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  1. Peter Schooff
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. Tuesday, December 06 2016, 09:43 AM
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It's that time of year again. What are your BPM predictions for 2017?
Consolidation of ACM, BPM, CEM, and ECM at run time environments capable of supporting workflow/workload management .

Interoperability (data exchange inbound and outbound) between local and remote systems. applications, devices, customers, suppliers, other stakeholders)
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Comment
Technology helps - we did an e-Hub for a large managed care company with 100 member otherwise independent clinics, each using their own EHR systems (similar to BPMs').

Clearly, each has to be able to import/export data (some of the pure web "solutions" can only pick up data entered at keyboards) and it does not matter what data transport format each needs. We just write a new parser for what they ship out and a formatter for what they receive.

The usual "huge" (thanks, Bernie) problem is "data element naming conventions" and the solution here is make it such that publishers and subscribers each read and write data using THEIR own native data element naming conventions.

Trying to 'standardize' on data elements in healthcare led to the invention of a very silly, in my view, "standard" where 95% of the content of a message has "null" at each data element.

Selective broadcast (if you care about 'need-to-know') does not have to be a nightmare either.

In our data exchange software we handle both need-to-know and data element naming conventions.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
Interoperability is a wonderful vision. But it is also a so-called "wicked" problem. Technically complex, inherently a security challenge, and necessarily involving both organizational and interorganizational governance issues. For this reason I predict that any interoperability gains will be "by inches" -- or if you prefer, "by centimeters". : )
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
Success/failure will depend on how good a job the vendors do providing User Interfaces for these environments.

The criteria are

1) Users find it easier with the new UIs to do their work than without the UIs, failing which they will not get on board
2) Management sees an increase in efficiency/effectiveness, otherwise they will de-fund initiatives that promised increases in these two areas.

BPM will be center stage in increases in efficiency and play a key role in increases in effectiveness.

From the overall perspective of an individual corporation's ongoing well-being, management has to do a better job evolving strategic plans, identifying initiatives, selecting the more promising of these, then monitoring progress toward meeting/exceeding strategic objectives.

See "Steering the Ship -- the new Business Reality

https://kwkeirstead.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/steering-the-ship-the-new-business-management-reality/
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
Still thinking how to combine

- Digitalization
- Blockchain
- RPA
- Disruption
- Uber of
- French fries
- Artificial Intelligence
- P2P
- Virtual Reality
- Transformation
- Machine Learning

into one sentence.

Just kidding. If the results of something simple like a president election can't be predicted, why bother predicting what will happen in BPM world?


Just keep solving the problems of your customers, be kind and enjoy 2017!
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
Comment
@Scott. I'll ask my mom.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
Emiel, were we separated at birth?

+1 for "we also have to think about more than [just] the consequence for the shareholders"
  1. E Scott Menter
  2. 3 months ago
@Emiel. LOL.

For sure, I am not one of those "shouting about the next big thing" - most of my magic methods come from the 1950's and 1960's.

People don't need to solve all of the problems. Many times, simply changing the question allows forward motion.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
@John: As we, the cool BPM peeps, want to make everything faster, cheaper, efficienter, I think we also have to think about more than the consequence for the shareholders.

But, I am from the socialistic state of the Netherlands ;-)
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
@Karl:

"Except that most customers don't know what problems they have. Some think they have no problems."

This makes clear that there is one important characteristic of someone in BPM world: Listening!

And that is hard in a world were many are shouting about the next big thing that will definitely solve all your problems.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
I think maybe Emiel you are the first to raise the "basic income" idea on BPM.com! A.K.A. a "universal basic income" or UBI, the idea is gaining traction (there's even a major article in the WSJ on the topic). But why here? Because BPM is very much at the technological core of what is driving the idea of a UBI. I suppose policy questions are not really in scope for BPM.com, except perhaps insofar as economically rational resistance to automation is potentially a factor in any BPM project.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
Except that most customers don't know what problems they have. Some think they have no problems.

It's up to folks like us to help them get to a state where they know they have problems, know what these problems are, and are willing to negotiate solutions.

I suppose our role should extend to helping customers identify initiatives that could help their organizations improve competitive advantage. You don't have to be an expert in a particular industry, application, technology area, customers have people you can interview to find out what they do currently and once you have gone into say 5 organizations in a particular area you can spot problems/see areas for improvement, etc.

As with BPM, there is a methodology you can communicate to management on success in the area of strategic planning/ high level decision making.

I would be happy to do a webinar for a small group. For any who participate and relate to the content, I have software they can have from Civerex and use for free (solo consultants only, with experience talking to / consulting with senior management, please). You would need an MS SQL installation on a laptop to run this software.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
Then just be kind and enjoy. Plenty of time with robots doing my job and getting a basic income. Can't wait for 2017.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
RE "Just keep solving the problems of your customers, be kind and enjoy 2017!" and wait for somebody to do this job faster, better and cheaper.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
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Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
I wrote an article called Operational Excellence in 2025 - so 2017 should be making measurable progress against that list. But on a more practical note BPM should be able to fix this issue: A post from a customer who was so frustrated she resorted to FB.

"It’s a sad reflection of business nowadays is that my major accomplishment today was getting to speak to someone at VirginMedia that was able to use a telephone and find out the problem with our order. He also managed to retain my number and call me back. Mind this took 3 calls yesterday speaking to 5 people and 2 calls today, one of which was 45 minutes long, speaking to a total of 6 people. There are real human beings out there that have brain cells but to find them you have to be extremely persistent and keep holding on through the dire hold music."

Forget ACM-centric, personal-context, AI-enabled BPM. In the words of Matt Damon in The Martian "We need to streamline the f&ck out of this" (I may have misremembered the quote)
References
  1. https://elements.cloud/what-does-the-future/
Comment
Agree, but for a complex request where callbacks are required, continuity between handoffs becomes important.
A caller stating "my receivables don't seem right" is not going to get a response via ONE interaction.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
Surely the aim is to simplify the support process and provide better access to the correct information so it can be dealt with through self service or ONE interaction.
  1. Ian Gotts
  2. 3 months ago
@Ian
A good CEM (which can be embedded into Case along with BPM and ECM) can easily build a log of each call, with the proviso that each call makes some progress toward a solution.

Get this working and it should not matter who picks up on the 2nd, 3rd etc call from the customer.

Having an international business with staff working at various locations during their "normal' hours gets of much of the "music" problem. Clearly, one insomniac trying to handle the Asian afternoon market out of NA does not work.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
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John Morris Accepted Answer
My prediction for the fate of BPM automation technology in 2017 is that change will be a "game-of-inches" (see reference re: master data management, governance, and BPM engine limitations). A game of inches is not failure; it can be steady progress.

There's a business development and sales angle to BPM possibilities for 2017 though, even with the game of inches. And that is that technology adoption is probably a chaotic system. What vertical or horizontal markets, vendors or specific sub-technologies will succeed or fail are not predictable; there are too many degrees of freedom. That said however, "freedom" (ok loosely defined) means that any given actor in the BPM ecosystem can succeed -- and in part due to intelligent effort to spread the good news of BPM. Luck + informed effort = positive outcome.
Comment
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Neil Ward-Dutton Accepted Answer
Here's where I think the technology/products will (continue to) go:
- early applications of learning systems to tasks and flows
- from products to platforms (vendors continue to lose control / cede control of product UX, and more)
- self-service / long-tail use cases

For more, see here: https://www.mwdadvisors.com/2016/11/23/three-key-trends-2017/

However as always customers will not move as quickly...
Comment
customers expectations move quickly... corporates (customers of BPM) are slow to move.... herein lies the problem.
  1. Ian Gotts
  2. 3 months ago
+1 on the self-service / long-tail use cases
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer
My predictions for 2017:
- BPM tech will continue to be wrongly marketed as disruptive;
- RPA will continue to grow --> laymen will increasingly get fired by RPA customers --> talent will increasingly avoid RPA customers;
- the BPM cat will die several times, but still marginally below the fateful number of nine;
- 2018 will follow*

*sorry, but I had to introduce one accurate prediction!
Managing Founder, profluo.com
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 6
I think, we will see next year:

- “diagramless” BPM solutions
- more vertical (in addition to CRM and customer on-boarding) BPM-based solutions which cover 80-90 % of needs for the majority of clients
- BPM solutions which left enterprises to coordinate work between enterprise and customers (B2C) and between enterprises (B2B)
- some consolidation (under the pressure of modern disruptive technologies) in BPM discipline, BPM-suite tools and BPM practices

Thanks,
AS
Comment
@Emiel, your animated processes w/Post-It-Note tokens are fantastic! As for Petri nets, I took that full process mining course last year from your famous compatriot and process champion, Prof. Wil van der Aalst -- and as you may know, the course is very Petri net-oriented.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
@Alexander.. Interesting comment . . ."a BPM solution can be created without a flow-chat but with other coordination techniques, e.g. gantt-charts, run-down lists"

By analogy, we could say "a CPM solution can be created..." except that the industry discovered that flowgraphs are best for once-through projects for the 1st 90% of the timeline, at which time stakeholders very specifically go to "run-down" lists which the construction industry calls "punch lists".

The reason for this behavior is well founded - the 90% is structured work whereas the final 10% is not. And, the industry has had a lot of time to perfect their approach.

Very common in a large civil engineering project to have 100 projects with 50,000 activities, where everything has to dovetail down to a single step called "ribbon cutting".

Ref:
A punch list is a document prepared near the end of a construction project listing work not conforming to contract specifications that the contractor must complete prior to final payment. The work may include incomplete or incorrect installations or incidental damage to existing finishes, material, and structures.
Punch list - Wikipedia


I would bet that for each BPM user we can find, there are 1,000 CPM users (maybe more).


  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
@john. I was raised with petri-nets, so tokens are the way I "talk process".

Even when just modeling a process, I just use simple post-its to represent cases as tokens

http://procesje.nl/wordpress/?p=431

It's in Dutch, but you'll get the picture.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
I was sure that you will like this prediction :) Although I should have wrote “flow-chart-less BPM solutions” the original version was understood correctly.

@Karl
No, a BPM solution can be created without a flow-chat but with other coordination techniques, e.g. gantt-charts, run-down lists, etc.

@Bogdan, @Emiel and @John, By definition, if a customer is able to express and understand the coordination of their work as a flow-chat then the customer must be able to see tokens (and other animation) in simulation and in real work situations and in real-time.

Thus, not “flow-charts are dead” but “not only flow-charts”!

@Ian, Yes, classic ERP products were forced to invent workflow to improve their flexibility. But they didn’t manage (although tried) to implement a modern set of BPM capabilities and make all their processes explicit and machine-executable.

Hmm. It is first time I hear that Pega is positioned as a "core app". Can you share with us what is your rationale for this, please?
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 3 months ago
@Emiel, @Bogdan - Finally some peoople dare to mention tokens! Token flow animations are powerful! And as you say, business people love 'em. (The best animations come out of process mining -- "AHA -- see that!! There's the bottleneck!")
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
@Bodgdan, @Emiel -- Fascinating comments regarding process diagrams, especially "live process diagrams", and a tendency for technologists (and some business side staff), to believe that we DON'T WANT TO LOOK INSIDE the black box of work. This is a particular interest of mine, which is "opening up the black box of work". As your joint experience indicates, business people do want to do that AND BPM is very effective providing what business people want. And what's that? Understanding. Simplification that work. Control. Without BPM diagrams, what do have? Narrative? Water cooler chat? Goals and objectives without means? And how will a 1,000 corporates compete if not on operations? Financialization and KPIs must be ABOUT something -- by definition all business meetings ultimately refer to operations of some kind. So, BPM provides the window into operations. I get the sense that the full power of BPM is not yet realized.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
@bogdan. I see the same all the time. Not just the picture, but with the tokens in real time (to me that IS the start of true BPM)

"Is this what is going on now" "Yes You see that token? That's your expense report not getting paid on time" "Oh let's improve the process!"
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
My take is the complete opposite of that. 100% of my customers (all small and cheapskates) start by saying: "show me some screens - what the BPM app will look like". As soon as I get to the flowcharts, showing them what happens in real time with the tokens, they say: "aha! I love this!"
Yes, these customers are seeing basic implementations of very expensive BPM platforms - any seasoned BPM consultant would snicker at them. But for these customers it's almost a revelation, as they never saw expensive BPM - and never will.
I was completely surprised by that - I also started with the assumption that flowcharts are dead and customers don't care about how their apps actually work.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
I'd suggest BPM-less diagrams will be bigger than diagram-less BPM.... because the BPM capabilities are embedded in core apps like SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, WorkDay, Pega etc etc
  1. Ian Gotts
  2. 3 months ago
@Alexander, Please, what is a "diagrammless" BPM solution?

Do you mean that there is a diagram but that end users never need/get to see it?

This would work for me i.e. BPM diagrams get carved up via a compiler into discrete steps that automatically post to the right User InTrays as these steps become "current").
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
@karl they are imvemted" far before the sixties;-)
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
(sigh) I need to get up to speed on Petri nets. I am familiar with Petri dishes, Petri nets, on the other hand, are new to me.
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
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  3. # 7
E Scott Menter Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Not much to add in terms of predictions, but I do nurture a hope, in the spirit of Emiel's comments above.

No doubt the coming year will see a variety of achievements in and related to BPM. Machine learning, complex event processing, predictive analysis: we should no more abandon these advances than we should return to steam engines and equine-based transportation.

But we ignore at our peril the human implications of this technology. We rightfully celebrate technology-driven increases in economic efficiency, as we do with any development with the potential (albeit not the guarantee) of improving the human condition. But how much of that advance is due to an increase in the numerator, and how much to a decrease in the denominator? In the infinitely efficient economy, all work is done with zero people.

Higher efficiency does not per se imply reduced scarcity: it's hardly a secret that in the rising tide of an economy, some boats float better than others. My hope for 2017, then, is that those of us with a hand in bringing in the tide remember to extend a hand to those who may be swamped by it.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
Comment
@Bogdan, your comment is almost a, uh, can I say this, "a manifesto"! And a powerful one at that. Who knew that technology could have the potential for such "business humanism". Especially notable is your knock on naysayers who claim "BPM is dead". There are lots of things to be said as to why those claims are wrong; in the end though, and related to questions of economics, complexity and trust, I don't think it will turn out well for BPM nihilists.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 months ago
@Scott: completely agree. As so you eloquently put it "In the infinitely efficient economy, all work is done with zero people".
I'd only extend that to say that this is really (as in all business matters) just the fundamental prisoners' dilemma at work: there will always be the guy that ruins the collaborative game (i.e. the common good) for the promise of a higher individual reward - you see this behavior everywhere:
- BPM market (RPA outright ruining mundane jobs for the sake of grabbing some quick value before the whole market returns to zero-sum),
- politics (Brexit - a country hoping to extract special rewards by not playing along a less individually beneficial common game)
- BPM market again (players saying 'BPM is dead' to they can market themselves as the only ones ahead of the game, while instilling FUD into all the customers, and therefore hurting the whole industry)
So, yes, the cost-cutting crap is a limiting angle of BPM technology - I'm already exploring far more rewarding angles - like ability to understand your business model in real-time, ability to uniquely differentiate your business by customizing your execution etc. And TBH, after 20 years as a CFO, it's far more rewarding to me as well - exploring things from a liberating business architecture development perspective.
The future is bright.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 3 months ago
@bogdan. Thanks!
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 months ago
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Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
A goal for 2017 https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/15326056_10154949507815757_7212223148395506876_o.jpg
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  3. # 9
Stuart Chandler Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
BPM continues to evolve and capabilities continue to be incorporated into the BPMS. Big Data, smart processes, better ways to execute to insure success in leveraging BPM along with many other things are the focal points. 2017 will continue to show evolving platforms and increased capability in the BPMS platforms. However, I see robotics being a big disruptor. Robotics is a real option for some problems but I see it blinding many organizations before it gets positioned correctly. I see rush to judgments, thinking that robotics solves the worlds problems when it is temporary in many cases, so organizations don't plan their roadmaps properly only to discover a spaghetti of processes that have to be reengineered and actually put business continuity at risk. Robotics will settle down, bring visibility to opportunities and continue to be viable option for some activities but not until down the road after its disruption, and some big trip ups...........
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
David Chassels Accepted Answer
No low code will become the driver to deliver BPM in a manner that business actually understands what they are buying into.
Digital for business becomes a BPM driver to improve user experiences and operational activity ......with that easy.. to understand no low code supporting software
Industry anaysts do real research on how business requirements are delivered and ignoring big vendor marketing hype and become independent....
I live in hope........
Comment
Sure ". . . . low code will become the driver to deliver BPM in a manner that business actually understands what they are buying into"

What better way IMO to demonstrate low code than to sign up a prospective customer for, say, a GoToMeeting, get the customer to send to you, in advance, images of 10-20 forms they are using, then, at the time of the GoToMeeting, load up a blank canvas/sheet, hand over the mouse to the customer and say "you go ahead and build a small process featuring steps that reference the form images you sent"?

The objective is to have the customer build a small map with minimal coaching, roll it out to a run time environment, generate two instances of the template and run the instances through to completion within a reasonable timeframe, say 1 hour.

If time permits have them update their map by adding a step somewhere in the map or, changing the logical connections and versioning their map\template.

I see zero value in a demo where the vendor rep drones through some canned material. A build from scratch video is much better but it is unidirectional in terms of delivery.

The other extreme is a small customer group where they pick someone and have them build a small map that causes their forms (images of their forms) to post as they run the compiled version of the map (record \template \instances).

Is an agenda like this something that would impress, or can all/most BPM mapping \ run time environments handle this?
  1. karl walter keirstead
  2. 3 months ago
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steve Accepted Answer
Process Digitization will the theme of 2017. As process improvement and new technology collide, old process designs, that were developed during the era of information poverty, will give way to data-driven process redesign (at least for the winners).
What an exciting year for process practitioners 2017 will be (if we can look forward not backwards).
References
  1. http:// book “Smart Work: Why Organizations Full of Intelligent People Do So Many Dumb Things and What You Can Do About It”,
Comment
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  3. # 12
Patrick Lujan Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
Writing this before I read all the responses and comments:

1. Blockchain will not blow up.
2. Neither will RPA.
3. "As-is" and "to-be" diagrams will not go away.
4. Neither will BPMN.
5. Some will still argue definition.
6. Others will kill BPM. Again, some more.

What's next?
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  2. BPM Discussions
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KM Mukku Accepted Answer
1. AI will make greater inroads into the design and implementation of Business Processes.
a. This will happen for both production and back-office processes.
b. AI driven automation will put pressure on enterprises to re-structure themselves. 
2. New techniques such as blockchain will play a big part in industry such as Insurance, Realty, and many Government organisational processes. 
3. Governments will be forced to make more and more of their processes (services effecting their countrymen) to be open and available on the net.
a. Once again creating a fundamental structural pressure on social and governmental affairs. 
4. More interconnections of processes across organisations will happen on the cloud, and hence once again blockchain will play a big part. 
a. This will impact supply chain processes in a big way.
b. This is very much dependent on how destabilizing the Trump effect will be on the (supply chin) worlds economic affairs.

[/list]
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Scott Francis Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
I'm sure someone will kill BPM again. They have every year since 2009. Meanwhile we'll all keep making a living doing something that is apparently dead. Meanwhile, new technology landscape will actually keep BPM evergreen for those that surf the wave*


*(shameless plug!)
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