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Anyone who has spent any time in the BPM industry has seen a business transformation or two. So do you believe that today's business transformation is any different from the business transformations of the past?
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"Transformation." Another pretendy buzzword that obfuscates proper analysis and process improvement. That "pretendy" part's not mine, but it applies.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 1
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Classic BPR Transformation: Business first and supporting IT systems maybe sometimes later.

Modern Digital transformation: Get cool technology and find business agreed to be transformed to use it.

Ideal Digital transformation: architecting changes in business and supporting systems together depending of available capabilities, priorities, market demands, customer needs, etc.

Thanks,
AS
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+1 Alexander for "ideal transformation" and I suppose it has to be "digital".

As you indicate, transformation is not restricted to "supporting systems" - a CEO can decide to "reshore" and get minions to work the numbers to demonstrate a good outcome.

The operational side will then, over time, show via data / predctives that was a bad decision and the initiative will either drive the organization out of business or the initiative will get set aside (after great expenditure and resource tieup).

From there, the organization does nothing and gets a new strategy that has not been properly examined prior to implementation OR they wake up and put in place methods (e.g,. live RBV as described below) that do a better job filtering out initiatives.
  1. more than a month ago
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Speed.

The difference is the speed of the transformation. Many businesses need to "digital transform" themselves, but this transformation is the same as any previous revolution. The difference is that nowadays, they need to transform much more quickly to compete and survive. And many times, happens that the organizations simply can not do it. People may simply can not process the change so quickly.

Because of this, the digital transformation is a serious thing. We don't need only more agile BPM Tools (being cloud BPM's very useful), but a change of mind on business people at all levels. And we know this is not easy to achieve in a short period of time as needed.
CEO at Flokzu Cloud BPM Suite
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 3
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Yes and No. Change is not a singular event. We don't wake up one day and become a different person or company. Change is a process. Ine that is continuous and everlasting. Therefore, the change that was and the change that is are not different or the same but rather all just part of a cntinuous process within the organization.

That being said, the tactics and strategies that we use to implement it do change over time as do the best practices. this is where change management comes in to deal with the differences in implementing change. Change management strategies are necessary to provide the process, tools, and approaches to bring about the individual transitions that make up the overall organizational change, which, again, is continuous.
References
  1. https://connecteam.com/top-10-change-management-strategies
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
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Not really. Back in the 60's and 70's though, they were concerned with designing and developing total systems. Today, they attack it in piecemeal, perhaps just one business process at a time. So, the scope of work was bigger back then. Change is implemented today in smaller increments.
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Lets look firs the wording "transformation"... not all change are transformations. Of course business is done in different way if you reorganize or implement a new IT-system. In most cases the organizational life goes on almost like nothing has happened. I would use wording "transformation" in the case where our way of thinking and leading the business has to be changed. In some context we might talk about cultural change something like going from production towards service or trying to become from hierarchical towards lean and agile. This kind of transformation is a very social process and as we know we human are the same as before.... no difference from this perspective.

If we look what is the transformation issue for business today... we mostly call it digital. If digital means more automation and more use of IT-systems, this kind of transformation has been gone already for years. What is really new now is the AI (artificial intelligence). This is going to make many of the present jobs and businesses obsolete. This is going to be also a challenge to the societies. Just look e.g transportation... in near future most of the cars are self-driving... there are 1.4 million truck drivers in US. Or block chain technology... no need any more banks to store the information of how much money we have and this not only money, it may relate any liabilities we may have.... and so on...

br. Kai
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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Totally different today at the strategic level (i.e. for those who have changed their mindsets/technology)- a lot less so at the operations level.

In respect of strategy development\evolution, we have had Resource-Based View (RBV) for decades, with few users.

My take is c-level execs have mostly relied on simple SWOT "spreadsheets".

Any "analysis" has required taking a "slice' through the organization.

Contrast this today with 3-D knowledge bases where the entire corporate infrastructure, assets, pending initiatives, funding, tracking can be done at one computer screen and it's easy to see how different strategy development / "dashboarding" is done today.


See "3D Strategic Planning – What you need to know about it"
http://wp.me/pzzpB-FX

See "Theories of the Firm – Expanding RBV using 3D free-form search Kbases"
http://wp.me/pzzpB-Ms

Practical Kbases, by the way, do not include hub/spoke "mind maps" - these are "toy" apps for people who might as well be on the golf course and let others attend to their strategy development efforts.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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"Business transformation" is the meme-du-jour in current "management discourse". (The concept is used as an organizing rubric and call-to-arms.)

The question is -- is there any content to the phrase? And/or anything novel? As pointed out in multiple excellent comments above business transformation might be just "new wine in old bottles". I would add that capitalism itself is predicated on business transformation (the economist Joseph Schumpeter is a writer well known for highlighting so-called " creative destruction" ). The claim is often made that today's high rate of business change is unprecedented -- several writers have commented that this is not really true and that previous periods of business, economic and social history have had rates of change equally high and daunting.

So if "business transformation" is nothing new, but sort of "par for the the course", does this mean it's a good thing or a bad thing?

Business leadership needs to have a focus: "business transformation" is as good as any phrase to motivate troops, employees and investors alike and as an organizing template for business analysis and strategy. My comment concerns the question of identity. Change for change's sake very easily becomes opportunism. As I have argued elsewhere on this site, opportunism in turn easily becomes a random walk -- to oblivion.

Corporate identity and strategies that hew to a persistent and explicit corporate identity are the key to ensuring a successful outcome for programme of business transformation. As for business transformation itself, we are generations ahead now in technologies of transformation - this should count for something.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
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The level of difference between a typical business transformation nowadays and one of the past, profoundly depends on the time periods one would be observing.
When we started to automate business processes, initially with workflow tools and later with BPMS, around 20 years back, the impact in terms of time savings, transparency and compliance with policies, have been far greater than what you would notice post-implementation of a business process management solution today.
In that sense, apart from some remaining manual pockets in different industries, most BPM projects today have more subtle effects rather than a business transformational impact on a company. When achieving a giant leap by automating business rules, complex calculations, integrations, complex forms and document generations a couple of years back, today most companies are building up upon some sort of automation baseline that is already in place.
So, it's from my perspective pretty uncommon, nor does it have to be an obligatory requirement for success, to achieve a true business transformation through BPM, in actuality.
While gradual process improvements is a proven practice of a long-term strategy for working with BPM, a business transformation is still perfectly possible.
However, I think, it will more an indirect consequence of using BPM (freeing up manpower for R&D) than a direct result of merely having lots of processes automated with BPM.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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RE: "the impact in terms of time savings, transparency and compliance with policies, have been far greater than what you would notice post-implementation of a business process management solution today."

Sure, because BA's went first for the low-hanging fruit, and then tweaked until improvements reached a point of diminishing returns.

No operational initiative can have the impact of a strategic transition that is aligned with improving competitive advantage because all operational initiatives have funding constraints within a reference space that may or may not be in concert with current strategy.
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We are at 9 responses here and I see myself in left field with my focus on business transformation being a lot wider than "going digital".

Seems to me "going digital" is more of a technology upgrade compared to strategic change for such things as banks trying to flatten their organizational structures (going to 8 levels of hierarchy from 16) or an auto manufacturer deciding what to re-shore as part of a pushdown from the White House to "Make America Great Again".

The thing is transformations of the type I have cited are. to me, strategy-level transformation and really need Critical Path Method (once through), not BPM (repetitive processes).

I suspect the reason for the segregation is that this forum is BPM - I should have read the question as "business transformations capable of being handled by BPM".

Please shoot down my RBV/CPM recommendations [see above #7] if you feel BPM can handle both strategic as well as operational "business transformation".

Otherwise, for those who are consultants but not software manufacturers, why not consider widening the scope of your consultancy by taking on clients who need both strategy solutions and operational solutions?

We have for several years offered our process mapping environment to consultants at no charge but the kbase software, unfortunately, is still perceived as rocket science so it has a "going rate" price tag.

My take is strategy consultations command a much higher per diem than anything operational but if we look at the recent Cerner $4.3 billon DoD contract for what has to be a relatively simple health care solution (setting aside the huge volume of transactions/number of users), I wonder.
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@Karl, RE “ ‘going digital’ is more of a technology upgrade” – it is much more than a technology upgrade. “Going digital” means that the life cycle of products and services is based on their digital form. Create in digital form, distribute in digital form, maintain in digital form, etc. Non-digital forms become “slaves” to digital “master”. This is a huge change and technology is an enabler.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 year ago
  3. #4209
+1 @ Alexander how digitalization means that lifecycle objects exist first-of-all in digital forms - and that this is a qualitative leap.
  1. more than a month ago
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Dr Edwards Deming summed it up “managing transformation means transforming management”. In simplistic terms his “systems thinking” resulted in everyone in the organisation to contribute to its success which very much a component of the BPM thinking. See link below for more detail. Dr Deming has been attributed to helping Japan turning around their fortune after WW11….so nothing new in concept so where are we today?

Sadly with the early evolution of IT delivering big “inside out” systems, largely lead by “processing systems”, the gap between people and such systems grew making both BPR and such systems thinking facing the significant IT hurdles of complexity and inflexibility in Software. The reality is the delivery of simplicity and flexibility in next generation enterprise software does again open the door to true transformation to deliver what Dr Deming envisaged but in modern day terms through “digital”?

Real empowerment of people at work, internal and external, is now a tangible prospect to deliver transformation with real time feedback of activity with full audit trails who did what when. This removes risk of empowerment, allows users to be confident their activity and views are important, reduces the hierarchy of “management” all resulting in a win win….for most…..but maybe not for all managers? This is just as Dr Deming suggested that may still be the real challenge and now add “old IT” to the likely resisters…? Buy in at executive leader level looks like a good move but they need to be confident that it will not be yet another costly “IT” exercise with associated high risk of IT failure?
References
  1. http://www.transformationforum.org/PDFs/managing_transformation_means_transforming_management_sopk2.pdf
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Viva systems thinking!
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Today’s business is definitely changed then the business taking place in the past. As transformation means proper analysis and process improvement in the past this was not there.
YRC is a Management Consulting Company, especially for the B-C Sector. Our expertise lies into designing of Standard Operating Procedures, Franchise Development, Strategy & Operations services, Process Audits & Training.
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@Rupal
I think you miss the point about transformation...it is a change in attitude not just analysis and improvement...it is a new strategic objective such as to see empowerment and knowledge more widely shared. Process analysis and improvement certainly not new I was doing it in the 70s and Dr Deming post WW11....?
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
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Lots of great points around:
@Alex - agree with your take, in many cases today transformation is just bite-sized, fast-food adoption of 3rd party platforms without any consideration to the unique benefits that should emerge from proper transformation. You want social? Just plug in your FB/LI/TW connector into the internal portal. Doesn't matter that your content is not really publicly shareable or the sharing pattern of your transformed culture is something else. You want chat? Just API to Slack. Doesn't matter that channels will not the best communication pattern for your org culture.
@Juan - indeed speed is a very seductive reason for differences in transformation. But speed has actually always been a factor in transformation. The speed of transformation always left behind those people for whom the psychological transition takes longer than the technological transition. So speed is maybe a culling factor for the transformed species and the bar keeps getting higher.

And to actually answer the question: I think the only big difference is purpose. There seems to be less of a purposeful drive for change, everywhere. Everybody wants digital transformation (recognizing the role of speed as a culling factor), but not a lot of them can point out how digital transformation actually improves their business results or serves their new strategy.

The mantra of digital transformation is higher speed - but if your best idea of a competitive advantage is to be faster at whatever you're doing now, you're racing towards an invisible wall.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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