BPM means different things to different people – a small subset of terms includes Business Process Analysis, Business Process Development, Business Process Modeling, Business Process Improvement, Business Process Mapping, Business Process Monitoring, Business Process Governance (BPA, BPD, BPM, BPM, BPI, BPM, BPG).
Many consultants will tell you that “BPM” is the overarching term that includes all of these plus ones I may not have mentioned.
As you can see no one seems to have taken advantage of the fact that there are 26 letters in the alphabet because we have four identical acronyms for quite different areas of focus in the partial list that I have provided above.
The problem does not end here – for certain classes of processes (no agreement here either on which specific processes), my contention has been that no ‘business process management’ takes place at all.
As a manufacturer of BPM software, we had great difficulty over time differentiating our software suite from the competition because most of what we looked at seemed to have a circular focus on process mapping, process modeling and process improvement (BPM, BPM, BPI).
Our focus all along has been on giving customers facilities for building process maps and compiling these to yield templates that are capable of guiding day-to-day operations.
Clearly, a process map with steps ‘start’, ‘build’, ‘ship’ is not going to be of much help ‘guiding’ day-to-day operations. On the other hand, a process that has many steps, with complex connections between the steps, where different steps must be performed by staff with specific skills, where time is of the essence, and where documentation standards exist is an ideal candidate for computer-based Business Process Management.
You can read in another blog post how Civerex tried to differentiate itself by re-branding its BPM software to BPMx. That was quickly abandoned on discovery of Keith Swenson’s book called “Mastering the Unpredictable” where we learned that we had been doing Adaptive Case Management (ACM) for years along with BPM. And that is the history behind our current ACM/BPM software suite.
Whilst vendors continue to duke it out in parking lots, management consultants seem to be coming to realize that ‘there is life beyond modeling’ (when was the last time you went on a trip in a model airplane?) by taking advantage of our “0/2” (buy nothing/double your revenue) deal where they are able to certify themselves on our software suite in 10-20 hours and get a free copy of a $4,995 software suite that may allow them to double their consulting revenue.
You can read about 0/2 at