Business Process Management (BPM)
While enterprise application integration (EAI) focuses on integrating the disparate data formats that often exist in major organizations, business process management (BPM) focuses on producing a process model to identify potential bottlenecks that would impede a streamlined decision-making process. The process model is often produced with analysts who have domain knowledge, and is refined by the developers as development begins. Business process management vendors include Savvion and Fuego. The intent is not to produce a definitive enterprise model but instead to identify critical business processes and bottlenecks in those processes. The standard 80/20 rule applies here. Basically, in any organization, there are a dozen or so key business processes that make up the core of the business. For example, for a retailer these processes might include taking orders, replenishing inventory, etc. By focusing on these key processes, the organization can realize visible payback, which can justify other related initiatives.
The next article in this series will explore how to define goals (to put context to these processes) and metrics (to determine whether the processes are in alignment with the goals).