Six tips for implementing BPM without perishing in the attempt
Maria Aldehuela Lucena 120000KP78 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  program best_practices bpm project business_process_manageme... implementation tips
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When you start using IBM Business Process Manager (IBM BPM) the first time, the path can seem difficult, confusing and long, almost like a labyrinth! In this post I will give you some guidelines that hopefully will become your survival kit on the BPM journey.
1. Divide and conquer
One of the most important things to consider when creating a model is that the result needs to be easy to understand. It’s a good practice to use different levels and follow the "rule of seven," that is, having no more than seven activities per level. Our goal should be that each level can be explained in five minutes or less. In this way, anybody who sees the process can understand how it works. Divide and conquer!
2. From project to program
A best practice would be to start a process with a reduced scope that adds value and can be measured and optimized. This will bring trust because you will be able to implement it in the short term, and it will enable you to implement more complex processes later.
While you are growing, implementing more and more business processes, you are scaling from a single project to a program that involves all the different areas in the organization. Our goal is to establish a center of excellence.
For more information refer to the IBM Redbooks publication, “Scaling BPM Adoption: From Project to Program with IBM Business Process Manager.”
3. Alignment of business, operations and IT
First, you need a business sponsor, so don’t forget that the "B" in BPM means business! Convincing IT people to employ BPM can be pretty challenging, but they have to be on board to implement the activities and build the integration with existing systems. And don’t forget the final users for the process; their feedback is key during the whole development lifecycle.
Follow the agile approach and run some playbacks or process iterations to validate what you are doing. You don’t want to come back to the beginning of the road in a couple of months, right?
4. Integration needs
Exposing services through an enterprise service bus (ESB) such as IBM Integration Bus Advanced can simplify integration within your process. Let this ESB take care of the connectivity to services from your process.
If you don’t have an ESB, you’ll need to do some development in the first process implementation. Then just reuse the developed artifacts with toolkits!
5. Data matters
For long-running processes where the state must be persisted, a leading practice is to keep the business data in a system of record. You don’t want to use your process database as a business repository or to duplicate data!
For long-running scenarios, using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is another great practice. Users, groups and skills levels are already defined in the LDAP and can be shared across multiple applications. BPM can easily connect to a LDAP repository and get the users from it.
Again, reuse what you already have!
For sure there are more tips to consider for implementing BPM, but remember this was just a survival kit for your BPM journey.
What else would you put inside this kit? Are there any best practices you would like to share? Please leave a comment below or send me a tweet @mariaAldehuela.