BPM – a year in review – 2011

This is becoming a tradition, writing about what happened across the year. Once I’m not an analyst or a sorcerer, I cannot predict the future, thus, I will be concentrated  in the rearview mirror perspective for reference only and somehow monitor if these trends ramp up or disappeared into the fog.

I still believe that 2012 will definitively be the year of mobile BPM regarding the availability of good mobile hardware with big screens, high battery life and ubiquity of internet connection.

This the 2011 list. It’s in alphabetic order.

Adaptation – The acronyms war around advanced, adaptive, dynamic was interesting or dull regarding your perspective on the topic. I don’t know why people lost to much time around definitions (coining) rather trying to use it on real world.

The importance of adaptation is close and far from for Darwin theory. Is close because without it your company will not be able to perform. Is far because this is not about restructuring a company or a line of products. It’s about execution.

I remember some years ago when I was leading a team to deploy a major process change, on the training phase, the participants were asking me to make changes not in the process, but the way they could behave and make decisions. If we go back to the BPM theory, at this point you should collect all the feedback and try to make some final improvements before the process roll out. The thing was, in those days and still on these days it’s not very flexible to change, or better to adapt to stimulus or changing situations because IT, or the process does not let people to do what is correct to do.

Contrary to what is thought, CIO’s are worried about adaption because they know the consequences of execution inflexibility and siloed applications that despite tied by web services put users highly coupled to what they can perform

Adaption is about you can respond to stimulus (event, data, notification,changing circumstances) on a given context to achieve an desirable outcome.

Think it like your brain that reacts to interaction you have with the environment that surrounds you. If you can drive business process under these principles you are turning to adaptive. In a world of hyper connectivity failing to be adaptive can bring some bitterness.

Big Data – This is topic that missed most of BPM discussions this year. Today most of the companies are data to report collectors but are missing the value of the remaining available data some of them is free flowing on the internet (social interactions, for example) other in sensors, etc. Data matters because it can tells you in detail what are you doing, wat your customers want, how people react to conditions. Data is not anymore how much do you sell or or much sales leads you lost or about your marketing campaign results. Pity most big data debates are around how distribution industry (supermarkets) are taking advantage of big data. Big data is about your company ecosystem behavior and this is why is important to business process management. Actually is a company asset, you as a manager should transform to a goodwill.

Big data can help to be more outside in, or faster to bring outside in perspectives and adapt, introduce, kill, your products or services.

Big data supports process performance beyond predefined corporate reports.

Big data tells you about execution, action and reaction, thus bakes improvement.

Big data is here to stay. EU’s new open data strategy is just an example.

Process Mining – At last something diferent that emerged in the BPM space. Process Mining is a “new” technology that can speed your improvement and adaptation efforts into a new dimension.

Process Mining helps your company to understand the reality inside your company (or outside it if you have data to do inter organizational mining). As systems are spreading across the enterprise, where every piece of work is becoming stored: your customer relationship interactions, your back office support, your supply chain execution, the collaboration of your workforce.

Everything leaves a trace that is impossible for us humans to analyze. On the other hand we are changing more and more to unstructured work  or predefined work with unstructured snippets that makes virtually impossible to figure it out what are the roots of process execution, collaboration patterns and waste categories. In some companies, people do not work anymore in companies offices, process outsourcing of low added value processes are becoming a standard and it costs to much time and money to carry process walk troughs as it happen in the past.

Bias, hidden agendas, subjectivity kills improvement. Process mining is all about the facts, the reality even if that hurts. Process mining can be used within the full process spectrum: structured to ad-hoc.

I’m proud of belonging to the task force on process mining and  baking the manifesto. If you are interested in discover something more about process mining, follow these links:

A short key note – <here>.

The process mining manifesto for a serious introspection – <here>.

What is a process mining project – <here>.

Social BPM – This is a repeating category. Last year everybody were concentrated on the wrong topic: process control flow design in collaboration mode. But this year the concept evolved to the correct area.

The importance of social BPM is that enables management of dynamic processes to deliver greater business response. In other words enables adaptation.

XaaS –  Everything-as-a-Service. Cloud and cloud related business models, the term has we know it, will disappear in the next couple of years, because it will no longer be an option, it will make part of the infrastructure. XaaS will not only have impact in a shift how business and people use IT, but particularly the way people consume information, meaning that

If you are a service provider you no long sell IT, you sell a result.

In the package you can put systems, professional services, whatever. This will also change the way decision makers choose and pay for it. Before, you could sell something that did not work as predicted on the demos, but after the investment have been made you have sometime to fine tune and readjust. In the XaaS model it can be great having a constant flow of revenue streams, but if from the start you cannot prove you can deliver results, your are out of the business despite having obliterated your customer’s high up front costs.

The great challenge XaaS will have to overcome (from the IT perspective) is intelligent enterprise system connection hiding tech from the users. This means a blend of technologies, processes and knowledge management, integrating information access,  events and alerts and collaboration with high reporting capabilities.

Interested in 2010 list? Click <here>.

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2 thoughts on “BPM – a year in review – 2011

  1. Pingback: BPM Quotes of the week « Adam Deane

  2. Pingback: BPM – a year in review – 2012 « End to End BPM

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