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  4. Thursday, 22 February 2018
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In a discussion on the BPM business drivers for the year ahead, Pritiman Panda brought up that it's important to 'Think BPM'. So what does it mean for a company and its employees to 'Think BPM'?
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Clarification:
BPM is considered as a trio of:
- discipline (how to manage a company by processes),
- technology/tools (how to manage business processes) and
- architecture/practice (how to build a process-centric company as a system).

Answer:
They (people of a company) know why, how and what to change in their business processes to achieve the target emergent characteristics of the company.

Thanks,
AS
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Nothing. I've been thinking my whole live I can be the lead guitar player in a famous rock band. I never learnt to play. I actually never owned a guitar.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
Comment
  1. E Scott Menter
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5087
So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star? Then listen now to what I say: just get an electric guitar, take some time, learn how to play.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The meaning of "think BPM" is the organization recognizes that consistent use of "best practices" leads to improved outcomes.

What they do about this goes from

1) nothing
2) implementation of a traditional BPMs
3) implementation of a Case platform (workflow + workload management)
4) Case, with real-time predictive decision support
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 3
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"That they've missed the point" especially as BPM is synonymous with automation technology. There are so many better mantras or unifying phrases to get a company focused on winning in the new digital world.
Comment
Sure, but there is no obligation to put an exclusive focus on one methodology out of several needed to build and sustain competitive advantage (strategy development, allocation of scarce resources to promising initiatives, workflow/workload management, periodic assessment of progress on initiatives).

BPM is core to workflow/workload management - at the other end of the scale is to make consistent use of worst practices. Few will want to do this.,
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 4
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Nothing. Companies don't think; people do. A better question might be: "Who in an organization needs to think BPM?"
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Throw away the phrase "BPM" because the phrase is too specific or not specific enough? I like the focus on BPM because it is specifically about automation and it's not the entire MBA curriculum.

Business is about organizing work. And generally speaking the work of business is necessarily repetitive, because of economies of scale under competition.

Thus we end up with BPM technology. BPM is the technology of the repetitive work of business, by definition. You can say automation. Only in BPM are the concepts of work and process first-class citizens of that technology.

As a technology, BPM is non-trivial. BPM has specific technical content (the mathematics of feedback loops and dependencies etc.) such that you can't just decide to build a few push and pop work task stacks in Django. It won't work.

BPM is a real technology. And BPM concerns the core work of business. There are few better leverage points for business success. Or business transformation.

So think BPM. Think "the technology of the work of business". And get really, really good at it. You'll leave your competitors in the dust. Or in the public sector, you'll get re-elected.
Comment
+1 John . . .Nothing to disagree with here. I like "BPM has specific technical content (the mathematics of feedback loops and dependencies etc.)"
  1. John Morris
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5089
Thanks Walter! It's good to emphasize that BPM-is-real, in other words, it's not "JAT", or "just another technology"

BPM is core to "work" and I think it has a much wider reach than any of us anticipated. . .

See "Take it to the limit with BPM" at

https://wp.me/pzzpB-QI.

You will like it, it's all about work!

As for others, maybe they will like it, maybe they won't.
"BPM is the technology of the repetitive work of business, by definition" ney, BPM is the technology of the coordination of work.
  1. John Morris
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5095
Re: "BPM is the technology of the coordination of work". Good emphasis on work, for sure. However consider a distinction between project-oriented work and process-oriented work.

We can acknowledge that perspective is important here. A big construction project is certainly dependent on and encapsulates many repetitive processes. Performing a single shovel scoop is a project; digging a ditch involving thousands of shovel scoops, is a process. Digging a ditch with an automated machine is a project. etc. etc.

As we know, BPM software and project management software are very distinct. BPM is more or less focussed on repetitive tasks. PM is more or less focused on tasks matched to a WBS (work breakdown structure). (I'm holding the question of resources here as ceteris paribus.)

So, consider a taxonomy of work, which is the purposeful expenditure of effort to change the state of something. We have technology which helps us be more productive with our work. And specialized technology to help with one-time-only work objectives (project management). And specialized technology to help us with repetitive work (business process software). Given the economic imperative to organization around repetitive work (based on economies of scale), a focus on repetitive work and its associated productivity technology, would seem to be worthwhile.

Business doesn't care much for theory, and that's often a good thing. I do believe however that it's worthwhile highlighting the BPM software technology as unique and important. BPM software is the technology of the work of business; and that work mostly turns out to be repetitive. For work that isn't repetitive, there's software for that too. But overwhelmed decision makers can find life will be easier if they sift through the noise of competing technologies. Sift through and hold on to the core technology of the work of business.
@John.. re.. "BPM software and project management software are very distinct"

Agree, but under the hood, there is a lot in common.

Re: A big construction project is certainly dependent on and encapsulates many repetitive processes

True for "fields of houses" construction projects but not for "very big" construction projects, because of a need for a different perspective.

I spent 6 years designing/using CPM systems for very large heavy construction projects. Hard to say when BPM was first used (1995 or earlier), but I have been working with our BPMs from that time, so chalk up another 20+ years. .

On the Churchill Falls project (at the time of its construction, the largest underground power station in the world) and the James Bay Energy Corp project ($17.5 billion), the planning, monitoring and control was done out of a project management office, with consulting/construction organizations doing the detailed work.

The level of monitoring our PMO got involved with was high level (something like 10,000 activities, not your typical field of residential houses) so it did not have/put much focus on repetition.

The big difference with CPM was a sharp focus on time and cost and no branching decision boxes whereas in BPM the focus is on today-now (not searching for the Critical Path) and meeting objectives as opposed to predicting costs.

In CPM the objective is to cut the ribbon, in BPM the objective is, for healthcare, to discharge the patient with no relapse,or, for law enforcement to close the case and get a conviction at trial.
  1. John Morris
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5099
Further on "coordination", which Dr. Samarin emphasizes as the technical essence of BPM software (I hope this is correct). The idea of the "digital twin" in engineering and IoT has a lot of momentum. It seems to be a useful idea here too. BPM software is the software of work -- specifically as Dr. Samarin emphasizes, the "coordination" of work. Can we consider that therefore BPM software is the digital twin of work? (Digital twin is a hot meme; there are lots of older ways of describing the relationship between symbolic technologies and the real world objects they represent.)
RE “However consider a distinction between project-oriented work and process-oriented work.” – if we consider that BPM == software then yes. If we consider that BPM == (discipline, software, architecture) then no.

Talking about “coordination” – I mean BPM as a trio. Coordination is the essence of business (from the systems point of view).
Projects, processes, cases are examples of coordination of activities. Coordination can be strong, weak, explicit, implicit, by fixing the goal of activities, by fixing the sequence of activities, by fixing the precedence of activities, etc.
@Alexander ... Interesting in that many of infrastructure-building initiatives can set the stage for strong coordination without trying to enforce coordination (not that they should enforce it).

The basics for success in coordination are:

a) to make the coordination environment attractive to the the point where it is easier for actors to use the environment as opposed to not using it (i.e. friendly UI / providing a UI that assists users doing their work by providing timely and useful decision support information as opposed to transforming users into data trolls).

b) having in place competent Case Managers, whose main job is to ensure that effort at Cases runs work through the "S" curve as efficiently and effectively as practicable.
@Karl, you are perfectly right, a coordinator must be able to coordinate people without any administrative power over them!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thinking refers to rationalization. The first step is to trying to understand. What's going on? What should we think about this? Should I act or not? If we choose to act, we think what would be rational response. Thinking is about are prepared to do something with intention to achieve something we feel valuable or purposeful. The sad thing is that we do almost anything to avoid thinking. We mostly just react automatically based on our earlier experience. This is called habit or routine. Just reaction, some times emotional, no thinking. Mostly thinking happens afterwards when we try to explain to somebody or ourselves why we did do as we did. Thinking consumes energy.

So thinking is important step in purposeful action. But as many have pointed out that thinking alone does not help. To do something (reaction, action, preaction) is the only way make the effect. Very seldom we act in vacuum. There is a important step between thinking and action, which is dialogue. To enable the dialogue we need language. BPM offers a effective language to foster collaboration and shared understanding. All meaning full results in organization are results of collaboration.

So what could mean "Thinking BPM" in this context. The core of the BPM is about modeling (or designing) "input - action -output". The BPM is about thinking systems, how relevant elements of the focus system are related to others. How would the system work in most effective and efficient way to fulfill the purpose of the system. BPM is about trying to simplify the messy and complex reality in order to understand the key cause-effect relationships. If the focus system is technical such as IT-system or machine, we need a detail description or model. If the focus system is social or business, detail descriptions add confusion. Details destroy understanding. The PBM can be used for many purposes such as organizing the work to create value, automatizing repetitive work, improving performance, designing it-systems, developing products and services.... first think ->dialog -> act -> see what happens -> learn from it (=think again).

br Kai
Comment
  1. John Morris
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5104
Great deep dive Kai, into "thinking BPM". And then I read the "sad thing is that we do almost anything to avoid thinking", a statement which is certainly true. And brings up the idea of cost. Thinking ("rationalization") has a cost. And the avoidance of thinking can be seen as the avoidance of a cost. Businesses are scaleable because of the massive thinking costs that have been avoided with the application of automation technologies.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7
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It is best to think of a business process as being a flow of tasks with a beginning, middle, and an end. This process will often cross between departments in a large organization. An example of a business process would be organizational expense claims by employees. If an employee is required to spend personal money for a work-related function, there must be a set business process, characterized by a series of steps, that must occur before an employee is reimbursed for their expenses.
An additional example of a business process management would be hiring and paying personnel.
Kritika Pandey (Software Analyst)
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
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For the company thinking BPM suggests at last a way out of being at mercy of IT! We have had CEO and CFO say why do it any other way but that was how to build the no code people focused solutions not actually referring to "BPM"! Therein lies a challenge to get the message over that software now can provide that complete support which BPM thinking will extract....without IT! This places a responsibility on industry analysts to do deep research and articulate "how". If the BPM message is delivered by business executives with confidence that delivery into meaningful digital solutions then employees will take seriously and once proven will willing engage. Sadly if becomes another IT project......well the record speaks for itself....!
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9
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BPM is not a new fashionable trend. BPM is not an IT solution. BPM is not a branch of knowledge. BPM is a form of existence of any company, regardless is it recognized or not.

Of course, a company doesn't think of anything. But management does. Management can think of BPM or not.

If management doesn't think about BPM, it doesn't mean that the company doesn't have BPM. It does. But in neglected, arbitrary and not recognized form. In other words, chaotic, not mapped, poorly managed processes.

Thinking BPM means understanding your business, its processes, the way it works, the way it can be governed, developed and improved.

Is it possible to use a gadget or appliance without understanding? Generally yes. But then there is a high risk to break things. User manual or decent tutorial are always recommended.

Business is far more complex thing than any gadget. Running it without a guide and devices incurs a risk of deadly crash. BPM gives a guidance and tools to avoid business crashes.

Think BPM. Understand your business.

https://caseagile.com/wp-content/uploads/Business_Driving_License_BPM_m.jpg
Comment
  1. John Morris
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5105
An almost lyrical celebration of the meaning of management. And the role of BPM. Could also be the foundation of a school of management thinking. The graduates of which go on to the greatest of successes. : )
@John, Thank you. The question was an invitation to imperative!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I found this discussion to be very useful. - to the point where I have positioned "Think BPM" first on my running list of "must haves" for operational success in corporations.

The conclusion I reached is it is not enough to have and encourage the use of "best practices", you have to be aware that things change, so "BPM" (however management wants to call it) needs to be at the top of the list.

Here is a link to the article

"Process Improvement - Under the Hood" (2018-02-25)

https://wp.me/pzzpB-QO
References
  1. http://kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 11
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A maybe very simple component, compared to the humbling and borderline philosophical outpourings of the industry veterans above, yet something I cherish very much when it comes to explaining (if only to myself) what it means when a company defines itself in terms of processes or BPM:
The ability to visualize, measure, optimize, automate and continuously the most important end-to-end processes of the company. "Most important", following the revenue (or better yet profit) trail AND to what the final customer thinks of added value by said company. "End-to-End", meaning having the discipline to actually follow through the entire value chain, into the customers’ homes and offices, and not stopping somewhere in the wastelands of some accounts receivable process.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
Comment
  1. John Morris
  2. 9 months ago
  3. #5121
+1 @Kay for articulating the process imperative! My question is always, how do we distinguish the real technical content of BPM from everything that good managers should be doing? Or from the entire MBA curriculum?

I believe BPM technology (considered broadly including software and methodology) has specific irreducible technical content, not dissimilar to the irreducible technical content of a more mature accounting profession. And from this perspective we can be successful selling BPM on the basis of BPM being unique and important. Not everyone will buy or is ready for the new responsibilities of BPM technology. Those that get it, get it. And overtime, they will win.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 12
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