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  1. Peter Schooff
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  3. Tuesday, November 25 2014, 09:46 AM
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As we near the new year, what do you think will be the biggest challenges for BPM in 2015?
Enterprise architects will start to understand BPM and use it correctly.

Thanks,
AS
Comment
Been waiting on that one for a solid eight years, wouldn't bet on it Doc.
  1. Patrick Lujan
  2. 2 years ago
Don't worry Patrick, it is never late to do right things.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
Garvin Fouts Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
I see challenges with solution fragmentation - Embedded workflows in almost all applications are competing for use cases.  With that fragmentation comes frustration with managing processes in multiple systems, where automation is planned and maintained, and competing internal resource allocation.  End users then have to use different systems to do different things with different task lists, notifications, mobile apps, etc.   Enterprise BPM is getting much more challenging for consistency and manageability and so the 'M' in BPM is getting harder.
Comment
hey, that's the same answer someone could have given for 1992. ;-) (it's a smiley, but actually it's sad)
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 2
Scott Francis Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Same as they ever were. 

- leadership

- skills in BPM (technical and otherwise)

- moving to the cloud (BPM being the long tail of enterprise apps moving over)

- figuring out how to make money in the cloud (for themselves, for consultants, for partners, to build an ecosystem)

Interestingly, none of the bigger BPM vendors are really focused on improving BPM functionality.  This means lots of opportunity for new vendors and upstarts to make some noise, because the depth of BPM functionality hasn't been fully plumbed, but the move to cloud/mobile/html5 for the bigger vendors has been a distraction from their focus on core tech of BPM. 

 
Comment
really good question Filipe :)
I see lots of improvements in User Experience - in the ways that people interact with process. And improvements in understanding the models, in operationalizing the functioning of BPM in the enterprise. Improvements in things like integrated simulation, analysis, and optimization. Lots of fertile ground... someone might be working on some of these things :)
  1. Scott Francis
  2. 2 years ago
Scott, totally agree but I'm curious about what you said in the last paragraph.

What kind of functionality do you mean in: "because the depth of BPM functionality hasn't been fully plumbed"
  1. Filipe Pinho Pereira
  2. 2 years ago
Thank you for your answer :) Lots of fertile ground indeed. A lot of opportunities to explore.
  1. Filipe Pinho Pereira
  2. 2 years ago
All true, but especially positive is "depth of BPM functionality hasn't been fully plumbed", tagged with cloud being a distraction and big BPM not being consistently improved. I add that there is a world to be won by the vendor or community that takes the research and engineering forward on BPM technology.

As for "same as they every were" . . .i.e. "once in a lifetime" maybe, a Talking Heads reference?
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 years ago
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  3. # 3
Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
Scott nailed it with his first 4 points.  That is the challenge when BPM is on the agenda.  

But getting BPM heard above the noise is the biggest challenge.  Clients need to understand the critical importance of BPM to running their business, and prioritise it above everything else.  BPM is core. Done well it is unseen. It just gets on with the job in the background. It is boring. So it is easily overshadowed by the glizty noise of big data, social. mobile, security and CRM.

Without great process, social, analytics or mobile are just lipstick on a pig.

 
Comment
right, what's the point of all the infrastructure and social and mobile and data mining and analytics if you're not conducting business through it :)
  1. Scott Francis
  2. 2 years ago
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  3. # 4
Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer
The biggest challenges:

- integrating fragmented smart process apps with limited use cases in one unifying (and gratifying) enterprise user experience - not gonna happen until 2020 though (maybe)

- modelling business process fringe cases (CMMN, DMN)

- finding the proper pragmatist adopter market, somewhere between the highly focused, revenue-bringing, vertical BPM cases (now better addressed through heavy coding) and the run-of-the-mill, cost-saving, horizontal BPM cases (now profitably addressed only by large enterprises)
Managing Founder, profluo.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
Tim Bryce Accepted Answer
As always:  Standardization (God forbid!)
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
Amy Barth Accepted Answer

I absolutely agree with Scott.  I was even going to use the same term:  Noise.  Smaller, more "piecemeal" BPM-esque products will attempt to compete with more robust BPM products, because they can sell themselves as offering similar capabilities without as much cost (which can be extraneous and intimidating--especially for fixed budgets like government)--cost is often a deal-breaker from the big names, from what I've seen.  

However, there is something to be said about being robust. Obviously, it's an asset for larger organizations that can really benefit from using BPM products as they were intended--not just to act as Band-aids and "wrappers" for legacy systems.  When these expensive products are not "fully plumbed," inefficiency over time becomes a risk, as well as cost-effectiveness.

Comment
LOL "BPM-esque".
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 years ago
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  3. # 7
Anatoly Belaychuk Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Peter, is your question about technology? Management discipline? Capabilities and overall process maturity of today's enterprises? All of these? Ambiguous questions provoke misunderstanding.

If accepting the widest scope (i.e. considering all three aspects) then where is the bottleneck, I wonder? 

1) Is it the unfulfilled promises of BPM vendors? 

From my perspective, the biggest challenge here is merging together enterprise architecture, modeling and execution tools (measurement also implied indeed). Current BPMS's implement roundtripping in the smaller cycle model-execute-measure that only works on a single process level. We are still in the one-way mode at the enterprise level: enterprise models are developed in the EA tools, then thrown to BPMS engineers for implementation and so we we've got two sources of truth. With this gap it's no surprise that enterprises are struggling to reach the higher levels of maturity that require an architected set of enterprise-wide processes.

Social enablement is another big challenge. The major issue is that social functionality can't be successfully implemented within a BPMS alone. Nobody needs a social functionality here, there and over there too. One portal with social functionality for process, another for projects and yet another for cases (letting alone ERP and alike)? Doesn't make much sense for me. Merging together projects, processes, cases is another challenge.

2) Or maybe it isn't the technology we should care about first? Maybe we have too much technology already while the BPM methodology is lagging behind?

Do we have consistent body of knowledge? I'm afraid we aren't there yet. There are great many books written about BPM but are they coherent? I'm not criticizing here - it's a real issue our customer are facing. They ask: "This BPM thing sounds great but where can I read about it? Which university and/or business school provides true BPM pros? Can I replace one BPM specialist by another or are you all gurus each of your own kind?" ABPMP CBOK is the best attempt I'm aware of at the moment but it's far from being perfect. How can we expect a majority of customers to adopt BPM when it's clearly not fully mature as a discipline.

3) But probably the biggest challenge is that organization needs a solid set of internal capabilities and something in its values and culture to be successful in BPM.

How can we - developers and consultants - help this? I do see one opportunity. As for today, BPM is mostly do-it-your-self adventure. This is the essence of BPM: whatever can be standardized is already implemented in of-the-shelf software (ERP and alike), BPM is about "systems of differentiation". But does it mean that every BPM solution should be developed from scratch? Every BPM customer would be grateful if they could leverage a packaged framework for a specific application domain. Ideally, there should be a marketplace for such frameworks developed both by the platform vendors and wide range of partners. People are accustomed to this model already with iThings and Android apps. In BPM case it'd be a framework rather than a ready-to use application but it'll deliver lot of value anyway. I believe this is a challenge for all of us - vendors, consultants and customers.

Sorry for the long post and no definite answer to the question.
Comment
and maybe like android apps they should all be free :)
  1. Scott Francis
  2. 2 years ago
what? you are kidding :)
  1. Anatoly Belaychuk
  2. 2 years ago
Finally, a mention of the "round-tripping problem". This problem in practical situations is enormously important. And yet in sales situations from multiple vendors to new prospects, the issue is mostly never raised. Round-tripping "too techy". And gets into methodology and discipline. And then six months or a year later, BPM is just another technology acronym owned by IT, like SOA. And BPM does a very limited thing compared to what would be possible with executable BPM models and no roundtripping issue. "Multiple sources of truth" are exponentially more complex to manage; and the added cost and time tips the program from viable to fail.
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
Peter Johnston Accepted Answer
What are the biggest challenges BPM will face in 2015

Let’s look at the trends…

[list="1"]
[*] [quote][b]Process is going mainstream[/b]
. A better customer journey, enabled by better processes, is the modern competitive advantage.


[*]
[b]Automation is maturing[/b]
. Only late adopters still have departments of people doing order processing, book-keeping and document management. In modern companies these are totally automated systems with people only handling the exceptions. Companies are leapfrogging BPM.


[*]
[b]Peer-learning is in, Gurus are out[/b]
. The tide of knowledge has risen all boats – there is no longer any excuse for C-Suite executives not to know about process, workflow and analytics. When the gap narrows between their knowledge and that of the guru, the added value is worth less. The “never get sacked for buying IBM” effect is worth less too.


[*]
[b]The first generation of IT is running out of steam[/b]
. Only the most stick-in-the-mud companies think that an Oracle or SAP stack is the way to run a business.


[*]
[b]Open-source is going mainstream[/b]
and proving to be well written. Only the most gullible to FUD still believe proprietary software from the big vendors is the only option.


[*]
[b]Prices are coming down hard[/b]
. We are moving to free or near-free apps and easy integrations. Six figure software deployments and 20% maintenance contracts are simply out of place in an era of cloud, SaaS, and support through forums, FAQs and online diagnostics.
[/list][/quote]
So Here’s Four Big Challenges…

[list="1"]
[*] [quote][b]Value for Money[/b]

What was done for 250k can now be done for 25k. So why are most vendors still charging 100k+?
BPM practitioners have a choice - to continue trying to charge over the odds and continue declining. Or they can embrace the new Value for Money environment. At a tenth the cost, ROI is much easier to show and many more processes can be given the benefits of BPM. The opportunity to create an overall infrastructure of multiple processes is at last there.


[*]
[b]Reduce Friction[/b]

BPM is hard to deploy. Getting the whole management team in sync. Reconciling Business and IT. It can take six months just to get ready for a project. BPM should be simple – the default for a business-led change programme. And these small programmes can then amalgamate to form one big one.


[*]
[b]Moving to Real-time[/b]

The future is about machine learning – an environment where the data from the first iteration is automatically used to improve each subsequent action. A rapidly evolving and improving process is the result. BPM has to reflect this environment, or be superceded by it. It must move from projects to continuous improvement – from gurus to data-driven rapid re-iteration.


[*]
[b]Making BPM a People Process[/b]

Process Improvement was originally about efficiency. Reducing people numbers. Automating to remove skills, dumbing down so anyone could do it and reducing variation by making it one process for everyone. That whole mindset has gone. Process is now about releasing people to do their best work, about improving journeys for customers and internal users and about creating intelligent processes which learn from every input. Most BPM practitioners are still living in the old world so there is a mismatch between what they are selling and what companies actually want and need.
[/list][/quote]
Dynamic Process
Oxfordshire, UK
+44 (0) 1491 874368
+44 (0) 7590 677232
#dynamic_process
peter@dynamicprocess.uk
Comment
nailed it, Peter!
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9
David Chassels Accepted Answer




I like Peter J's summary and other contributions that see the challenge will be recognition of "how" the BPM supporting software actually works. This is highlighted in Scott’s final comment "Interestingly, none of the bigger BPM vendors are really focused on improving BPM functionality.  This means lots of opportunity for new vendors and upstarts to make some noise, because the depth of BPM functionality hasn't been fully plumbed" herein lie the real challenges in 2015.

For a start will the big "BPM vendors" who have invested Billions $ be ready to write off this investment -NO! They will fight their corner as the new challengers will bring both simplicity with comprehensive capability that next generation software needs to support the "outside-in" people first digitisation that is only really now starting. This of course is being highlighted as mobile and IOE go mainstream for business operations but still needs that vital orchestration of data.

I have said on a number of occasions that BPM thinking should have no limitations but to see this in practice in working "adaptive" applications will require a new underlying approach to the software and that means minimal coding yet handling business operational requirements customised as required. That is a huge challenge to an industry that has uniquely matured on the back of a stack of immature enterprise software.

 2015 will be an interesting year for the BPM movement although ironically I do not see the software having a “BPM” tag – descriptions will describe what the software actually does. In some ways this has started with ACM ……
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
In my opinion BPM has had the same challenge since million of years: Serving your customers. 
Common Sensei at Procesje.nl
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 11
John Morris Accepted Answer
What would be the response to Peter Schooff's 
[b]boiler-plate end-of-year question[/b]
on "challenges for BPM in 2015".  

[b]Absolutely fantastic!  [/b]
As per the comments above, the intersection of technology and business via BPM is centrally important and has great promise -- but with the serious challenges listed.  And there is reason to believe that 2015 could be (as Clay Richardson would have it) "a tipping point".

I would add by referring to Richardson's 2015 Forrester forecast for BPM, to wit his highlighting of two key phenomenon: (1) the shift to
[b]BPM-as-app-dev-platform[/b]
and (2) the shift to
[b]BPM-as-customer-experience-platform[/b]
.  I concur that these two processes, one technology-related and the other business-related, will be key drivers for the world of BPM in 2015.  (I'm taking Peter's question as "what is the state of the union for BPM" -- but one could see both of Richardson's processes ", pace Alex Trebek, "in the form of a challenge" too.)

And I add one more 2015 challenge: "Responding to the possibilities posed by new "
[b]process mining technology[/b]
".  

Coincidentally I'm taking
[b]Prof. van der Aalst[/b]
's current Coursera Process Mining course, and it's amazing.  Process mining is clearly revolutionary in its potential impact on the world of business process management.  The impact is on technology, methodology and business.  And gets to the very heart of many of the issues discussed here, including the central question of model versus reality.
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