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  1. Peter Schooff
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. Tuesday, August 16 2016, 09:48 AM
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From Walter Bril: "Working towards a process-oriented organization is much more than the purchase of (BPM) technology, throwing in some 'change management or mindset workshops' and attending technical training. It is a long-term growth path, a transition where the top of the organization needs to truly believe in and it needs to offer any employee direct practical advantage."




What do you think?

I heard that to promote Adobe’s Acrobat technology, the CEO of Adobe company told staff members that he would consider for his approval only documents in PDF. A lot of people immediately found many advantages in daily use of this digital technology.


In one of my working places, the CEO was the most experienced user of a DMS thus we moved to the paperless production and governance.


Maybe BPM should follow the same route?


Thanks,

AS
Comment
@Patrick: how many hundreds of thousand of dollars later? :-)
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
Every employee at Pega is a Certified Systems Architect (CSA). It can be done. In reality, more an aspirational model, but it's a good goal.
  1. Patrick Lujan
  2. 3 months ago
Re Adobe, I suppose, had he been a vegetarian, all staff would have been required to become the same.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 2 months ago
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  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
David Chassels Accepted Answer

I would articulate in different manner given that giving any employee an "advantage" is not really a sound management approach? What BPM thinking implemented with supporting software does is open the door to "empowerment" as real time feed back of activity allows transparency and thus comfort all is working to plan. Empowerment is further supported by users fear of change being removed even being encouraged to input new ideas. It is the start of the journey encouraging people to take ownership of their processes and knowledge is transferred to the business.


All this recognises the work place is more driven by team spirit and with such empowerment so there is less need for a complex management hierarchy. That is the real challenge as such transformation starts with transforming management!


 
Comment
David, I could not agree more with you. In the end, the process will provide the framework and guard rails to make people move in the same direction (team work/spirit). As it is very difficult to get a process right (and even when it is right at one moment in time, it may not be 2 months down the line), the empowerment dimension is as important as the process technology used in itself. Keeping the process relevant and up to date is indeed one of the biggest challenges. As with any program, this would be useless without the appropriate leadership team sponsorship.
  1. Eduardo Chiocconi
  2. 3 months ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
The biggest advantage us ofcourse for all the employees whose jobs will disappear because of all those cool automated processes.

They finally got time to spend with their kids.

And watch Netflix all day.
Common Sensei at Procesje.nl
Comment
Of course BPM doesn't fire employees (unless you, ya know, automate that crap). But automation, including BPM, is now and will continue to cause workforce displacement. It is a terrible consequence, but an unavoidable one. The trick for society is not to try artificially to keep people in jobs that people really don't have to do anymore: the trick is to empower them to work in jobs that do.
  1. E Scott Menter
  2. 3 months ago
BPM definition is in the eye of the beholder.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
Oh, then I was completely mis informed by the vendors who told me bpm is a about automating the -#!** out of processes.

Glad to see another definition of bpm is used here.

But I'm gone now. Patrick made me realize I still own some nice fishing gear.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
BPM does not fire employees. It does liberate employees for more value-added and intellectual work including thinking about business challenges and bringing innovations.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
No clue about Netflix. I choose to spend my free time at things I really like. An watching tv is not one of them.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
Netflix isn't what it used to be. Neither are the kids. But a fishing pole, a good fishing hole and the right bait...
  1. Patrick Lujan
  2. 3 months ago
RE "people whose jobs are automated will get" - enough money (as a guaranteed revenue) from the society to get jobs they like or don't work for money at all. Of course, to solve the "automation eats jobs" problem requires to consider bigger systems - country and this planet.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
Ofcourse my reply was a little sarcastic, but isn't it a little weird to state that people whose jobs are automated will get better jobs?

Where do the jobs suddenly come from? What created the need?


And if these jobs already exist, isn't someone doing it yet?
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
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  3. # 3
Eduardo Chiocconi Accepted Answer

While is it very difficult to materialize a tangible advantage for every person in all processes. But it is easier to measure advantage as a collective effort. In the end, if every person in the process chain can do its work as effectively as it can, it will ultimately support the efficiency of the process as an all. For processes to be efficient, it is necessary that they have the ability to be updated and modified over time. So the dimension of empowerment to individuals (within reasonable boundaries) and enact change themselves in the context of their responsibilities is critical to sustain value and advantage over time.
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 4
John Morris Accepted Answer

Outstanding question concerning the "daily advantages" of BPM -- and the need for executive suite leadership if we are to realize that promise of BPM every day for every employee..


The question is tricky though, because very quickly "BPM" becomes synonymous with "good management practices", and "management-flavour-of-the-month" and "employee or contractor empowerment". And before long we have
[b]BPM as proxy for most of the MBA curriculum[/b]
. Not a bad thing, but not very specific or helpful.


What is the specific meaning of BPM that gives power to this question?


[b]1) BPM-AS-BUSINESS-METHODOLOGY[/b]
-- Process thinking, closely related to systems thinking, has
[u]specific technical content[/u]
that is more than "processes-are-good-for-you".
[b]Processes exist, i.e. they are emergent or reified "things" that can be addressed, worked with, managed, and which are subject to best practices[/b]
.


[b]2) BPM-AS-AUTOMATION-TECHNOLOGY[/b]
-- BPM-As-Methodology is realized in automation technology of BPMS and business rules engines etc. BPM technology is not just "another technology", but
[u]by definition[/u]
, the technology of the work of business. Because (as I keep emphasizing),
[b]BPM technology and only BPM technology has the concepts of work as first class citizens of that technology.[/b]
As a result, business process artefacts are realized and can be managed as per management requirements under BPM-as-Methodology.


If we accept the above two propositions, then organizational leadership has a new opportunity, to manage their work better than has ever been possible.
[b]Because there is a specific technology which is new and which for the first time directly and efficiently enables management control of processes.[/b]



Until now, management control of processes has been either
[u]indirect [/u]
(mediated by paper and meetings) or if using workflow or early BPM software,
[u]not as efficient[/u]
as new generation BPM technology allows.


So, how will this opportunity be realized?


[b]As Mr. Bril suggests, only via executive leadership, and leadership which understands the real practical advantages of BPM.[/b]



[b]*               *                *[/b]



But technologists now have a challenge. 


Because we are now
[u]out of the realm of technology and into organizational behaviour and organizational change[/u]
. Technologists aren't necessarily very good at organizational change, even ones who are champions of BPM. I have frequently compared the adoption of BPM to the adoption of accounting technology.
[b]Accounting is ubiquitous and foundational.[/b]
BPM can be and likely will become also ubiquitous and foundational. How long it takes to get there is contingent.

[list]
[*]
So what is the [quote][u]secret to BPM adoption[/u]
?
[/list][/quote]


[i]From the original question, that organizational leadership should be a champion of BPM.[/i]


[list]
[*]
And in turn then, what is the [quote][u]secret to getting leadership onside for BPM[/u]
? For a successful and persistent programme?
[/list][/quote]


[i]The secret is starting with the realization that BPM itself is real, important and unique, [quote][u]not just another management trend, trick or tool[/u]
. Specific BPM technology cases, BPM use cases, BPM business cases and BPM investment cases are all there, ready to be made.[/i][/quote]


[b]BPM adoption will only succeed with a buy-in by organizational leadership on the centrality of BPM-as-specific-technology.[/b]



 
Comment
Dr. Samarin - completely agree concerning how BPM needs to be socialized throughout the organization. Especially note your phrases "business language" and "socio-technical aspects". Both are hints at the language of process (see also the recent Signavio video defining BPM as "the language of business": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvELzzNIV-4&). My view is that BPM technology is an instantiation of a formal "language of business" or more precisely a "language of work". And insofar as we champion BPM as something as concrete and specific as accounting, that we will therefore succeed. EA is part of this discourse, as the enterprise super-context of process. But let's start with the atomic definition of business process technology as something real and useful.

Oh, and LOL "the Spandex rule" ["Just because you can, doesn't mean you should"] - 1.8.2
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
RE "BPM adoption will only succeed with a buy-in by organizational leadership " - maybe to consider everyone at a company?

From my book (see also http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2010/02/bpm-reference-model-fragment-08.html, subclause 1.8.4)

We have observed that improving an enterprise BPM system requires a lot of communication with practically everyone within the enterprise, and everyone should be treated as a stakeholder of the enterprise BPM system. Each group of stakeholders has different views, different concerns and a different understanding of the enterprise BPM system.

It is necessary to explain to each group of stakeholders how their concerns will be addressed and how their current working practices will be changed for the better. (This is a typical duty of the chief architect of the enterprise BPM system.) Coherent and clear explanations in the business language are vital for the success of a BPM project. Success is not about saying “Yes” to all requests from the “more important” staff members; it is about building a common understanding and agreement between all stakeholders.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 5
E Scott Menter Accepted Answer
Blog Writer

As it turns out, BPM can actually be a significant factor in [url="http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/bpm_view/2011/11/bpm-and-employee-engagement.php"]employee engagement[/url].


That said, as I noted above, it can also be a significant factor in workforce disruption.


Either way, organizations will continue to build digital applications using BPM platforms, because doing so (a) makes them money, (b) saves them money, or (c) all of the above. Responsible companies, and society at large, will be challenged to step up and address the consequences of (near-)universal digital transformation, for better or worse.



http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 6
Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
To me BPM is about transparancy (whether or not it's done with fancy software tool things)


Making transparant what is going on with cases in processes. Making transparant what it takes to execute processes well. Making transparent where processes might be improved.


So the real advantage is that doing BPM a little seriousb is that it turns every employee in a potential process improvement consultant. And that's cool because who know more about what is going on in your processes than your employees?


Coach them a little in the ideas behind BPM and I think most of them will love their new role.
Common Sensei at Procesje.nl
Comment
I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry Emiel! : ) So taking your comment at face value, my reply would be "Good luck with that!"

Capitalism works when there is reward for effort. Why should any employees contribute effort towards process automation when there is no reward?

There are frequent articles about similar circumstances, i.e. training off-shore replacements etc. Building a process requires even more "engagement" (hello Scott Menter) than just training on existing processes . . .
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
Then we must change the last part in "for the customer" Sorry, employee...
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
So true about the tacit knowledge and skill required to perform any kind of work -- and probably knowledge and skill that will remain for a long time the purview of human beings. The comment about turning every employee into a "potential process improvement consultant" is marvellous in this context.

The darker side of the equation is also apparent though, as you are describing the frontiers of automation and ML ("machine learning"). And economics too. And even labor relations and class.

Who owns the artifacts of process automation, built on the knowledge and skill "of employees"? And perhaps even built "by" the employees? Are this artifacts also built "for" the employees -- if the result is unemployment?

Consider Abraham Lincoln's famous "of the people, by the people and for the people" from the Gettysburg Address -- the employee-consultant opportunity is built on the first two phrases and challenged by the last.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7

[url="http://bpm.com/bpm-today/in-the-forum/should-bpm-offer-every-person-in-the-business-a-daily-advantage-in-executing-their-jobs"] [/url]


[b]Should BPM Offer Every Person in the Business a Daily Advantage in Executing their Jobs?[/b]



 


No, because not every person in your typical business needs or can benefit from orchestration.


Internal Audit does not need to be poked to go out and do a surprise audit. Presumably, when they have nothing to do, they look at who recently pissed them off and initiate a surprise audit. These are connect-the-dots people. If they were to follow some established protocol they would probably miss a few things.


Strategic Business Analysts spend a lot of time connecting the dots or should spend a lot of time connecting the dots - the CEO may ask them to see how resources might be re-deployed to improve long-term projections - not much procedure in an exercise like this.


I like John's ". . . .before long we have
[b]BPM as proxy for most of the MBA curriculum"[/b]



 
Comment
Good point Walter on orchestration. It reminds me of being subjected to quality assurance training at DEC when I was in market research. Outstanding training and useful. But the transaction volume on market research projects is typically not very high -- regardless of the enthusiasm of the team! In other words, you are defining much-needed problem boundaries.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
Aparna Raja Accepted Answer

Not every person needs BPM on his side. Meaning, not every one go through a routine process. The ones that require the advantage of BPM are the ones who practice a repetitive process every other day
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9

People need two things : Orchestration (guidance) and Governance (guardrails).


In any industry/area where it is important to have in place a policy of "no verbal orders", you want all people following "best practices".


The "best practices" can be templates comprising structured steps OR an ad hoc intervention performed by a supposedly knowledeable and competent person.


No need at all to mention BPM or differentiate between structured sequences of steps versus ad hoc steps.


In the extreme, it may appear to a casual observer that an ad hoc step has no connection whatsoever to any previously completed steps, current steps or anticipated steps, other than being on a Case/run-time timeline.


All we need to do is to declare that an ad hoc intervention is a process of one step, so, it too, is a "best practice" and qualifies as "BPM".


It does not matter if a step/intervention is performed by a person, a machine or software.
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  1. more than a month ago
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