Interesting post from Ashish Bhagwat, where he writes:
Organizations are finding that the conventional approaches to managing business processes cannot handle the increasingly dynamic market pressures. Responsiveness in business operations is critical as organisations increasingly adopt disruptive technologies (such as Cloud, Social, Mobility, Big Data), and move from the traditional concept of customer experience to richer contextual engagement with their customers.What are your thoughts?
posted in Uncategorized
Peter Schooffmore than a month agoA very valid question I've gotten, and one I think needs to be addressed is (and this is written after the first 4 responses): What do you consider a conventional method of managing business processes. My answer: Anything that's not dynamic or adaptive!
Share this post:
Accepted AnswerAlberto ManuelOfflineIn the past ( a decade ago) change happened very slow. It was typical for those who are involved in organization change to revisit and transform business process on a predefined frequency (yearly or biannual). Most of the times the kind of change happened in customer facing processes, because they where important, they where related with money influx, revenue, margins and managers thought that it was better for the business to make a check up. like servicing the car according to the maintenance program.
Today is usual to change processes in short cycles like 3 months, due a multitude of reasons, new business models, new products, new services, new offers, new customers, new everything. Despite the "old", "classical" methods of process analysis and change are still valid there are other methods like advanced analytic, agile, etc that cope much better with the speed of change. Still, if your team is not able or prepared to play the real time change enterprise, new methods are useless. I start to feel that is necessary to companies to source and retain people that are so agile and able to interpret signs and data on real time that will make the difference. That is also valid for aspects related with change, like sourcing new IT to incorporate in service design, that sometimes takes so much time the opportunity to make change happen is a thing of the past.
Build teams and a culture of fast execution, high autonomy, entrepreneurial spirit is difficult but is far more important to make change fast, rather than new tools, new machines, new methods.
Accepted AnswerTheo PriestleyOfflineSimply put, you cannot expect to manage processes that are required to be dynamic.
When I read the question there's a bit of a problem in the statement being made. Patrick has already asked what's the meaning behind 'conventional'. The way I see it, management disciplines and methodologies and dare I even suggest conventional business process analysis tools (note: BPA not BPMS) will never be able to step up to the plate for responsiveness and contextual awareness for customer experience.
Since when can you mobilize a Six Sigma team to react to improve a process and customer experience in real-time ?
Or whack in a new Visio diagram (yes, people still use it !) and update a SharePoint repository (yes, people still use that too !) and then execute it.
The question of agility is a combination of the right tools and methods being applied at the right time. Conventional becomes an overhead.
As for the pace of change, yeah the Four Forces of the Apocalypse is everyone's darling for whitepapers right now but they're just the enablers not the be-all but I have to admit to seeing the results when they're being used in the right way. And that impacts process in ways conventional can't.
But everything is cyclical and what we deem new and exciting now will become conventional tomorrow.
Accepted AnswerEmiel KellyOfflineAlways be aware that a process is just a means, never a goal. It's a means to deliver a result with goals attached to that. Every organizations has processes, so it's always the question 'how much grip is needed on that process? '
And if you have to make 2000,000 plastic products a year with no variance, you can imagine that that will be managed in a different way than 3 brain surgeries a year.
Depending on what promises a process has to deliver, you can think about what characteristics a process needs to perform (what workflow, what people, what information, what supporting tools, what process rules, what agility etc etc)
So to say more traditional ways of managing a process is obsolete. Not sure.
I always look to BPM as 'Enabling people to contribute to useful processes in a useful way' but if you have to produce billions of plastic cups a year, you probably don't want any people involved.
So it really depends on the process and it's desired result. So, a good process starts at the end.
Accepted AnswerDr Alexander SamarinOfflineConsidering the definition of a process as “explicitly-defined coordination of services to achieve a particular result”, there is a place for many coordination techniques including predictive analytics (based on big data), community-based (social), and others (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2012/07/coordination-techniques-in-bpm-social.html). Traditional template-based coordination technique is becoming one of them thus less dominant.
I believe that the customer experience must be treated as a process (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2013/06/practical-process-patterns-cxaap.html) which provides context for company's business processes. Companies should design their processes to fit into processes of their customers.
Accepted AnswerPatrick LujanOfflinePer my initial response, no one's still defined "conventional approaches to managing business processes," so let's talk about that a little given the responses so far. Relevant parts of some exchanges Peter and I had earlier this morning:
In the past ten years we've watched orgs go from CMM(I), Six Sigma and ISO 9000 to Agile (mostly Scrum), Lean and Kanban. Process management is always viewed through the lens of that larger context. Whatever methodology they’ve gone with organizationally, they apply that same methodology to process.
Technology, like history, changes in a broad arc over time. “Disruptive” is really being over-hyped right now, but the truly big things (fire, the steam engine, the Internet
) take time to manifest and fully realize their impact. For things like "social" and "mobile," my response is "We'll see."
For clients it's about improvement - better, faster, cheaper, easier. For us as vendors, consultants, analysts - it's about delivering solutions.
Change (and hype) are constant.
Accepted AnswerTim HuenemannOfflineMany organizations have a large contingent of departments/functions where they primarily manage people and budget as opposed to processes. For these instances, a transition to empowerment and faster change doesn't mean a new method of managing processes, it just means the "unmanaged" world remains unmanaged. Perhaps it is a good thing for many of these organizations that they skip the "implement all your processes in a controlled, standardized way in software" phase and take a fresh look at how new technologies can help them manage operations in a lighter, faster way.
Accepted AnswerKeith SwensonOfflineI like Ashish's post which says many relevant things. However, I disagree that one might summarize it saying that "Conventional Methods of Managing Business Processes Quickly Becoming Obsolete." I don't see this as a conclusion from that post because (1) nothing is happening "quickly", and (2) the introduction of new techniques does not necessarily make the old ones obsolete.
There is always rapid change in technology, and combine with social change from that technology, there is a big shift. I prefer how John Hagel et.al. put it in their book "The Power Of Pull" which talks about The Big Shift. There is a big change from push to pull technology, enabled by mobile platforms and web 2.0.
The move to mobile is probably the most significant trend in the BPM realm. Right now this is just putting worklists and forms on cell phone screen (pretty boring really) but my guess is that there will be more significant changes once the concept of business process is redesigned around the idea that people in the field have instant access to their worklists. This is evolutionary change, not obsoleteness.
Accepted AnswerMichael PoulinOfflineNo, I do not think that conventional methods of managing BP become obsolete until people work in the BP.
Arguments re disruptive technologies (such as Cloud, Social, Mobility, Big Data) have nothing to do with customer experience that may be ignored as before or may be taken into the centre via a contextual engagement with process customers; nothing had prevented managers before from focusing on the customers of the process instead of on the workers of the process.
Yes, business process tended and will tend to ignore business execution context because it is the process, i.e. all contextual impacts had to be considered up-front when the process was designed. A process cannot change - any chnage is a disaster to the process' robusteness (changes in the workers, inputs, used activities and their providers are not changes in the process because a process is defined only by its logic - everything else is not unique to the process becuase it may be used in two different processes - check this by yourself).
So, when process management starts to shift an attention onto the execution context and to the consumers of the process, the next step will be a change in the vision and mind from process-centric to service-centric. Note that consumers do not care how the process works or what it does - they are interested in only two things: execution of particular business function and the outcome. This is the primary definition of the service-oriented behaviour, i.e. BP managers risk to understand that how thier processes work is immaterial to their consumenrs.
Those managers who possess this knowledge will be ready to move to the executive level where only business capabilities/services are important.
If one wants to digg into this transition, I can recommend my book "Architects Know What Managers Don't" that dedicates several chapters to Business Process management and its transition into Business Service Management when businesss context is taken into considereation.
Accepted AnswerDavid ChasselsOfflineAshish Bhagwat’s blog Is one of the most insightful views I have seen from any analyst….if you are a user. As a vendor he sets up some challenges?
As a strategic objective he says “BPM implementation must ensure the organization evolves from a command-and-control-driven environment to an empowered, collaborative and intelligence-driven one.” Going on to say organisations should expect “…. to systematically achieve adaptive and responsive business operations.
The challenge for vendors suggest he really does understand the importance of buyers understanding how their vendors technology works stating “The focus should be on aggregating Business Process technologies that operate in silos, on to a single Business Process Platform”
The question he poses is simple in this phrase “….the conventional approaches to managing business processes cannot handle the increasingly dynamic market pressures”. The answer is expressed above the vendors just need to rethink how their technology delivers……? So we need to see delivery in a unified manner without complexity and custom programming and reflect the real work of work?
Accepted AnswerSteve WeissmanOffline(1) What Patrick said.
(2) Responsiveness in business operations is critical for many more reasons than the need to respond to disruptive technology.
(3) Technology is not a catalyst for BPM, as opposed to what the poster wrote. It can be an enabler, however.
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln ...
Accepted AnswerPatrick LujanOfflineRead the blog post, several other definitions as defined by Greyhound, but no definition to the initial promulgator of the post - "conventional approaches to managing business processes." That leaves it pretty wide open to interpretation and most responses to this will take artistic license as to the definition and slant their response accordingly.
Give me a common definition for that by consensus and I'll weigh in, because every client's "conventional approaches to managing business processes" is actually different than those we as industry insiders would define them and even then the latter will differ from one vendor/SI/consultant to the next. [shrug]