(This post adds to proposed concept of management competence stack.)
I have noticed that business processes and process management is referred by a number of methodologies including TQM, Lean, Six Sigma. Books on Six Sigma and Lean contain chapters that retell basic principles of project management and/or BPM. ERP and CRM vendors like to speculate on business processes too.
But it was proven experimentally many times that business processes punish for treating them as a secondary issue. Business Process Management should be developed as a standalone discipline, not as a co-product of some business concept implementation - the latter is a sure way to failure. Management methodologies and business applications should treat business processes as a related discipline, not as part of their own proposal. Another wish to business applications vendors is making their software more SOA- and BPMS-friendly.
The reverse side of the coin: BPM doesn’t need a methodology of its own!
While many colleagues won’t agree on this, I believe that BPM should not cover the top level of the management competence stack. It should be limited by the tactics: process discovery, process patterns, specific issues of managing unpredictable processes etc. Strategic issues like setting a goal to the process initiative or developing a reference model for specific industry should be left outside BPM scope, belonging to business methodology level.
After all someone prefer Lean philosophy, others may prefer the Theory of Constraints and there are people stating that both are outdated and promote the new concept named “Outside-In”. It’s OK - BPM fits well into any of them, BPM is a kind of a gear connecting them to rotating wheels of the enterprise.
I understand those who believe that methodology should be an integral part of BPM: just like me they don’t accept pure technical BPM initiatives not tied to the company’s bottomline. Business methodology is a must but let it be a competence separated from BPM. Let business methodologies to develop on their own and to replace each other from time to time. And let business process management discipline to develop on its own pace and to remain neutral towards methodologies.