The Agile Get More Agile

Much like the saying that the rich get richer, I have begun to see more small companies using BPM technology to make themselves more agile.  This to me is a good example of Web 2.0.  In the late 90s, big companies initially shunned the Internet or approached it skeptically.  It rapidly became a basic part of their strategy.  Some of the dotcoms became dotbombs because of their business models but not because the fundamental technology was wrong.

I think we are at the same spot.  BPM technology is right.  It takes BPR (business process reengineering) and BPI (business process innovation) and adds technology to it.  The technology enables us to take these new, more agile processes and automate them.  Automation creates many things:

  1. Process consistency
  2. Auditability (who did what when)
  3. BAM (business activity monitoring) … dashboards
  4. Reduces paper and improves quality
  5. Lowers cycle time (less hand-offs)
  6. Creates automatic escalations (e.g., someone is on vacation and the task gets routed around them)
  7. Process oriented document management

So, what I find so interesting is that big companies that typically have big problems are once again slow to move on BPM.  They are investing heavily in Six Sigma, but they haven’t embraced the correlated subject of BPM which automates and manages the Six Sigma improvements.  On the other hand, smaller, lean companies have begun to see how BPM can help them better compete.  It makes their processes better.  It improves their quality.  It allows them to better manage and prioritize.  It reduces human intervention and error.  It saves them cost and time.

So…the smaller more agile companies continue to gain on the bigger companies while once again the bigger companies are going to wait until they see this threat.  (Not all big companies are waiting, but more than you would expect.)

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