPA vendors are extending their BPA offering with BPM-suite execution cabilities.
I long for an integrated tool (either one tool, or a clear, say XPDL type, integration - but beware round-trip...)... where I....
- Can model an enterprise (functions, processes, services, organisational units)
- Can model requirements (including business rules), and link them to all of these elements, as-is and to-be
- Can define processes in more detail
- Can execute and measure some of these processes