1. Peter Schooff
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  4. Thursday, 12 January 2017
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According to this report last year from the Technology Evaluation Centers:
Business Process Management (BPM) systems are essential to creating an efficient organisation, but many CIOs today are more focused on trendier topics such as data analytics and customer relationship management (CRM).
Do you think this is still the case with BPM, and if so, what needs to be done about it?
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Unless the corporate culture has

CIO <- Business Strategy\Analysis



the driving force for initiatives (e.g. BPM) should come from functional units, not the office of CIO.

Functional units are likely to be more responsive to strategic initiatives than traditional IT.

Today, strategy formulation starts with building the corporation's inventory of Corporate Assets and, from there, we get to Strategies -> Initiatives -> operational implementation -> run time data -> KPIs, closing the loop

Not much to debate here - no point evolving strategies that cannot be implemented because of the lack/absence of resources.

Unreasonable to expect top management to build/maintain assets/strategy/initiatives on their own so the best setup logically is to have this fall under CIO.

When this organizational arrangement becomes the corporate culture, IT is no longer perceived as "digital plumbers"
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Any focus on CRM today misses the mark because ACM hosting BPM easily picks up CRM or CEM. You want/need to be able to do reachout at any step along any BPM process that has some outward facing scope and you want to be able to accommodate reach_in at any point in a Case timeline when the customer feels they have a need to communicate.
  1. more than a month ago
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The CIO.com post by Mitch Betts (@MitchBetts) on associated TEC free report by Jorge García (@JGxdot) is fascinating!

Not a huge or random sample size (250 TEC community members) but I think nevertheless reasonably representative of where BPM adoption is today. And the money quote? "A combined 44% are 'very satisfied' or 'completely satisfied'" with their BPM systems! Wow! Almost half are satisfied -- which compares extremely favourably with the usual dismal statistics concerning IT project failure!

But why are CIOs, as the post claims, "neglecting BPM in favour of trendier software", such as analytics and CRM? Especially when as the report itself says that processes are the lifeblood of any organization?

The use cases for BPM pile up. And we can make business cases for BPM all day. But the investment case? More difficult. Any organization ranks investment options for scarce capital and management attention. CIOs can hardly be faulted for focusing CRM and analytics, because they play well in the executive suite. And there are business cases for both -- even if CRM and analytics are often done poorly and disappoint.

Consider the possibility that attention to BPM opportunities fails on both sides of the fence.

On the vendor side there is a reluctance to claim the centrality and importance for BPM technology that it deserves. There is what we might call "sales-shyness" -- a reluctance to say that "BPM is the most important business automation technology" and that "you need to master it". (To its credit the TEC report is not shy about this.)

And speaking of shyness, on the other business side of the fence, there is a certain "work-shyness" concerning business processes. It's easier to go with the latest sexy technology-du-jour and engage in magical thinking ("we can master customer journeys with CRM and analytics" ), rather than own our work processes. BPM is about the work of business. BPM adoption is predicated on the assumtion we are ready and willing to really own the work of our business.
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Patrick Lujan
Blog Writer
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This isn't singularly a BPM problem, the issue is more holistic than a specific discipline or technology.

Kind'a, sort'a similar to Karl's comments let me tell you where most CIOs, and VPs of IT, spend their time these days. First, acknowledge that most IT departments' funding comes from some agreed-upon chargeback model to the respective LOBs and their systems', platform usage and support. This is their base level funding that keeps the lights on and the shop running. Next - and here's the good part - comes some big initiative originating out of an LOB, including the funding. An SVP or business leader within one of the larger (or largest) LOBs within the organization becomes enamored of some technology, platform, solution or large SI and a major initiative is launched as funded by the LOB.

Politically, read as "money" in italics, the CIO and VP of IT have little choice but to go along with it *AND* immediately commence to leading the charge amongst the proletariat in the IT cubes to deliver the initiative across some unrealistic (also read in italics as "too long" ) time frame, usually as being led by the nose ring by some large vendor or, worse, systems integrator all while purveying the Kool-Aid du jour. Some several quarters (usually 3-5 years tops) and several tens of millions of dollars later, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, are spent, years are wasted and the yield is paltry compared to the time and expense. Forget about iterative and incremental here, get that out of your mind and toss it out the door along with any other sensibilities that you may have.

The next thing that happens is the VP of IT and/or the CIO get nuked, either quitting and moving on or are outright fired by senior management. Simultaneously, the numbnut(s) from the LOB go on about their merry way, the initiative is declared a success fait accompli by the LOB, even though it's a horrendous failure, a new initiative is launched elsewhere within the org and a new flavor of Kool-Aid is declared this year's panacea. Rinse, repeat.

This I have seen LITERALLY dozens of times over the decades. And it never changes. Any discourse about how to change or avoid this is a waste of breath. No pessimism, just realistic acknowledgement of the state of affairs that exist. Human behavior does not, will not change. It's about power, politics, money and fiefdoms.

I'm now to the point of calling out these dynamics, and their timelines, in advance and then laughing hysterically with glee when they come to pass when I hear about it from afar, having apprised the client well in advance of the timeline and what will occur. In fact, just did it again this past week when informed of a Fortune 500's VP of IT giving notice, having called that five quarters ago prior to my own departure from that particular fuster cluck. Meantime the Big Four SI in there has garnered tens of millions of dollars and will make several million more before they get kicked out one more quarter from now. Yeah, I've called (and will see it happen) that one as well.

Good times. What's next?
"Good times. What's next?"
Oh, a lot of things: AI, machine learning, IoT - so many shiny new toys for dummkopfs to spend their LoB money on, basically buying very expensive hammers and waiting for years for the eventual nails to pop.
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There are many viewpoints on BPM-suite tools. It can be presented as:
- business automation – not fancy for some CIOs
- a tool to implement a CRM in flexible and incremental way – maybe interesting for some CIOs
- data integrator to guarantee the high-quality data source (thus simplify data analytics) – interesting
- coordinator of many siloed applications – really interesting
- application platform as a service – very interesting
- all above together – wow! please show examples for all of these items

It seems that explanation matter (see the first law of BPM [ref1]).

  1. http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2015/07/laws-of-bpm-business-process-management.html
Re: "please show examples for all of these items"

Would it help the discussion if I were to prepare a video of the steps (map a process making sure it has at least one automated decision branching step, assign roles, build a form from scratch and assign the form, compile, roll out

Then, load an ACM run time environment, attach an entity record to the generated template to yield an instance, see the record at step 1 of the map\template\instance, record some data, see the data in the History, see the BPM engine move the processing along to the next-in-line step?

Or, is there nothing exciting at all in the described protocol, such that it would be a waste of everyone's time to prepare and post this to YouTuibe?
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Not really my area of experience but as a general point the industry loves new tech his things usually beyond most business people's understanding so self interest and empire building flourishes? BPM is in reality a very simple concept as is delivery to the point business can take control. Not sure where CIO fits unless he is from business? How to solve well I blame the big analysts for failing to truly understand the new ways to deliver on BPM. Analysts being paid by vendors must come to an end and focus on helping business research the best ways. The CIO could be the recipient of this knowledge bridging the gap between IT and business?
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