Life may be like a box of chocolates to quote Forrest Gump from the movie “Forrest Gump”, but business processes are like a bowl of Jello. Here is my analogy.
When you make Jello, the first step is to boil water and then add the Jello powder and stir. When you start a BPM project, you typically work with your internal or external clients to understand a business problem and plan a BPM solution. During the planning phase, to keep up with this metaphor, you mix the ingredients.
When the Jello is mixed, you have a bowl of warm liquid that can slosh around in the bowl. During a BPM project, as you define the initial scope of business activities, they can also slosh around as the scope becomes more solid and the language around what the business mean matures.
When you put the bowl of warm liquid Jello in the refrigerator, it slowly solidifies until it is ready to be consumed. During a BPM project, as you continue to define the business model and processes, they will solidify as you build out detail, and become ready for consumption when meaningful metrics are defined and supporting automation implemented. The result is that the business model is ready to be consumed by the business.
I think I know a little too much about Jello because I think we had it every night when I was growing up, but if Jello is not consumed in a timely manner, it will become cracked and moldy and turn into something that should eventually be thrown out. If you do not consume and maintain your business processes, the result is that the processes become out of date and will have to be thrown out and a new set of processes created, hopefully in a flavor you like.
Remember as Bill Cosby said in the Jello commercials years ago, there is always time for Jello. In solving business problems, there is always time for BPM.