BPM and Business-IT Alignment

If BPM is going to be widely accepted as an instrument of business-IT alignment, it has some work to do. IBM developerWorks has an interesting monthly series in the context of SOA. In Part 2: How do I translate business needs into IT requirements?, IBM's panel of "visionaries" mainly seems to agree that the right starting point is a tool called Rational RequisitePro, which IT uses to gather business requirements that can later be fed into BPM modeling tools like WebSphere Business Modeler and IT modeling tools like Rational Software Architect. Oops. Turns out RequisitePro doesn't integrate with Modeler, but you can open Modeler in Rational Software Architect. Kind of an odd way to do business-IT collaboration.

A common refrain in the piece is that business and IT lack a common language for describing the problem, leading to all those bad things that can happen. One of the panelists, Kerrie Holley -- CTO of IBM's SOA and Web Services Center of Excellence -- offers a magic quadrant segmentation of the possible outcomes based on effective business-IT communication, or lack of it.

Interesting to compare this to another quadrant posted by Sandy Kemsley, taken from Simon Hayward's keynote at the Gartner BPM conference.

Let's make the BPM leap and equate Holley's Know What and Don't Know What categories with Gartner's Strong and Weak Process-Centric Business Culture categories, respectively. And equate Know How and Don't Know How with High and Low Process Capability of IT. Sandy likes the "Reflect" quadrant, where business is ready (for BPM) and IT isn't. Holley calls this segment the "Quest." Unfortunately, I think that's where BPM is today.