BPM – Bridging the Business-IT gap

“There is nothing permanent except change”
– Heraclitus, 6th Century BC.

To lead in the business environment is to embrace change. There is a dire need to minimize the Business-IT gap. In most organizations, senior executives and developers struggle with one common factor – the “UNKNOWNS”, and they primarily suffer because of the following underlying reasons:

  1. Patch development to meet the budget & timeline over the course of years, has made the organization run their key processes in silos in their SME’s mind, causing any merger, replacement and consolidation initiatives to be unreasonably expensive – seemingly more than their ROI.
  2. Distributed or lack of documentation around business requirement, use cases and technical design cause a nightmare to keep the code change and artifacts in syncs creating unwanted dependency.

The objective of this blog is to talk about how industry standards, specifications and guideline defined irrespective of any particular product vendor, are going to bring together the Business Analyst, Business Owner & technical team to contribute their experience on an ongoing basis, with a flexibility to learn and change faster as progress is made by minimizing the risk of project delivery within a schedule budget and time line, under one umbrella.

Business participation in the IT project:

The Object Management Group/ Business Process Initiative has developed a standard for Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) the primary goal of which is to provide a notation in form of a graphical representation that can be understood, modeled and interpreted by the business users, business analysts and non-technical personnel. The objective is for non-technical business SMEs to create the initial drafts of the processes for the technical team, who will take up the responsibility of design, development & implementation using appropriate technology stacks that will perform those processes. This will not only eliminate a level of Visio, Power point or word documentation, but it will ensure that the technical team will extend the process model defined by the business team. The end business users who are responsible for monitoring these applications will be able to constantly review requirements during the entire SDLC cycle and changes/feedback can be incorporated on a continuous basis instead of a surprise at the last moment, during QA/UAT.

What’s Next in Bridging the Business-IT gap?

Now that the process designer, business analyst, and business users or end users are all in alignment, it is required that technical team extend the process that has been designed and the notion is converted into a standard that can be translated to a executable format. OASIS, a organization consisting of IBM, Microsoft & most of the major BPM Software vendors has come to an agreement on defining a language for specifying the business process behavior based on Web Services called as WS-BPEL (Web Service Business Process Execution Language). Since it is more of a design to be consumed by technical team, BPEL opted for a vertical flow from top to bottom.

As a result of clearly definitions and flawless execution of the processes, organizations are able to provide more competitive products or services, reduce costs, improve customer service and react quickly to changing market conditions.

We hope you learned a few ideas to bridge the Business-IT gap in your  organization. Share this with your friends and peers. Follow Princeton Blue on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ to get focused BPM-specific updates.

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