So, on Friday I had a good long 'futures' session with our University Secretary, our equivalent of CEO, CIO and Chief Legal Council all rolled into one. We were strategising as I will be leaving the my current employer at the end of my contract on the 30th of April, as I am emmigrating to Canada, but the ECM Programme here will continue, so there was plenty to talk about.
Of particular interest though was the interplay between our ECM efforts, as part of overall information management, and what is normally characterised as 'Business Process Management'. Of course I can not going to go into details of what we discussed, but the overall concept was one of ECM and BPM being different sides of the same coin - nothing new there you might be saying, but for our organisation, taking that view is a somewhat radical, and of course necessary if we want to move forward. For example, we have a few big, inhouse developed systems which have some built in workflow, and at least one division which has mapped its processes to the n'th degree (only to find no one follows them.....), but a lot of units do not have very good documentation for thier 'as is' processes and this has come to the fore as our computing services divsion looks at what we can do with the tools available (the EMC Documentum Business Process Management suite).
So, it will be interesting to see the differences in the context of the particular business units, and which takes priority, the information or the process. Of course for some outcomes, the process will remain human oriented and ad hoc, more about collaboration. For these use cases the ability to subscribe to content, to use built in threaded discussions, to receive notifications and alerts etc is more important than 'traditional' aspects of BPM, such as whole process encompasing workflows.
One good thing, the 'boss' has "unfrozen" a post for an ECM Programme specific Business Process Analyst - which means my colleagues will not have to rely on just my experience (and what I learnt on my AIIM BPM Specialist course).