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As Elise Olding from Gartner wrote:
The pace of change is increasing and our BPM practices aren’t evolving at the same pace. We must jump the chasm or perish.
So what do you think?
Tuesday, April 08 2014, 09:29 AM
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 09:45 AM - #Permalink
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    New companies can take full advantage of new technologies. And technology has changed radically over the last years. Cloud and SaaS for instance makes a company more agile and enables it to concentrate more on its core business rather then being distracted by IT operations issues. Innovative companies can take full advantage of those new technologies. While it's a challenge for incumbents to keep that same pace of innovation.
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    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 09:48 AM - #Permalink
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    BPM is becoming the white filling, squished between two Oreo cakes: the need for agility driven by the business, and the move to the Cloud. Agility business drivers are shifting the BPM focus away from static processes to inherently dynamic workflows, leading to an increasing focus on case management and personalization more broadly. From the technology side, traditional stateful BPM apps that have run on top of traditional middleware don't scale well in the Cloud, requiring a rethink of how we deal with state information in modern IT. The answer to both problems is to take a stateless, agent-oriented approach to BPM that is, Cloud-friendly, supports real-time personalization and customization, and also resolves issues of dynamic business context.
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    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 10:15 AM - #Permalink
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    Let me answer with a question: what are Elise and Gartner doing to jump the chasm? Are they going to perish? Are they evolving their BPM practices? The pace with which new technology can be adapted has improved, up to a point (that point being, good and nearly free distribution channels, e.g. websites and apps). Adoption of technology that is low-priced can be initiated with the user, rather than the corporate management team. But "jump the chasm or perish" sounds like Elise is trying to sell something to the client-base, a call to action, as it were. But from reading her article it isn't really about practices per se, but about the goals. She's calling on companies to stop focusing on shaving another percentage point of savings and start focusing on the themes in her blog (which I won't repeat here). I'd phrase it differently, focus on improving the quality of your business and business interactions, as well as the margins.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 10:38 AM - #Permalink
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    I really don't understand the point of view of the original post, because I see what kind of reasoning the "choir" is coming from. The only aspect I predicted this year and I won, is the classical, repetitive, never ending story about "BPM is Dead". As I pointed in this blog post The Hysteresis effect,
    Time and time again, once in a year the choir of BPM unbelievers rise and start promoting the idea that BPM is dead (like the ones that promote disconnect from Facebook). The communication plan is typically aligned with the Spring / Summer conference season. The ones that like to announce that BPM passed away misinterpret what BPM is all about.
    The question is not about if BPM can or cannot keep the pace, because is the last 2 decades and even today, BPM swallowed (and it will keep swallowing) so many approaches, the argument is if organizations have enough qualified people to make change happening much more faster and in an innovative way. Then its matter of baking with the right technology, system thinking and design system approach. Maybe Gartner is working with the wrong customer base and it's not seeing evolution occurring. It is?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 10:44 AM - #Permalink
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    Change happens to all of us and as BPM is daily business (every company is executing and trying to manage it's processes every day) , so this is a no-brainer; Yes, the processes of an organization have to cope with the changes that come to them. But that cannot be a statement 'on average'. I, for example, am very lazy and have been doing the same things for 20 years now. My customers are still happy, so what's the deal with all that change hype? That's of course a little sarcastic, but as people talk about fast change, what do they mean? It sounds like we live in some kind of turbo rollercoaster each day. I don't experience so much change. Everything that happens seems just 'a little more of what we already had' But take my grandma. Born in 1921. She has seen some change. From living in a house build of shit, growing her own food and traveling by foot till using the internet in a plane while eating genetically modified superfoods. Change happens in different sizes. So, I think it is about understanding the importance of it and adapting your organization (it's processes) to keep on delivering your promise. You don't change to change, you change to improve. Or better, to keep on doing things well. To come back to the statement of Elise. 'We' must jump or perish. But who is we? All the people who think BPM is something special? I think you cannot answer this for BPM in general. But you can for individual industries, companies or processes. BPM in general doesn't exist. So changes in the environment won't have the same impact everywhere.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 10:54 AM - #Permalink
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    I agree that at present BPM practices are non sustainable - BPM is often the reinventing the wheel in each organisation, in each process and in each BPM tool. No commonly-agreed BPM terminology, no BPM reference model, no BPM reference architecture, etc. I don't think that people want to kill BPM - they want that it will become better. Thanks, AS
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    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 01:13 PM - #Permalink
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    Gartner has discovered that things change—and fast! Stop the presses! BPM vendors by definition have more insight into the way their customers operate than do vendors of systems-of-record solutions like ERP and CRM. If anything, expect BPM to draft business change more closely than any other technology. Have to say, the Forrester "Age of the Customer" initiative is much more compelling and useful than Gartner's "Big Change" stuff.
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    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 01:16 PM - #Permalink
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    Before to think BPM as a technology, companies should think it as a concept of organization to continous reinvention the best way to operationalize the business strategy, and this idea of BPM will never be outdated and will never die. Unfortunately, we are assisting to many companies believing that is going to appear one technology capable to do miracles by itself, and this concept of course will never be success. BPM just will be success If it'll be capable to bring real business benefits to the companies. http://bpm.com/blogs/calculating-the-value-of-process-improvement-for-business-roi-bpm-ea.html
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 08 2014, 09:19 PM - #Permalink
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    The original Gartner blog post is somewhat more substantial, but the rhetoric is just that -- rhetoric. "Pace of change is increasing?" How soon we forget Alvin Toffler. Crossing the chasm? At the least Moore's use of the term had some analytical substance to it. How about jumping the shark . . . I see in the original post a reference to the disappearance of "order to cash"? Oh yeah? Really? Lots of organizations would be much better off if they could get their hands around systematic O2C. The answers from the contributors here are generally more sober and analytical. That's the way forward; understanding business more deeply, and taking appropriate steps in response. BPM has a big role to play, as the core technology of the work of business. The way forward is to "open up the black box of work", and take control of things that were formerly merely the subject of fiat (i.e. "just do it"). I almost feel that hysteria around the pace of change contributes to a mystification of business, which is the opposite of "looking inside".
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  • Accepted Answer

    Eli Stutz
    Eli Stutz
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    Wednesday, April 09 2014, 06:34 AM - #Permalink
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    I think that coping with change has always been a business challenge, and the pace of change is increasing. There is no way to replace BPM, since the idea of a chronological process is something older and deeper than any particular BPM technology. There will always be a need to manage and control processes, and whether its called BPM or something else is not the issue. The technology will usually be somewhere behind the need itself, just like many areas of need/technology. We'll always want to do more things with our software/hardware than we can currently do, and those are the wish lists, some of which come true within a reasonable time. Real life, thought, etc. are usually faster than the coders and designers can keep up with. Very rarely, there are exceptions, where an technological innovation arises that no one even thought of beforehand and suddenly everyone has a new capability never before imagined. Those are moments of beauty...
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 09 2014, 07:42 AM - #Permalink
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    Really could not decide whether to jump in on this one, for fear of simply pouring more fuel on the fire, and have now decided what the heck. For the first part I think we are hung up on initials, rather than thinking about why the question might have been posed and what causes people to think or act like that. I do smile when I read comments related to "only pushing a certain view to sell ones wares" - so let me get this right, nobody else responding to the post or the question has a product or sell to an audience? or feels that they need their view to be heard above others? - yeah right :-) So to the question, if BPM does not change surely it will die, it is only natural everything has to evolve and the business environment we are in now is already so different from when we first started promoting the ideas around Business Process Management. From a technology perspective it is true that the need for process automation will not go away, but already it is very different from the workflow solutions of the mid nineties, I would suggest that in that respect BPMS (which some of you think about as BPM! is in danger of becoming less relevant. Process automation is being included more explicitly in just about every type of enterprise software, so the original needs have changed. Personally I hear many organisations telling me they already have lots of automation engines and that another is not the answer they need. These organisations suggest that orchestration and user interfacing is of more interest to them, e.g. getting the systems they already have working together better, and providing users (or customers) with a seamless experience. They also say that they still perceive BPMS as automating what they already do, rather than creating new ways of doing business - this is less to do with what the technology can be used for and more to do with the way it has been marketed, in this respect change is required by BPMS vendors if they still wish for their solutions to stay relevant, Back to BPM as a practice or a discipline, much as we might like to hope or think otherwise, sadly BPM as a practice has not permeated organisations, who still prefer to use Lean, or Six Sigma type thinking, personally I think this is because they perceive BPM as a technology first and improvement second, which we know is not really the case, but perception is reality. So in this respect BPM has to change, it has to demonstrate that it can equally well be used in non-technology improvement initiatives. Failure to address a broader range of initiatives will see BPM being overtaken by the next big thing, whatever it might be and whenever that might me. We still don't have the ability to see into the mind of another, so I can't guess what was in Elise Oldings mind, I can only suggest how I would interpret what she says. In my mind, her post was to act as a wake up call, to cause us to question ourselves and to ask, are we part of the solution, or part of the problem. Take some time and read through the responses we all make to the questions posed right here on this forum, how many people actually change there views? How often when someone challenges our thinking do they get attacked for suggesting something different? - so I ask what is it we are afraid of? Could it be that as proponents of change, we are in fact hypocritical? suggesting that others should change their views or practices, but not in fact being willing to change our own? BPM, BPMS or XYZ, whether technology or practice has to change or die. Just as surely any business has to change to survive, and yes the speed of that change is like nothing we have seen before, so let's get used to it and think how we can help and support both the businesses who want to change, and those who seek to help us change the way we think, in the hope of keeping ourselves relevant. Whether you prefer Forrester's "Customer Age Thinking" - which of course I like, having written a book on this subject a few years ago :-) or Gartner's "Business Outcome" approach, which I also love having been a strong proponent of relating any BPM/BPMS initiative back to what is relevant to the eyes of the business owner for many years, does not matter. What matters is that as we emerge from the crazy economic downturn the organisations that survive will be those that a) Focus on delivering great customer experiences b) Focus on customer acquisition and revenue growth and c) Adopt new technology and apply it in innovate ways to create new business models. In these respects BPM/BPMS has to change to address that agenda in full, it is no longer enough to simply automate what we already did, or reduce costs, or help maintain the status quo - we have to accept that our world is changing too and deal with it.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 09 2014, 07:43 AM - #Permalink
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    It is ironic that Gartner pose the question. In my experience they have little technical knowledge other than following trends. They should be pushing vendors on behalf of users to see software be more aligned to business needs, which of course takes us to the BPM scene. As the world moves to “Digital” so the greater need for all the supporting Business Operational “BPM” software. The web UI is only a small if important element as I have highlighted on many occasions. Fact is “enterprise software” is in the relative dark ages compared to other ICT components which have largely reached a degree of maturity as commoditised products. It is recognised “BPM” needs software support so the underlying technology must move forward to reflect real needs of the business where all information is created without need for custom programming. I read with interest the comments by Scott Francis on views on “the Zero code hypothesis” from BPM Next http://www.bp-3.com/blogs/2014/04/the-zero-code-hypothesis-bpmnext/. Resolution of this will take BPM across that chasm and that journey is clearly started. We and others now pushing at those boundaries but it is unlikely BPMN will resolve as it needs a rethink of the business fundamental put into context of how software should support BPM? Once users realise that their views can be quickly “digitised” and readily changed as required then BPM will become the driver of all enterprise software at the operational level. We have started that move and the challenge will be for old “IT” to either welcome or go into protectionist mode…….because business and their users will want it. Gartner should be a leader but they may have to change their “model” to a business one and do real research on how software technologies actually work to deliver on all “BPM” requirements; expressed in business language?
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 09 2014, 09:51 AM - #Permalink
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    BPM industry lags behind analysts expectation for the decade. The good news is that this growth is sustainable: the BPM market grows during booms and it grows even a bit faster (but not much faster) during recessions. Analysts become mad and double their predictions ;) but I personally believe the pace will remain more or less the same. The whole damned thing is more about strategy and culture than about technology and these do not change fast. Perish? Why? BPM doesn't loose positions once conquered, it only moves further. The pace of innovations doesn't decline either.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, April 10 2014, 06:01 AM - #Permalink
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    For the sake of simplicity, I just second what Jose Camacho said. As a business practice, BPM will never perish, because it's the right thing to do, anytime, anywhere. As a technology, it may morph into different shapes, which would just make it easier to implement and maintain the said business practice.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, April 15 2014, 07:59 PM - #Permalink
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    Unanticipated change is the Big Change in the nature of change itself. Traditional BPM disciplines (like modeling, analysis, measurement) and the techniques within those disciplines work well when the work environment is stable and operational control is seen as key to driving higher outcomes. I question the fundamental assumptions behind "traditional BPM" . BPM will not change until we change the fundamental assumptions about operational excellence and the assumptions about the broader, global operating environment in which the business exists (at a minimum).
    • Scott Francis
      more than a month ago
      I don't think that unanticipated change is the big change- 2008/09 was a pretty good demonstration of unanticipated change. Major adopters of BPM fared better than those who didn't (among banks in the US), including top tier and regional banks - it wasn't just a "who had all the marbles" question. A mortgage company with good process avoided a lot of the bad loans that hit everyone else. A major bank came out of the financial crisis as the strongest bank in the country - and they have huge investments in BPM. Coincidence?

      Being able to operate effectively is a huge advantage when the world changes. You have an organization that can execute when you ask it to do something. Even something different.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 16 2014, 05:02 PM - #Permalink
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    Folks here put forth a lot of similar ideas with interesting twists. I like Bogdan's take. Simple. No, we won't perish. However, one thing I noted in the responses above is that it was difficult to distinguish at first glance who the 'we' was in each. The companies doing BPM? The vendors selling/providing BPM services? Or, the BPM market? Market's do have lifecycles and I agree you that this one will not fall through the crack. (pun intended) It is fundamental. But, I am struggling to find a concise meaning in the statement in the prompt, it appears ambiguous upon analysis. I am sure it was explained in greater detail in their articles. I think that they meant that the pace of change in the business arena is affecting more organizations faster than before in history and that focusing on BPM to make organizations agile quickly at the current rate will not stem the tide and more organizations will stumble. But the wording seems to mean BPM will stop being used? I do not think so. The practice is becoming refined and stable, widely used, and no where near saturation. Organizations are all seeing value, but this is not magic, there is no overnight wholesale makeover. It takes work. We shouldn't sell this as reality TV! I predict that this is very similar to other eras like ERP and SOA. There will be incremental improvements in the software & methodologies, some that are significant. There remains a tremendous amount of work for every company to do in understanding, automating, improving and controlling their processes and decisions. "We" will go on for a very long time doing that. It does beg the question, what is the next significant trend? I believe that Mobile, Social, Cloud and Analytics are just intersecting technical arenas that will facilitate and augment our process practices. I hope the next trend is that we end up thinking of all of this as extending, uniting and composing the systems organizations use, making them all act like one, not separate. Today, we think of that when doing BPM, tomorrow, we would be well served by those focused on applications to understand how leveraging middleware can ease their burden and accelerate value.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, May 27 2014, 01:41 AM - #Permalink
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    BPM has to be industry specific. i would like to highlight taking an example of the Banking industry where processes such as Document verification and compliance is extremely important. A Business Process Management (BPM) engine, which can define rule-based routing at each step of the KYC document verification and automate the entire process of gathering and validating information about the customer, will serve as a great tool for maximizing compliance and therefore mitigating risks associated with suspicious accounts. Real-time monitoring of processes will also ensure that loopholes, if any, are identified and corrected so as to achieve 100% error-free compliance. Thus, BPM will evolve with time and be compatible with the needs of the particular industry.
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    Tuesday, May 27 2014, 01:44 AM - #Permalink
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    I feel the delivery models for BPM is changing. Now it is cloud friendly, multi tenant and also available as a Service.
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