Is BPM just a bunch of projects?
When I started to delve into the ARIS world some years ago, I was surprised that it is very common to have several ARIS databases. This came as a surprise, because I always thought the main idea of all this modelling effort is to create a unified enterprise model stored in a single repository. Still, many customers use different databases to document different domains like sales and product processes.
But why are people doing that instead of using a single repository? I think there is at least no technical reason for it. ARIS and similar tools are able to handle large enterprise models. They provide various means to structure such models so that you don’t interfere with other people also working on it.
The only reason I can think of is that BPM is often not handled as an enterprise-wide effort, but instead just as a bunch of projects. Each project is only concerned with solving its project problem, but not with maintaining an enterprise model. Therefore, it is easier to just create another database instead of identifying the correct location in a shared one. Also, each project doesn’t need to adapt to the conventions established, but can create own ones.
Now, from a theoretical point of view, having a different database for each project sounds like a nightmare, because no modelling conventions can be established and no re-use is done. However, maybe this project-based approach is the only realistic way to get BPM started in a company? Instead of loosing time with discussing enterprise-wide modelling conventions, one can already do the first project.
Personally, I’m completely undecided on the best way to move forward. What is your experience to get a BPM effort started? Do you think it is necessary to start with a holistic approach from the beginning or instead have several independent projects? I would really appreciate if you share your thoughts!