Matt Green updated the AlignSpace blog this morning by pointing out the growth in topics on ‘social BPM’. Having followed AlignSpace since 2009 and being fortunate to have seen the path of some of the product’s offerings I have to agree that we will see something of a new paradigm in process management (although going from 1 to 600 Google search entries on Social BPM in a year is hardly phenomenal Matt….)
What will be interesting is how these new tools are pitched to the market and clients in general. There is some sceptisism around the fact that a process led project is already a ‘social event’ involving many parties at the table. This much is true, but what tools like AlignSpace will offer is greater speed, collaboration and communication not just for process projects but generally across the enterprise. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Process Owners will become pivotal players and key users of tools which develop down this networking path; activities like process discovery, issue resolution, even process simulation/ verification could take on a new slant.
There have been exploratory projects taking place in organisations already around social networking activities but using different techniques. A large UK financial has already run trials using mining rather than open networking to discover key users in email and subject matter to identify resources in the company who are regularly used for advice and expertise but are not readily recognised for their knowledge openly.
Is this a new era though or something of an evolution of the old label “human-centric”. I’d like to think it’s a combination of the two: using modern technology and the strengths of collaboration with a social network to place the business and humans back into business process management.