What’s Wrong with Business Process Mapping?

1) It’s hard. It takes a great deal of time to thoroughly and effectively map your processes, and requires a high degree of input from knowledgeable people. Despite the sales pitches from consulting companies, it’s not as easy as unleashing a bunch of consultants with clipboards and leaving them to their own devices.

2) Initially, it’s hard to quantify an ROI. So you’ve mapped all your processes, so what?? Where BPM actually becomes relevant is when you take your new found understanding of how your business works and refine your operations through any number of optimization methodologies, in/out sourcing, geographic relocation, etc.

It’s a bit like training for a marathon. You do all this work (BPM) that really doesn’t provide any return until you run the race (process improvement) and get your medal.



  1. You are correct pointing out that the error is stopping after mapping processes. That’s just the first step. The next step is identifying business keylogs and keystones http://bit.ly/dracEh Then the painful job of process improvement.

    The ROI comes after the process improvement – not before. Unfortunately, too many BPM consultants don’t have any idea how to follow through on that step. So you end up with reams of tables, diagrams and flow charts that are an enormous waste of paper and money.

  2. Thanks for your to-the-point description of the Smoke-and-Mirrors of BPM.
    Intuitively, BPM seems too good to be true… the sort of service that a few really dedicated humans can (still) do better and more flexibly.

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