At last week's BPM and Case Management Summit there was quite a bit of talk about what was ahead for business and BPM. One thing everyone agreed on was the speed of change was accelerating, so do you see the value proposition of BPM for business changing significantly in the next few years?
Business value is about converting inputs to outputs.
You always need an infrastructure but the amount of work needed and the type of work needed to convert inputs to outputs varies.
We can call all work a “process” – if all of the work steps are ad hoc, Case is the environment of choice, if some of the steps are linked, then Case + BPM. Fully automated processes need automated process control hardware/software (typically modeled using GPSS). Once-thru initiatives (i.e. building a field of houses) need CPM (ES, EF, LS, LF, float).
I don't see the value proposition of BPM changing significantly in terms of its defined niche but we probably need another ten years for corporations to become aware of the capabilities of BPM and to start using BPM.
Yes, BPM is evolving to something greater. It's not just for internal automation. It will be for full user (inside and outside) engagement. While our aim is still to improve operations (faster, less cost, better experience), we will enable more end-user (external user) interaction through real contextualized user experiences. I'm excited.
I think there are already two sets of value props depending on what you are trying to do with BPM. I don't think a third set will be coming anytime soon, but certainly the evolution of the ones that are already there.
When I am working with our fresh-out-of-college sales associates I usually explain the different value props like this:
Traditional BPM (Automation):
BPM for Digitalization:
I usually find that businesses will start off by dabbling in the traditional BPM area then grow into the second set after they have a few of the traditional processes managed well. It is the sales rep's job to assess the maturity of the organization they are working with to determine which set of value props they should be focusing on.
BPM's value proposition is as strong as it always has been, and I don't see that changing.
Business processes are business processes, and (broadly speaking) neither they nor the desire to improve them has changed a whole lot over the millennia. The technologies we use to make these improvements have changed enormously, however, in terms of both price and capability. So realizing the full measure of that value may be more within reach than ever.
As we already know (see ref1) BPM potentials are huge. Step-by-step, we are unlocking them for
The BPM value proposition is still the same – bring the systems approach to our work. At present, it is perceived differently by different enterprises.
Rachel makes a good point about the apparent divergence of BPM platform value propositions in the marketplace.
It's obviously true that the digitization proposition is taking on increased importance. But the position advocated by Big Analyst—namely, that the efficiency/compliance/agility proposition is no longer relevant—is simply disingenuous provocation.
What is all this “low-code digital application development” about if not agility? In an era of ballooning regulation, does compliance not represent an enormous risk? Does anybody want to suggest that these are solved problems?
Of course not. Digitization represents not a divergence in the BPM value proposition, but rather, an expansion. Customer engagement, supply chain integration, new digital products and services: all of these represent new opportunities for BPM customers (and, of course, vendors). But we disregard the fundamentals—the “wax-on, wax-off”, if you will—at our peril.
The proposition for BPM MUST change if the full potential of the approach and technology is going to be realised.
What BPM actually does probably doesn't need to change much, as per the earlier comments. But "BPM" is a tainted term. It is seen as tactical, boring & necessary evil. Just like "CRM" was tainted as it was synonymous with failed Siebel implementations. And the smart CRM vendors are now Customer Success.
BPM needs to become Operational Excellence - strategic, engaging, upbeat. And therefore the propsition (the promise) need to be aligned focusing on outcomes, not activity.
Do you see the value proposition of BPM for business changing significantly in the next few years? Well, how processes are executed is changing rapidly due to changed customer needs, expectations and rapidly changing Technology. This will require more flexibility and customer focus in executing and improving processes. Also the needs for open collaboration will require a different approach, and related BPM Technology.
The value proposition for BPM is changing because of a disruptive opportunity.
This disruptive BPM opportunity concerns the delivery of BPM technology which enables near real-time process changes, including for in-flight processes.
Two factors drive this opportunity:
1. TECHNOLOGY -- BPM technology changes are enabled by executable BPMN and huge improvements in execution engine math, such that arbitrary (i.e. "style") restrictions on process patterns (e.g. cross-lane dependencies) are removed.
2. METHODOLOGY -- And part of the recipe for these changes concern the implementation of Volker Stiehl's "business logic segregation pattern", such that all SOA/ESB technical integration are pushed out of business logic.
What impact will these technology/implementation changes have?
Have a new business idea?
With new BPM technology, business executives can "think" and business analysts can "draw".
And voila! New business processes. And new ways of doing business.
The business impact that achieving such fast-cycle business model refinements and changes is hard to over-estimate.
The delivery of executable, un-restricted BPM is in contrast to roundtrip- and programming-shackled BPM technology. BPM has great sales propaganda; the experience is more challenging when one wants to evolve processes. (The roundtrip issue and the SOA- and BPM-execution-related programming issues I believe are at the root of any "taint" that is associated with BPM.)
I agree with John that only now is the supporting software capability beginning to be recognised which puts power back to business to truly control their processes. Big companies now realising that to undertake true transformation to compete they need to address the front end of business and recognising "digital" needs adds to the pressure. As ever the biggest challenge is the huge investment in legacy and just how this can be delivered. This puts BPM discipline to the fore to get thinking right although this tag may not yet be used?
I think it is now at the beginning as suggested in the question. One associate sees it "as skinning and building new processes that interact with the old"; good visualization building that Adaptive skin around the business. But just make sure not building a new inflexible legacy....!
I very much like "skinning and building new processes that interact with the old"
What this reinforces, if I understand your reference, is the following:
1. build / select a Case environment that can accommodate any mix of structured (BPM) and unstructured (ad hoc) work, Make sure there is seamless connectivitiy between plan-side process mapping and roll-out of "best practices" templates to the Case run-time environment.
2. stop using legacy apps for new processes (i.e. use #1)
3. make sure your choice in #1 can output data to a "generic data exchanger" and can import data from the data exchanger.
4. link up as many legacy apps to the data exchanger as possible, put the rest on a "to be retired" list.
"generic data exchanger" - publishers are able to post data using any data element naming conventions they fancy, subscribers can pull data using their own individual data element naming conventions, subscribers can become publishers (message a device, the device does some processing then returns an enriched message).
I was invited by John to view this thread and I wanted to add my 2 cents on the subject. I have drank the cool aid of BPM value for some time. Last year I decided to take a little turn in my career and work closer in the application space. This helped me take distance and rationalize on a what is the right message and how to construct a value proposition. Clearly, what may be of value for one audience may not be as appealing for another. It is important to understand this as it is very difficult for a single message to capture everyone's attention.
From my experience, the BPM story has been mostly been told and sold to IT and as such, the value proposition has been mostly surrounded with technical benefits. In the end if IT will create and maintain these processes for their business stakeholders, that was probably the right tree to bark at. Luckily for the BPM space, there is more than the CIO office. It is very interesting to hear what the painpoints are from other groups such as Finance or HR for example and how they may see the same problem from a different angle. The same value proposition that may hit the nail on the head for IT may not be as appealing to these other audiences. My 2 cents from this is that one single silver bullet value proposition will not cut it across and perhaps we have to think of multiple ways of tailoring the message to pains beyond IT. While processes are at the center of all these personas conversations, they see things from a different lens.
The other observation I want to make (an inline with Rachael's thinking) is the pressure the "digital" world has on businesses today. Processes that worked well 10 years ago (with assumptions of running processes on premise and working with no millennials) may not work in today's world. Would you have imagined depositing a check using your mobile phone 10 years ago? Transacting in the digital world is nowadays' the new currency and not all BPM solutions have evolved to embrace all these market trends effective and resolve "the new" problems of these days.
Today's expectations are different than 10 years ago and they will be 10 years from now. We need to get less hangup on technical details and be more practical to resolve problems and allow change to take place quickly in a controlled fashion. The BPM solutions coping with embracing with these new trends and allow this new next wave (generation) of workers to do their job more efficiently will be getting the most value out of BPM solutions.
As IoT and AI matures and becomes commoditised, it is not hard to believe that there will be a fundamental reappraisal on the expectations of BPM for an organisation. This is already visible as larger organisations want on premises sensor data to be fed back to the relevant organisational processes. It is only a skip and a jump to then wanting to speed the decisions by using AI algorithms.
Yes, along with this will come come a revaluation of the value proposition of BPM to an organisation, and it will on the plus side for BPM.
One thing nobody seems to have mentioned is that the value proposition for "service design" in comparison to "business process management" is different and more customer and UX-focused.
This means it holds a much stronger position as a value driver for any business that puts a customer first and then designs processes around that. It also has a strong, designer-centric UX focus - which is exceptionally important to any business in today's environment. Our thoughts on this are posted in the link that's attached to this post.
In terms of process improvement (which is only possible if people are following agile processes anyway) - there is a LinkedIn discussion from people in that community around the differences between the two - happy to share the URL if anyone is interested.