Acronyms Run Amok - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
Commentary
4/26/2004
01:50 PM
Ted Kemp
Ted Kemp
Commentary
50%
50%

Acronyms Run Amok

BPM vendors -- both kinds -- spend little time pointing out that, yes, there's another kind of "BPM" out there too. The result, especially for IT managers making their first foray into one BPM practice or the other, is serious confusion.

The use of abbreviations to shorten complex technology concepts is a practice that serves IT well. It's a fine system, until we take two distinct but closely related ideas and refer to them by the same acronym. Thus the situation with "BPM".

The "two BPMs" are business process management and business performance management. BPM vendors -- both kinds -- do a good job of highlighting the strengths of their own tools, but none seem to take the time to point out that, yes, there's another kind of "BPM" out there too. The result, especially for IT pros making their first foray into one BPM practice or the other, is serious confusion.

That confusion is made more acute by the close relationship between the two ideas. Process management involves the design and management of distinct workflows; performance management, on the other hand, is the use of planning and analysis to develop strategic goals and measure how well the business is meeting them.

Both BPMs are a kind of BI, a way of gathering and analyzing data to gain hard insights into business. And both process management and performance management present their own challenges. Process management, for example, requires IT and business thinkers to discern how tasks are managed in their organizations before they can be modeled. Performance management, perhaps even more dauntingly, forces companies to discover the metrics by which they'll measure success. For more on the differences between the two BPMs, see Kevin Ferguson's story on the issue here in Business Intelligence Pipeline.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Slideshows
Flash Poll