Posted by: Adam Deane | 28/08/2012

The ACM Unbirthday Party

It was almost half past three o’clock, when Alice stumbled upon a blue door.
She could hear a lot of yelling on the other side.

Very quietly she opened the door…

ACM Unbirthday

Mad Hatter: A very merry ACM unbirthday to you!

March Hare: No.. a very merry ACM unbirthday to you!

Mad Hatter: Let’s congratulate with another cup of tea, a very merry ACM unbirthday to you!

March Hare: No.. a very merry unbirthday to you!

Suddenly the March Hare and the Mad Hatter looked up and saw Alice

March Hare & Mad Hatter: No room, no room, no room, no room, no room, no room!

Alice: But I thought there was plenty of room!

March Hare: Ah, but it’s very rude to sit down without being invited!

Mad Hatter: I say it’s rude. Its very very rude, indeed! Hah!

Dormouse: Very very very rude, indeed…

Alice looked at the Mad Hatter. The Mad Hatter looked at the March Hare. The March Hare looked at Alice.
The Dormouse didn’t have anyone to look at, so he counted his toes instead.

Alice: Oh, I’m very sorry, but I did hear you talking about ACM and I wondered if you could tell me…

March Hare: You know about ACM?

Mad Hatter: Oh, what a delightful child! Hah! I’m so excited, we never get compliments! You must have a cup of tea!

March Hare: Ah, yes indeed! The tea, you must have a cup of tea!

The Mad Hatter took a teapot out of his hat and poured it into a checkered cup.

Alice: That is very nice. I’m sorry I interrupted your birthday party… uh, thank you.

March Hare: It’s not a birthday. It’s an unbirthday. BPM celebrate one birthday every year.

Mad Hatter: Ahhh, but there are 364 ACM unbirthdays! Precisely why we’re gathered here to cheer!

Alice: Why, then today is my ACM unbirthday too!

March Hare: It is? What a small world this is. In that case… a very merry ACM unbirthday.

Everyone was looking very happy, except for the dormouse who was still trying to count his toes.

Alice: But why doesn’t ACM have a proper birthday.

Mad Hatter: Proper! Proper! Fiddlesticks. we don’t celebrate birthdays.

March Hare: (whispering) They can’t celebrate it, no one uses it.

Alice: What?

The Mad Hatter poured all the tea into a cup. Then he put the dormouse into the empty tea pot.

Mad Hatter: ACM is used.. well.. at least, it should be used.

March Hare: Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

Mad Hatter: It’s a fantastic methodology.

March Hare: (nodding) It is a fantastic methodology… but no one is using it.

The dormouse was still in the tea pot having some trouble counting his toes. They seemed a bit sticky.

Alice: Of all the silly nonsense, How can you have a methodology that everyone likes, but no one is using. Surely if it was that good, it would have been adopted by the BPM, ECM and CRM vendors by now.

March Hare: Quite the opposite. Because it’s such a fantastic methodology, no one is adopting it.

Mad Hatter: Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic and so am I.

March Hare: The ACM methodology has been around for years. If it goes midstream then no one will like it anymore.

Mad Hatter: There is only one birthday, but 364 unbirthdays.

March Hare: Exactly! Now blow the candle out, my dear and make a wish.

March Hare & Mad hatter: A very merry unbirthday to you!

Inside the teapot, the dormouse smiled. “Ten toes” he said to himself.
Just as I thought.

Posted by: Adam Deane | 25/08/2012

BPM Quotes of the week

On BPM Product Suites – Craig Reid

Whilst many of these technologies have been created to resolve specific business problems there is a trend toward convergence to create product suites that seek to solve holistic business problems and enable Enterprise Business Process Management.
Whilst all of these advances are benefitting organizations we must always remember that not every process can be automated and that our dependence upon human skill and ingenuity is something to be treasured.

On Process Discovery – David Brakoniecki

The obvious definition is to ‘discover’ and document a process so that it can be improved or automated. The meeting is a really about effective requirement gathering but the unspoken objective of the meeting should always be to build momentum and confidence in the transformation agenda or in the project.
If you have done your homework right, the people in the room are key stakeholders that need to buy-in to your efforts for you to be successful. Process discovery sessions might be the first time you are in front of them. Many might resent being there – often they have been told by their boss to attend. Some might be senior decision-makers whose time is valuable – you need to build credibility that time they give you will be spent effectively.

On Implementing BPM – Scott Francis

The obvious interpretation is that “implemented BPM” implies that you take a BPM-informed approach to your business and your processes. It is a journey not a destination, and as result it isn’t something you put in the rearview mirror except that you *can* establish BPM as the “standard operating procedure” for how you approach defining, improving, and sustaining process in your organization.

On The Future of BPM – Theo Priestley

The future of BPM and indeed work based software and method itself doesn’t lie in continually adding onto the bloated software product stack from the latest analyst twitterings, or jumping onto the darling buzzword for this week, the future lies in being able to step back and accept a piece of humble pie and admitting that we have been wrong. I’m not suggesting we ignore everything that has come before but equally we can’t blindly keep following the same mechanics that have served for decades.

On ACM – Keith Swenson

Some see ACM as the combination of social techniques together with dynamic business process management. It is certain that there is a confluence of technologies coming together at this time, and it is having a profound effect on the structure of our organizations.

Posted by: Adam Deane | 21/08/2012

BPM Lessons from the Olympics

OlympicsSo… the Olympics are over.

The greatness of the games: “Inspire a generation”,
The greatness of the athletes: “higher faster stronger”

Yes, yes, I know… The Olympics were great.

But better still… they provided grumpy old men like myself something to whinge about…

So here are 9 BPM lessons to be learnt from the Olympics.

Learn about your customer before the meeting
North Koreans walk off after wrong flag shown

Don’t over-strategize your project
8 Badminton players were kicked out of the Olympics for deliberately trying to lose their games

Always start the project with a funfair
James Bond escorts The Queen to the opening ceremony

If you’ve decided not to participate in the process – move away before it starts going wrong
Photographers panick as Algeria’s Safia Boukhima crashes into the boards as she chases after the ball during their women’s Group A volleyball match against Russia

Expect wabbles during the project. The target is to overcome them and continue
Romania’s Larisa Andreea Iordache loses balance but does not fall as she competes in the balance beam during the women’s individual all-around gymnastics final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games

Dull, tedious, and repetitious tasks can be made funny
Mr Bean’s Olympic orchestral appearance

Expect to deal with non-related BPM issues during the project
The Olympics Dressage event is where unbelievably expensive horses and their even-more-unbelievably wealthy riders demonstrate the highest possible quality of their gait, control and ability. The medals go to the riders, even though the horses do the work.

Expect to lose some resources during the project
Seven athletes from Cameroon have disappeared from the Olympic village, according to officials.

Ok.. So you are process expert – Don’t show off

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, dangles 20ft in the air after getting stuck on a zip-wire while celebrating Team GB’s first Olympic gold

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of modern Olympic Games, said

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, response was:

‘Inspire a generation’ is our motto. Not necessarily ‘Create a generation’, which is what they sometimes get up to in the Olympic village.’

Posted by: Adam Deane | 13/08/2012

Shedding some light on BPM

BPM ViewSometimes you get a glimpse of somebody’s view on a subject, by looking at the way they gather information on it.

Gartner are planning for their 2013 BPM Conference, and have published a survey request to help them shed some light on customer interests in BPM.

Unlike precision worded research papers and quadrant reports, the survey enables you to see another view.
Although not being their official view, and taking into account that it was created to pinpoint customer interests – it does shine some light on the way BPM is seen.

Out of the survey, I’ve highlighted 6 sections that I found interesting:

Reasons to invest in BPM (Question 9)

  • Increasing Enterprise Growth
  • Reducing Enterprise Costs
  • Improving Profitability (margins)
  • Competitve Advantage
  • Business Agility
  • Distributed Decision Making
  • Enhanced Teamwork (across groups, time and distance)
  • Faster Time-to-Market
  • Governance and Transparency
  • Quality and Consistency
  • Expanding into new markets
  • Attracting and Retaining Workforce
  • Business Process Outsourcing

BPM Business Value (Question 10)

  • Cost savings
  • Better productivity
  • Better collaboration
  • More agility
  • Better customer experience
  • Faster time to market
  • Risk reduction
  • Better regulatory compliance
  • Reduced re-work/error correction

Business Pains (Question 11)

  • Lack of budget
  • Lack of expertise
  • Lack of resources
  • Lack of organizational champion
  • Changing market conditions
  • Inability to measure the results
  • Obtaining business justification
  • Organizational/Inter-Departmental politics
  • Organizational inflexibilty
  • Lack of technology

BPM Topics (Question 12)

  • Social BPM
  • B2B Process Management
  • BPM and Compliance
  • BPM and Corporate Performance Management
  • BPM and Enterprise Architecture
  • BPM Methodologies/Toolbox
  • Business Process Modeling
  • Business Process Optimization/Simulation
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Large-scale BPM Program Management
  • Business Process Competency Center
  • BPM Project Management: Do’s and Don’ts
  • Business Rules Management & Standards
  • How to Get Started with BPM
  • Making the Business Case for BPM
  • BPM Roles and Organizational Best Practices
  • Governance and the Process Owner
  • Organizational Change Management and BPM
  • Governance Issues
  • Organizational politics
  • Measuring BPM results
  • Getting to the Next Level with BPM
  • BPM and Agile Development
  • BPM and ERP
  • BPM Applications Selection Criteria
  • BPM Suites and Tools Evaluation & Comparison
  • Future of BPM Technologies
  • Integrating BPM and Legacy Systems
  • BPM and Cloud Computing
  • Intelligent Business Operations
  • Intelligent Business Process Management Suites
  • Unstructured Processes/Case Management
  • Big Data implications for BPM
  • Establishing process measurement

BPM Technologies (Question 16)

  • Social BPM/Collaboration
  • Facilitating Business Process Modeling by Business Users
  • SOA Enablement
  • Human Centric Interactions
  • System Centric Interactions
  • Document Centric Interactions
  • Event Processing
  • Business Activity Monitoring
  • Pre-packaged solutions specific to your industry or process domain
  • Business Management System
  • Simulation
  • Predictive Analysis
  • BPMS
  • Business Process Platform
  • Mobile platforms
  • Cloud delivery models
  • Intelligent Business Process Management Suites

BPM Vendors (Question 20)

  • Appian
  • Cordys
  • DST
  • IBM
  • iGrafx
  • Kofax
  • Mega
  • Mood International (Salamander)
  • OpenText
  • Oracle
  • Pegasystems
  • PNMSoft
  • SAP
  • Software AG
  • Tibco
  • Vitria
  • Whitestein
Posted by: Adam Deane | 11/08/2012

BPM Quotes of the week

On BPM and Brain-Machine Interfaces – Setrag Khoshafian

What’s even more exciting is that BPM technology can be also used with brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to create the next ‘killer applications’ that will allow human participants to interact with smart devices. By interacting with BMIs, BPM can guide, coach, and provide intent-driven interactions for machines and human participants optimizing the execution of complex tasks. This could be used for the development of technologies assisting humans intelligently with much wider implications than simply automating work-related tasks

On Process Owners – Michael Hammer

Without power, which typically means control of money, designating a sacrificial victim as a process owner is a structural sham. How can a process owner be responsible for their process’s results without the means to directly affect them? They can’t. It’s just another structural shell game.

On the Process Community – Mark McGregor

Within the process community we are often our own worst enemy. Not only do we often fail to be part of the valued support team of the organisation, but we spend too much effort fighting among ourselves, arguing over which approach or method is best. Think of your own organisation: how many different groups do you have working on process?

Posted by: Adam Deane | 07/08/2012

BPM Innovation – Voice

BPM MagicI love innovation.

A month ago I blogged about the future technology of BPM
“Voice Recognition – Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

It turns out that the future is closer than I thought…
The little elves at Signavio have been quietly working their magic.

They have been developing an easy and intuitive way to create BPMN diagrams using speech recognition technology.
The end users can describe their business process in plain English and the Signavio Process Editor will create a valid BPMN 2.0 flowchart in real-time.

Being able to describe process models in natural language is a big step forward for BPM users. The ability to create a model through speech and see it visualized takes business process modeling to the next level

It is inspiring to see the younger generation in the industry pushing the technology boundaries and looking for creative ways to push BPM forward.
Hopefully, this will make process process modeling more accessible to an even larger audience… except for the Scottish..

Posted by: Adam Deane | 04/08/2012

BPM Quotes of the week

On BPM Gurus and Visio Therapists – Emiel Kelly

It means that the organization has a process center of excellence with 20 specialists who or modelling all the organizations’ processes (in BPMN) and publishing these on the intranet. They call themselves visio-therapists and they write down a lot of process improvement ideas on the walls based on all kind of academic research and process simulations. Of course they are coached by a self proclaimed bpm guru.

On BPM and Dark Processes – Gary Comerford

Get your users into a room, start to ask them what they do. Work through the details until you understand the points at which the current process breaks down. Sure, it’ll take a while, and probably cost you a fair amount of money. But compare that with the amount of money you’re losing by having the processes there in the first pace and you’ll understand the importance of doing this.

On BPM and Involvement – Theo Priestley

The point is to look at things laterally rather than vertically, drop the functional silo approach to process and think horizontal not hierarchical. Whether you use a strong discipline and approach to BPM or leverage a BPMS to enable you further shouldn’t matter, but what should matter is how you socialise the way you conduct process management and improvement. To socialise is to involve

On BPM and Social – Matt Calkins

The applications that make up your business are full of events, and some of those events demand interaction and so, ideally, what we should be doing is taking those events, exposing them to the right people and facilitating the necessary interaction right there. Simply adding a social networking overlay to your existing BPM isn’t enough, said Calkins, adding, “you can write social in a garage in a month.

On BPMN and ACM – Bruce Silver

In a BPMS, this centralized knowledge is physically realized in a process engine that not only knows the next step but actually directs the instance there. BPMN’s term for this explicit and centralized process logic is orchestration. A BPMN process is, by definition, an orchestration. This the main reason why BPMN, by itself, is unsuited for ACM.

On BPM and Innovation – Connie Moore

Forrester defines innovation as: The transformation of a business process, market offering, or business model to boost value and impact for the enterprise, customers, or partners.

Posted by: Adam Deane | 28/07/2012

BPM Quotes of the week

On Cloud BPM – Shariq Ata

In the crowded world of Cloud-based BPM, many vendors claim to deliver simplicity, ease of process automation and cost efficiency. But a close look under the marketing veneer reveals that many vendors are just reinventing and relabeling the same old as new

On Automated Business Process Discovery (ABPD) – Jim Sinur

One of the major deliverables is a process map with actual paths mapped with activity major process threads highlighted and bolstered by activity counts. Not only can ABPD identify exceptions to the happy path(s), but common exceptional paths and costly outlying paths of process activity.

On BPM and Process Data – Scott Francis

It got my attention because on of the hang-ups that I’ve observed with BPM practitioners with formal object-oriented development experience is trying to over-design the object hierarchy. Thinking of process data as “in memory” data structures in a language like Java or C++. This leads to wanting to have circular references between objects (manager has a list of direct reports, and the direct reports each have a link/pointer to manager). But in BPM systems it makes more sense to think of process data as a simplified bit of concrete data from the database.

On ACM – Keith Swenson

Any work support system that depends upon processes designed with BPMN (or BPMN-like languages) cannot be considered an ACM system

On ACM and Goals – Max J. Pucher

Without a clear term definition for the business users which I see as part of the Business Architecture, there won’t be real world use of ACM or BPM. Most of all business people won’t be able to describe their work without that language of process that reduces ambiguity. In the end the business choses to use the terms they want, but they should not be restricted by the limitation of a system that doesn’t allow goal definitions

Posted by: Adam Deane | 24/07/2012

The Process Olympics

The Process OlympicsLadies and Gentlemen!
The 2012 Olympic Process relay race is ready to begin!
In lane number one: Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt

[the crowd cheers]

Bolt: C’mon guys, I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. Lets get this over with.. I’m starving..

Commentator: AND THERE’RE OFF!
What a fantastic start. The first runner sprinting ahead. What speed!

A brilliant display of power and determination by the first runner.
The vendor’s logo displayed brightly on the back of his shirt… What a great start!

As he gets to the end of the first part of the process, he passes the baton on to the next sprinter.
The second runner grabs the baton and sprints ahead. It’s looking good..

Commentator: Wait! .. something’s happening… The umpire has raised the yellow flag.

The second runner: What’s wrong?
Umpire: I need you to run sideways on this part of the process.
The second runner: What? .. Sideways? .. But that isn’t in the race spec!

Commentator: The umpire is talking to the coach. Both of them are returning to the starting line to discuss the changes.
It looks like the coach has given in and called the runners back to the starting line to run again.

Bolt: [groan..] C’mon, move it.. I’m starving here

Coach: Sorry guys, can’t argue with the umpire. Let’s run it again from the start.

Commentator: AND THERE’RE OFF!

The first runner sprints again, reaches the second runner. The second runner grabs the baton and dashes ahead sideways.
The umpire is happy.

As he gets to the end of the second part of the process, he passes the baton on to the third runner.

Bolt: C’mon, just pass me the baton so I can finish this race and go home and have some breakfast.

Commentator: But wait!… something is happening…. oh no! The umpire has raised the yellow flag again.

Coach: What’s wrong now?
Umpire: I’m having second thoughts…

Commentator: The umpire is talking to the coach. Both of them are returning to the starting line to discuss the process.

Bolt: [groan..] C’mon guys… I’m dying here…

Coach: Sorry guys, can’t argue with the umpire. Let’s run it again from the start.

Commentator: AND THERE’RE OFF!

The first runner is tired. He just walks over to the second runner.The second runner takes the baton again and walks sideways to the third runner.
They are losing a lot of time here, but at least the umpire is happy.

The third runner sprints off.
He has a tough job ahead of him. Integration. He needs to pass one half of the baton to the last runner. The second half of the baton needs to be passed to a runner in a completely different lane, from a completely different team.

Commentator: He has reached the integration point. Wait… oh no! It doesn’t fit.
They are wasting time again in trying to get it to fit. Nope! … It looks like the third runner is returning to the starting point to find a new baton for the integration.

[... years later ...]

Commentator: Ladies and Gentlemen. The third runner has finally managed to finish the integration and completed the third part of the process. All he needs to do is pass it on to the last runner… Bolt.

He is now running towards Bolt…

But Bolt is nowhere to be seen.
There’s just a skeleton lying in the track… Some people never learn…

Posted by: Adam Deane | 21/07/2012

BPM Quotes of the week

On BPM and Dark Processes – Jim Sinur

Dark processes (aka shadow processes) exist in many companies and are demonized by many. A dark process is an unoffical process used to deliver results and not visible to management. The process folks are claiming that dark processes need to go away for companies to be successful with process efforts. I, for one, believe they will always be with us because there are so many forces that are there to generate them.

On BPM and BRE – Ryan Trollip

Adding to the confusion is the presence of rules engines and tools in other complementary systems such as BPM, ESB and analytics applications. Again it’s a case of selecting the right tool for the job. Yes you can operationalize business rules in many of these tools but you lose a good amount of the benefits attributed to a rules management system.

On BPM Maturity – Max Pucher

So starting to do BPM any other way than to define a top-down Business Architecture (which can be done for a single end-to-end process) and without using a goal-oriented, adaptive approach is doomed to fail. As much as you will hate to hear it, but if companies want to achieve process maturity, as a first step they will need to get rid of orthodox BPM software that lacks the embedded architecture capability needed for continuous improvement

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