Whatever the choice of product, deploying useful BAM dashboards requires close collaboration of business and IT. "The business-process owner is the one who knows exactly where in the process she lacks visibility and where things fail on a bad day," Rosen says. IT, on the other hand, can help the business user understand what is possible.
"It's too much to presume that the business user can imagine what he'd like to see," says the bank vice president. "IT needs to work iteratively with him, helping him envision the dashboards by which he can monitor the operational state."
As with most people we spoke with, the bank vice president advises starting small. "Don't apply BAM end to end in your first pilot. Start with a few key processes that run your business."
"Map out the process you want to monitor," Kelly says, "so that you know exactly which KPIs you're looking for. Most organizations haven't done this, and it becomes a big stumbling block." Careful modeling clarifies which dashboards and alerts to deploy and ensures that they provide all the context necessary to help the user make decisions. Be sure to choose information that will actually be used.
"If you use BAM to send the sales rep a lead every time someone hits the Web site, pretty soon the rep will ignore those alerts," Gassman says. He also points out that data quality is a big issue. "If you're not doing the right data cleansing, consistency checking, and validation, you'll end up with unreliable data streams and lots of false positives and negatives."
IT should also make sure its BAM solution provides users with easy tools, such as drop-down menus to manipulate KPIs and thresholds as business conditions change, so users don't have to go back to IT each time they want to make a small adjustment.
Once you succeed with your first BAM pilots, your business users will think of many more ways of leveraging BAM to improve business operations. You just may be on your way to realizing the dream of the real-time enterprise.
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