Properly starting any BPM engagement has nothing to do with the wonderful automation technologies available today but more so with a clarity regarding the business objectives. It is easy to get swept up into conversations regarding the automation, workflow and integration capabilities that BPM tools now offer. However, without first building the best process models that directly satisfy one or all three key constituents (customers, owners and employees), the automation and efficiency inherent in BPM tools may only accelerate your demise rather than success.
I believe that mature process centric organizations can migrate, rather easily, toward BPM solutions because the foundation for process thinking has been defined, set and established; it is part of their fabric. Less sophisticated process organizations should learn to crawl before they run. This learning typically starts with business operations. What is the business trying to accomplish? Where is the current pain? How do you know this is an issue (what information do you have to prove this issue)?
No one would advocate building a house without a good foundation. Starting with the business objectives (customer requirements, CTQs, points of competitive differentiation, etc…) serve as the foundation for any related process improvement; BPM or otherwise. For those organizations just starting out, let’s build a solid base on which to build; and stop with the tech talk, start with the business.