But it will come, as always, in disguise. As the hype of 2016 will not be process, but the Blockchain. Way sexier. So, we'll see headlines with that phrase way more often than the phrase "process".
Of course the fun part is, that the underpinning need for understanding stuff like Blockchain is... process.
Yes, 2016 will be the year of the process, as every year has been since around 1957 when the pre-cursor, or perhaps one of the pre-cursors, of BPM, "Critical Path Method" came onstream. (mid -1950s).
Gantt charts probably ispired CPM and these can be traced back to 1910.
Linked sequences of tasks were fundamental to CPM, the difference between the two methodologies being that CPM was for once-through processes with no opportunity for decision-based branching (i.e. all tasks were expected to be performed OR the planners re-wired the balance-to-go on the fly).
We picked up decision-based branching in BPM but that was not "new" because we had GERT in the 1960s
What I see today is a gradual shift in the business sector/knowledge work from BPM to ACM/BPM.
This in no way diminishes BPM, it's just that end-to-end processes, with objectives conveniently parked at an end-point, are getting harder to find.
So, we end up having to deal with a mix of structured sequences (process fragments) plus ad hoc interventions and objectives have moved from plan-side to run-time environments called Case that host run-time BPM.
Anyone having trouble sleeping at night can read 200+ articles on ACM/BPM/Case at my blog.
Of course it will be the year of the process. Like it will be the year of the Oxygen, the year of the Grand Canyon and the year of the moon.
Just becaus they are just there. That's a no brainer.
The question is whether or not you make processes important. And that's a thing companies may decide theirselves.
2016 will be the year of the process-driven application.BPM (despite its name) means much more than just process today. Using low-code/no-code BPM platforms, we're creating comprehensive straight-through applications linking customers on their mobile devices to sales to fulfillment to customer service and support. We power rich, responsive UIs; provide real-time access to virtually any data, anywhere; and predict future problems.
In short, we're creating powerful custom business solutions that are more robust, more compliant, and more efficient than ever before. And, oh yeah, there's a lot of cool process stuff baked right in.
2016, Year Of The Process? The questions implies a "tipping point" for BPM technology adoption (as opposed to an incremental improvement over last year).
Ok, let's treat this as a technology adoption and economics problem.
BPM technology is not yet at a tipping point, in other words at a point where BPM technology adoption accelerates rapidly. At a tipping point, technology adoption moves beyond "early adopters", where by definition the tolerance for pain is higher, to a very much larger number of "early majority" technology users. There are software engineering, socialization, business analysis and governance issues which remain to be clarified before we can say the BPM technology market has "lift-off".
1) DEMAND FOR BPM TECHNOLOGY IS INDIRECT - Demand for any BPM technology is very complex. Because the root of demand for BPM technology is a demand for business change - in support of efficiency for existing business models or maybe in support of new business models based around servitization and digitization. So already my demand for BPM technology is indirect, and BPM has to compete against other alternative (mostly code-based) technologies. Any BPM technology sale (either product or services) is at least "two-sales-in-one", business change AND a particular technology solution.
ASSUME: Enterprise is convinced that BPM technology is they way forward -- because "only in BPM technology are the concepts of work first class citizens of that technology" (there's a compelling sales pitch!).
2) SUPPLY OF BPM TECHNOLOGY IS IMMATURE -- Does BPM technology deliver what business executives hope for when reading BPM sales hype? Well, maybe -- in the few cases where there isn't a round-tripping issue. And even with good BPM technology, success is likely dependent on extraordinary organizational discipline regarding a distinction between SOA and business logic.
ASSUME: Executable BPM available for implementation by a team that knows how to segregate out business-oriented processes from nasty interface issues.
3) COMPLEMENTARY MARKETS FOR GOVERNANCE-- Even if there's a BPM project ready-to-go, a good match between capable technology product and business need, there are still project viability issues related to governance. These issues have been discussed extensively on BPM.com. Governance issues are organizational (no end-to-end ownership of many business processes) and technical (data chaos or the MDM problem). I'm separating out governance issues from BPM supply and demand. The markets for technical and business governance can be considered separate markets, complementary to the market for BPM products and services.
ASSUME: Clean data and strong end-to-end business process accountability
A tipping point assumes that fundamentals are in place for scaled sales. Under such conditions, growth in any market for new technology is more of a social process, but there are no fundamental engineering or governance roadblocks to adoption. All major engineering and governance challenges have been overcome by pioneering early adopters.
On the basis of this analysis, I suggest that 2016 will see more BPM technology adoption progress, but that it is premature to expect a tipping point or market lift-off. There will be few scenarios where all the assumptions listed above are met. And for this reason, good BPM projects can be initiatied, but one shouldn't expect to see the number of projects scaling up rapidly along a tipping point S curve.
There is still work to be done (1) on making the technology easier to use, (2) on increasing the professionalism of IT and business analysis cadres which will use BPM, and (3) on governance around data resources and process ownership. Lots of selling left to do. There's a world to win!
Yes it's back to basics of business; people and their processes where all information in created. Sadly the past 40 years have seen "IT" fail to truly recognise this as silos of systems and data are imposed upon users. So what is special about 2016? Certainly the Digital moves are now placing focus on users requirements and there is the growing recognition that the financial reporting lacks that Assurance that in reality all is well with the business!
I agree with John it is now the move of BPM supporting software technology that truly delivers all that people require in their processes that will change the enterprise software game. This is now happening and 2016 will see the start of this new journey to deliver adaptive capability to make good future proof investment to support processes which are important business assets. It is very important that buyers truly understand just how this next generation software actually works covering the issues John rightly raises.
RE “what the BPM community needs to do to make the year of the process?”
Transform BPM from a body-of-knowledge to a fully digital value-stream.
BPM as a complex “endeavour” has with many stakeholders involved and each group of stakeholders has their concerns. Thus BPM requires a systemic way 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.
Ideal, this “systemic way” provides the relationships between the following:
All the models must be based on commonly-agreed understanding of BPM:
Practically, all of this is already available as dispersed bodies-of-knowledge. The BPM community has to make the last effort to convert available knowledge to a fully-digital-value-stream.
Interesting remark re "digital value-stream".
The entire healthcare system in the USA is about to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21 century as coming legistlation will be re-setting the focus from fee-based services to value-based services.
Already there are problems on the horizon.
"Value-Based Care Driving Need for Predictive Analytics.
As the healthcare industry looks to transition to value-based care and new payment models that reward quality instead of quantity, healthcare organizations are seeking technologies that can help them improve patient outcomes and ultimately lower costs."
My comment . . . .
It says "healthcare organizations are seeking technologies that can help them improve patient outcomes and ultimately lower costs."
No, they are not!
What they are seeking is to minimize loss of revenue from the days where the name of the game was to maximize billings.