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  3. Thursday, 28 December 2017
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The last question of 2017, what do you think is a top priority companies should have for their processes in the year ahead?
Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Make their processes digital, i.e. explicit and machine-executable!

P.S. And they, naturally, will become the single source of truth, control and management of your work.

Happy New Year!
AS
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
There is a global crack down on corruption where accountability will spread to owners and senior executives. The source where such activity takes place where information is created or machines/AI built is with "people and their processes". Adopting BPM linked to delivering digitisation of processes should be a priority for all organisations, businesses and governments, to allow assurance that a operational activity is now accountable with full compliance. As I have mentioned in previous post the accounting profession should be encouraging if not leading such a move? The reality is catching a one off "malfeasance / fraud" maybe be post such an event but repetitive activity is a systematic and thus senior management failure where responsibility thus accountability must lie.
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Patrick Lujan Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
Insight. Do you understand this process, know what it is? Do you agree with it, is it right? Could it be better? How?
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Fred Nickols Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Accurately mapping and then understanding their processes. They can tinker with them later.
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Brian Reale Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
GDPR. If you are in Europe where new GDPR legislation will go into effect in May, you better hope that your BPM Software provides you with an easy and pain free way to identify PII that might exist in your processes. Some suites offer a simple tagging mechanism so that you can identify which fields might contain PII. Since BPM processes tend to be very custom, it is often not as easy to identify which processes, which forms, and which fields hold PII. In CRM or ERP software, this is much easier since fields tend to be rather standard across verticals. So, if you haven't begun your GDPR audit, then it will be time to get to work as soon as the New Year's Even hangover subsides.
Comment
Absolutely. Here's the "Practical guide on GDPR for execs" . https://elements.cloud/2017/11/20/grpr-exec-overview/
  1. Ian Gotts
  2. 3 weeks ago
I favor starting off by declaring all data elements or clusters of data elements as "PII".

In our software suites (healthcare and law enforcement), users have Roles and when you add a new user there are very few places they can go and very little processing they can engage.

As for external users (i.e. subscribers to data exports to a generic data exchanger), the starting position is no access to any information at all.

The owners of each local and remote system or application must come forward and explain what data they want, why, and what they intend to do with it.

So, the entire set of processing capabilities (where one can go, what forms/dialogs one can see, what processing they can engage) is governed by a strict "need-to-know" protocol.
Ian Gotts Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Get a "single source of truth" for your operational processes documented. Use it to support GDPR compliance, prioritization of automation, digital transformation and customer success initiatives. It all starts here.

Unless you get a top-down, agreed set of documented operational processes - 2018 will end just as 2017 ended. Full of good yet undelivered intentions. Which leads to unhappy, disloyal customers and frustrated, demotivated staff.

Getting started on "getting started" is the hard bit. Once you start mapping, you will be staggered by how quickly it all comes together. But priorities are just that - priorities. Make it the most important thing and it will happen.

So the most important thing is to prioritize and then stay focused on delivering what you agreed was most important. (Hint: "single source of truth";)
Comment
Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
We have had in healthcare in the USA, a close equivalent of GDPR (PHI instead of PII) for years, except that the penalties are not "4% of annual world turnover", which to me sounds like a strange way to structure penalties.

The following came from a random search but looks comprehensive
http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/44928/laws-and-regulations/general-data-protection-regulation.html

I am not in agreement with some of the following extract:

There are two building blocks for compliance with GDPR. Firstly, a map of data flow that visualize where data comes entered the organization and where it leaves the corporate perimeter. An independent privacy analyst, Chiara Rustici emphasizes that mapping data flow is not just mapping data storage, but data in transit, too.

“GDPR meaning of “data processing” also includes retrieving, consulting, organizing, structuring, aligning, combining, disseminating, disclosing by transmission or soft-deleting data as well as collecting, storing and destroying it,” she said.

Secondly, organization-wide awareness of data protection principles is an important necessity that can happen with the help of the HR or T&D department. It might require a year of campaigning to get everyone realize their role as “data processors” and “data controllers”. In addition, it takes considerable time to embed new data architecture into business and get everyone familiarized with it.


>> Mapping data flow needs to include the ability to track the data, as it was, on the form versions/formats the data was on or in, at the time it was collected. Clearly, the data has to be locked down, otherwise, your 'log' is not performing.

>> Roles in the form of task posting/actioning in digital companies pretty much manages awareness of data protection. Most users do not need to log into back-end apps, they can be finely controlled as to what they can see, what processing they can engage via portal apps. Using two servers, where portal users only talk to a front-end server engine and the engine alone is able to establish a link to an actual DBMS record at the back end seems to be a model that works well for us.

The basics of PHI and PII are really simple but I understand that "it can take considerable time" . . . if the starting architecture was not geared for data sharing.

No uninformed disclosure other than government-mandated
No disclosure other than on a need-to-know basis
Data stores locked down
Tracking of everything, everywhere.

I think there should be some good consulting opportunities for consultants to go in and master map an organization's data - the right place to do this is in a free-form-search Kbase. (the starting initiative is a connect-the-dots exercise, not a BPM process evolution exercise - that comes next so if you do the high-level front end task you get an easy transition to the BPM activity that follows).

If anyone wants to get up to speed on this, call Civerex and we can set up something whereby you get a "demo" install on your laptop at no charge, the idea being you can use it to sell corporations on the approach, and the customer then buys a copy of the software that you use for the actual project. You would need MSSQL on the laptop but I think this is available for free.

You would probably need some training from Civerex - group sessions would allow us to reduce the cost per participant. Some participants would not need more than one hour of training.

Civerex is not looking to set up a revenue stream here, the goal is to get referrals at no commission. The software costs $40,000 US for one-time-license plus annual support fee of 20%. We get enough revenue from licensing that we don't have to try to earn money from consultants.
References
  1. http://kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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E Scott Menter Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
A quote I turn to frequently, one that I use as a touchstone for products I manage or build:

People run too many errands for their machines, especially if they think they have to.
Arno Penzias

A huge priority for any organization building apps with BPM (or, really, any other mechanism) is to remember that customer engagement offers, if anything, even more rewards than those produced by automation per se. So if you offer your users an interface and experience that creates more work for them, or requires them to decide among options they don't understand, or fails to provide them with timely contextual assistance, then you'll find that your return on investment is strictly bounded.

This limitation doesn't arise only from the reduced efficiency achieved in a poorly-designed UI/UX, but rather from the negative user engagement (I call it user estrangement) that will surely result. You risk estrangement when you force your users to search for information not clearly provided by your application, or by making them jump through unnecessary hoops. (My favorite example of the latter: do you create forms requiring your customer to enter their street address, city, state, and ZIP? Why not just prompt them for their street address and ZIP, and allow the system to fill in the relevant city and state?)

All of which is to say: a top priority for 2018 and beyond for BPM vendors, and for customers and consultants building applications on BPM platforms, is to focus user engagement. Greater engagement drives broader adoption and happier customers—and, after all, aren't those the goals we're shooting for?
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
Comment
@Scott ... when we make systems such that it is easier for these users to use the systems than try to do their work without the system, user resistance disappears.

The term UI, for me, has to pick up "device" - we have an app for homicide investigations where investigators find smartphones very convenient for checking off checkboxes but very inconvenient for trying to type in verbatim, a witness account of some aspect of the event. Here, a tablet or PC works better. They cannot voice dictate as the media or others within hearing range could tune into the conversation.
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 3 weeks ago
Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My answer for this question will always be 'execute them to solve the problems of your customers'

And yes, you probably also have to deal with some minor issues like gdpr or vendors trying to sell you digital transformation.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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John Morris Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Top process priorities for 2018?

Stepping up on the process opportunity means larger permanent functional budgets for business analysis (at least for differentiating processes).

Several replies above capture variations on "single source of truth", "making process explicit", "top down ownership" etc. In other words "commit to doing process strategically and significantly".

But how? And especially, who?

Many business actors who are now doing, or who might do, process aren't in fact the best cadres for the job: IT, LOB management, executive leadership, accounting and finance, engineering etc.

Business analysts are the exception, found in various functions (and under different names, including industrial engineering and even marketing). BA has the (beginnings of the) needed process skills. And unlike governance models for other functions listed above, BA functional design models don't have to be in conflict with the goals of process wrangling. Substantially, BA is all about process wrangling. With budget and governance leadership, BA can grow into the job.

Everyone else is already 100% committed. And since BPM process tech has real content ( implying "costs" ), successful use of this technology, for example in support of "transformation", requires incremental budgeted resources. Where those funds come from is a separate question. It's simple: no real budget, little progress, regardless of rhetoric and enthusiasm.
Comment
Pritiman Panda Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Top priorities w.r.t. processes:

* Process [ Review-Revisit-Refine-Reuse-Robotize-Repeat ]→ (better) RoI
* Envisaging processes as Customer Journey Maps (defining day-in-a-life of a user) than outlining and implementing individual requirement specific processes in silos
* Developing Self-Healing Process capabilities (e.g.: if there is an exception in the process and has been addressed by the user manually in the past for 3 to 4times. We do not want the same issue to be resolved with manual intervention everytime. Instead a training data set similar to a KeDB-known error database can be created to build intelligence/Predictive Analytics/ML and resolve the issues or take appropriate actions on the fly). Sample scenarios like claims adjudication, kyc process etc.
* ‎ Decisioning driven processes - 'Persona' driven for enriching customer experience
* ‎ Robotizing the processes and steps that demand for monotonous, mundane & manual intensive tasks
* ‎ Defining simple, dynamic & configurable processes (wherever applicable). e.g.: Standard processes that are updated based on audit, regulatory and compliance adherence. If there is a loan origination process that has a 1 step approval and in future there is a mandate for a 2step approval in flow, it should not invite for complete SDLC - define-design-develop-test-build-deploy (as it will be a costly affair with the magnitude of change)

To summarize:
The “process” still remains the heart/pulse and the business & enterprise ecosystem. An inefficient or weak process design is enough to choke the arteries, give cramps or cardiac arrest  - hence a healthy & efficient process design with Customer Centricity as one of the key levers, should be of utmost priority for the Business. Else additional overhead costs will be incurred in maintaining the process by Process Doctors/Consultants.

ECG for any Business Process conceived or created is very critical:
E: Experience (w.r.t Customer)
C: Cost (Maintenance/ Development / Change Management)
G: Gap Analysis to keep the business rolling (where we are right now, what we strive to achieve, present vs future roadmap, technology disruption & adoption)
Comment
Alberto Manuel Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
It is about business innovation. It is about intersecting with other industry verticals the company was not present before. It is about one key foundational resource, more skilled and innovative people to design in the era of the new business models.

Instead of banks force you to use their payment options, it is about creating and make part of a universal payment gateway which consumers will buy more, the more they pay, higher will be the bank revenue. Instead of household appliances manufacturers convince you to buy a new washing machine every 9 years, it is about how you make joint partnerships with retailers, fashion, utilities and monetise on the washing experience (clothing, detergent, smart energy management).
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks Ian for that link which gives a good summary of GDPR. Most business should understand this requirement and should enhance the BPM message in the EU? Likewise the "one version of the truth" which any BPM supporting software needs to support and is something I have promoted over many years!

Any business person reading all our comments would get it and perhaps an early priority is get the message over that building next generation enterprise software is a business focused responsibility where the logic of the underlying software is now readily understandable. We had a response from a CEO and CFO who, once explained, looked at each other and said "why do it any other way"......then they recognised the answer was the IT barrier! Very few business people (or politicians) will take on "IT" as it has evolved over past decades but discussions in this forum give hope this can change?

Whilst things have moved on..a bit.. that education and understanding how needs to be addressed to help senior business executives to regain control over their front line salient processes. Yes IT has a vital role to deliver securely and of course help manage orchestration of legacy but under direction of business.....has to happen sometime....I hope and plan it will be 2018...?
Comment
@David - Just wondering re " . . .help senior business executives to regain control over their front line salient processes."

What processes other than methods for evolving strategy and authorizing annual budgets plus ROI allocations for extraordinary initiatives and initiatives that span more than one year, do senior business executives need to control?

They have a set of KPIs for governance and they presumably hire operations staff precisely so that they don't have to worry about other "front line salient processes".
It's simple it's where information is created always has been always will be people and their processes....now the BPM software can fully support real time feed back one version of the truth and knowledge of who did what when automatically available....and making KPIs meaningful. Customisation ensures competitive advantages in hands of users not remote "IT".
  1. David Chassels
  2. 17 hours ago
Scott Francis Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
As it always should be, focus on creating value for your customers with your processes - your core processes.
Focus on reducing costs for non-core.
To be current with the times, think about how to make all those digital experiences real - which means leveraging process to do it. That sounds like a great priority for 2018.
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