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Mark Zuckerberg famously said years ago that his mantra for Facebook was 'Move fast and break things'. While that philosophy is no longer the operating principal at FB, it certainly helped the company rise to dominance. Now that business today is faster than ever, how would you say 'Move fast and break things' applies to BPM and processes?
Max Young Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
MFBT is the heart of Process Improvement.

When the science first started, our philosophical forefathers were distributive forces who radically changed everything from how armies supplied their soldiers to how manufacturing utilized machines.

There is a timidness and modesty in certain parts of our current ecosystem that isn’t, in my opinion, ambitious enough.
References
  1. http://Www.capbpm.com
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Jonathan Yarmis Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I prefer to recite Jeff Immelt's maxim: "I like people who fail quickly. Just not too often."
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Is it too "Facebooky" to say I laughed out loud? LOL. :)
  1. John Morris
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Not something I would have applied to processes which require detailed and careful thought. However yes I can see relevance when build and implementation starts but only if the broken part can be fixed quickly. This flexibility quite alien to how old IT has imposed their ways on business....with high failure rates and associated costs! As ever before you start you need to know "how"quick changes can be made during build and in the future. Once that understanding gained a new opportunity opens up for BPM and business to gain competitive advantages for success.....just like FB....
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Timotheus Kampik Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Good BPM is about "moving fast without breaking things". It makes the trade-off "ability to move fast" vs. "risk to break things" less painful. You need to manage your processes well. Then you can (re)act quickly without causing chaos. At Signavio, we like to re-interpret Mario Andretti's somewhat similar statement "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough" as "Having everything under control allows you to go faster" to emphasize that process management (control) enables agility and growth.
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Nobody wants to break things, I think. They want to do the right things. But sometimes 'right' is not known upfront and you have to apply some trial and error.

To me that's about the fact that a process is not 'a few steps in a predefined order', but everything you do and need to solve a problem (of a customer)

And that means that a process can be 'break a little to find the best way' like I always try to express with this picture

https://twitter.com/Procesje/status/1004743855009386496?s=20
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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@Emiel . . . I looked at your picture. "A process is a means to solve a problem".

Could this not be expanded to ". or a means to avoid a problem" and ".. or a means to exploit an opportunity".

Operations folks are likely to relate to "solve,avoid,exploit" whereas strategy folks typically relate to "exploit, avoid, solve"
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 4 months ago
Let me think about that
  1. Emiel Kelly
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Stuart Chandler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
Absolutely it does. However, the issue is really if an organization is culturally setup and in their DNA they have the ability to manage 'breaks' or failures. Too many MBOs, incentives etc. are contrarian to allowing people to break/fail. In general terms, move fast and break is key to BPM. Processes can't be sweated over for long because they change. In addition, not every organization has completely mapped and has deep understanding of their respective processes thus 'discovery' is an important activity. Part of discovery is testing and testing can't always be in a lab so moving fast to get something place for validation is important. The trick is how to balance 'move fast' with right amount of testing to mitigate the 'break' business risk.
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Haste makes waste . . . when you fail to consider what the options are for the next move and you go down "garden" pathways.

"Thinking Fast" seems to me to be a better strategy than "Moving Fast"

Sounds like a variation of "look before you leap"
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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Kai Laamanen Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
In digital business such as facebook, google or amazon it is easy test in small scale what works and what does not work with a limited risk. Agility is must to survive. The more investment intensive businesses such as construction industry or car manufacturing and many other businesses it is not so easy. You don't want sacrifice durability or people lives.... Any way all businesses are moving towards digitalization so there is a lot of room to experimenting with low cost and risk. This means agile service development process and in some cases some other processes such as marketing or support services.

To "break thing" might mean synonym for innovation. We break things by offering something new and more value adding. In business this means ruining the old product and service by replacing it with a new innovative solution. The biggest threat for innovation comes from inside the organization... we have to break down the old way to run the business and the old believes and habits.

br. Kai
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Kay Winkler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Not really. To have the luxury, to move fast and break stuff, due to "innocence" or as part of a strategy, may very well depend on the economic strength a company can dedicate to a BPM project executed in such a manner.
Especially during the initial process automation engagements, there usually a huge effort has been already made to assure a companywide buy-in which in turn, typically is tied to some sort of a KPI measured ROI. In short, I have yet to see a company that engages into BPM for, let's say, research purposes, only.
I would argue that these highly experimental scenarios are reserved for a few and very specific users that a) do have the money to recover from different degrees of failure and b) by nature are innovators (expected from their final customers).
As to the rather conservative BPM approaches that we normally deal with, we do try to innovate and optimize a process as much as the given BPMS technology, the internal and external user readiness allows for. In short, we consciously set boundaries which can be extended through continued improvements.
That has also to do with our counter-intuitive approach to go for the mission critical and highly visible processes first (hence the risk of failure is high) - specifically because a positive result through BPM in those can be easily measured and used to justify further process automation within the corporation, later also covering smaller and less visible processes.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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Good reference to "economic strength". Smaller organizations in competitive markets are typically so lean that they don't have the slack to afford experiments.
  1. John Morris
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Sometimes good things come out of this forum.

In one of the posts above, Emiel stated that "a process is 'not a few steps in a predefined order'".

That is one of the best definitions of the need for ACM/BPM I have seen.

Looking at the picture that he attached where he states ""A process is a means to solve a problem",. it seemed to me that this could be expanded to "a means to solve a problem", or ".. or a means to avoid a problem" , ".. or a means to exploit an opportunity".

That observation led to wondering how differently Operations is likely to put a relative focus on these three options compared to Top Management and it looks like we have a partial explanation for the gap between strategy and operations or, the gap between operations and strategy.

Operations : solve, avoid, exploit
Strategy: exploit, avoid, solve

Different mindsets, different attention spans, different planning time frames of interest, different terminologies, etc.

Am I reading too much into this?
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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@Karl I think you touch upon a relevant issue where there is a gap in understanding between frontline operations and the executive drivers of strategy. This has been facilitate by old IT creating the very real gap between users and systems where the reality is there is a genuine differing of mindsets on delivery of outcomes. BPM fills that gap and delivery needs to have a language which allows both executives and users to understand how operations can delivery in execution of a strategy. Displaying how in a format that all parties can see and understand should enable a commonality in thinking.
  1. David Chassels
  2. 4 months ago
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Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
"Move Fast and Break Things" - not really either with BPM or without BPM when you have to run any production processes especially if they are defined in accordance with a typical corporate governance and under legal conditions.

But "Move Fast and Break Things" is perfect for prototyping.

Maybe for some companies there is not difference between corporate governance and prototyping?

Thanks,
AS
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Fault tolerance is so much easier to apply to consumer than to business.

Conceptually, everyone agrees they must have a degree of fault tolerance.

I just never met a customer who's happy to deal with the consequences of your fast, but broken, things, in their production environment.
CEO, Co-founder, profluo.com
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Here's the latest in the same mantra - some blockchain start-up does art authenticity verification via blockchain. Cool problem to solve (art forgery and trust in the trading chain), wrong tool, moved too fast to prove themselves, literally blew their entire blockchain (and, I expect, their business) in one single fake transaction.

Lol, brilliant.

https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2018/06/how-i-became-leonardo-da-vinci-on-the-blockchain/
CEO, Co-founder, profluo.com
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E Scott Menter Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
“Move fast” is BPM's middle name. Break things, meanwhile, should be the motto of every startup, and every transformation effort: Break with tradition. Break with with expectations. Break groupthink and compartmentalization, tired business models and Byzantine processes.

Break an egg. Either you'll make a mess or an omelette, but leaving it to rot in its shell hardly seems a preferable alternative.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png
-Scott
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leaving an egg in its shell may hatch a hen that could lay more eggs :-)

just sayin'

#inception
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 4 months ago
+1 Everyone -- but especially @Bogdan re: eggs that hatch.
  1. John Morris
  2. 4 months ago
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John Morris Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Wow, some fantastic comments and insights, ranging through technology, governance, economics, history, management and more. Here are three more perspectives on whether a "move fast and break things" management approach is suitable for a BPM environment:

1. BPM TECHNOLOGY FLEXIBILITY & ROUNDTRIPPING -- Until very recently, the BPM roundtrip issue has been a killer. Great sales pitch. But making a process executable (i.e. a "useable" artefact) required all sorts of technical elaboration. Which was practically impossible to "roundtrip" back to the original management- and business analyst-friendly business process diagram. Result: You've now built have a for-all-intents-and-purposes block of cement. WHY RELEVANT? Moving fast and breaking things as a realistic discipline of constant learning and adjustment is almost impossible. WHAT'S NEW? Newer BPM products based on executable BPM (and still likely deployed via a Volker Stiehl-inspired "business logic segregation model") makes roundtripping possible. So, you can break things fast and fix 'em fast too.

2. BPM TECHNOLOGY FLEXIBILITY & THE GOLF COURSE -- When software (and BPM) took longer to deliver, business executives could relax on the golf course (OK, this is unfair and cynical -- most business execs are 100% committed regardless) knowing that they wouldn't have to come up with new ideas for a month or two. Same applies to business analysts. HOWEVER, the world of "move fast and break things" (assuming now this is technically possibly in a responsible way) puts enormous stress on an organization. The "management-brain-idea-cycle" is now shortened dramatically from months to days. There's a high cost to this. There may even be diminishing returns! WHY RELEVANT? Business transformation, and even the application of new technology for basic operational efficiency improvements, require leadership and insight. These are scarce resources. They have a cost. Many of us can agree to speed up innovation. But like most things, there are constraints. The idea pipeline has a diameter.

3. BPM TECHNOLOGY FLEXIBILITY AND AGILE -- One more caveat, which concerns the need for leadership. Several comments above allude to the need for leadership. Because "move fast and break things" can easily end up as "just breaking things". Even if something works, in what direction is the organization going? Without leadership, agile becomes a random walk. And a random walk is quite likely to result in extinction. Grasshoppers in a swarm individually follow a random walk. The swarm thrives, but individual actors have a high probability of extinction. Agility may be good for swarms of companies; individual executives have to lead in a direction that will be best for the individual organization. WHY RELEVANT? By all means embrace "moving fast and breaking things". But know that to be successful, you'll have to lead. Mere agility will likely result in failure.
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Boris Zinchenko Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
In fact, principle "Move fast and break things" is typical for every startup. In a wider sense, it is also well known fact of economics that developing economies grow much faster than developed ones.

When a company grows big it takes hundredths times more time, cost and effort to make the same change as in a small company. It creates a niche of survival for a small business. But it also creates a trap of immobility endangering the existence of large corporations. It can be viewed as a phenomenon of maturity or aging. Alternatively, one can see it as an objective and inevitable side effect of the size and complexity. Knowledge and experience too often degrade speed and appear a killing manifestation of age.

BPM is a crucial technology to leverage this fundamental contradiction between accumulated business experience and the ability to quickly respond to newly emerging challenges. BPM turns static array of accumulated business knowledge into dynamic models empowering quick and efficient decision making for larger organizations. It makes BPM true anti-aging lift saving aging organizations from degradation.

Move fast and build things consistently and systematically through model driven accumulation of business knowledge. This is a recipe of long and healthy life for any organization just overgrowing its startup age.
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