BEA gives IT a means to assess BPM strategy

BEA gives IT a means to assess BPM strategy

New assessment tool from BEA promises much for business BPM

Middleware software supplier BEA Systems has launched a new assessment tool for organisations looking to rate their business process management (BPM) strategies.

The tool takes the form of a five page questionnaire containing 22 questions, and the feedback given teaches a level of BPM best practice depending on the questions answered.

“As far as measurement is concerned, our self-assessment tool is designed to help a company evaluate whether or not it has some work to do to catch up with competitors, or if indeed it is ahead of them,” said Martin Percival, BEA Systems spokesman. “There is no direct measurement until a company is building a process with other partners and at that point measurement is vital for Service Level Agreement definition and control of quality of service,” he added.

The questionnaire gives customers a way to compare BPM strategies, find out a strategy’s maturity level and the areas that still need to be addressed.

The questions asked fall into four categories: analyze, orchestrate, optimise and innovate. One of the first questions is, “What are your goals for BPM?” Respondents have the choice of a number of answers: to simplify existing processes, improve accuracy and predictability of processes, increase transparency and visibility into processes, establish greater governance and compliance, improve customer service, or promote business and IT alignment.

Other examples of questions include, “Who identifies which processes need to be improved?” and, “To what degree has your company invested in a service-oriented-architecture to support your business processes?”

Once a respondent has finished the questions, an assessment report is sent to them via email, which compares their BPM current state to the ultimate destination, and outlines actions to consider in each of the four categories.

Customers then have the option to follow up with a BEA team of BPM business consultants to interpret their results and improve their strategy.

Percival explained the tasks put to consultants vary. “It could be as simple as doing a couple of days of training if understanding is highlighted as an area of weakness,” said Percival, adding, “It could also go all the way up to a full process study with guidelines and recommendations on how to implement BPM and which processes to tackle first.”

According to a BEA survey at the end of the questionnaire, which is in the process of being conducted, most of the participants found the questions relevant. With 634 votes, 64 per cent of the survey participants found conducting the survey had been very relevant to their business.