Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Dashboard Driven Development

The ability to provide smart effective dashboards is often one of the main selling points of a BPM platform. Dashboards (or scoreboards if you’re from the Lombardi/IBM BPM world) provide the visibility across your process needed to turn what is essentially workflow into Business Process Management. Without this visibility it is impossible for the business to effectively manage the process let alone allow you to prove any ROI on the developed solution.

Unfortunately, dashboards and reports often find their way down the list of priorities when developing the final solution. This is due to the fact they aren't seen as functionally integral but something that can be added at a later date.

This approach will provide you with a functional workflow system but will not provide the “Management” aspect or the ability to perform process improvement. Both of which are key BPM concepts that a business will buy into when purchasing a BPM platform.

Developing the dashboards at a later date isn’t always as easy as it seems. Careful thought is needed to ensure you are collecting all of the data required to provide the business with metrics that will enable them to manage their process effectively. If this is not put in place upfront, you will find it difficult to add it retrospectively as the information will often have already been lost for in flight process instances. Also, the implementation of the process will often be different if you understand fully the metrics that the business requires.

To provide the business with this information, more emphasis needs to be given to the dashboards during requirements gathering. Even if this just results in ensuring that all required data is tracked.