The Social BPM paradigm

(An update from my earlier post)

“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.”

Wikis and information sharing are just the tip of the iceberg, it’s all about Communication, Collaboration and Community in the Enterprise (C-cubed, I should copyright it LOL).

Process discovery will be much more rapid and interactive and it will create a transparency and simplicity rarely seen in the enterprise. What’s more I think a new type of Process Ownership/ Governance model will emerge because of this, the old style Subject Matter Expert badge will be remodelled to reflect the change and it may well be that the enterprise has to rethink who really are the experts of the process rather than the hierarchies of old dictated by years of service….You could well be throwing out the BPM manual and starting again once this goes mainstream.

From a technical standpoint we’re going to see Social-BPM emerge but Mobile-BPM also. The two go hand in hand. AlignSpace have plans already, Nimbus have an iPhone app going through the Apple approval process which I hope to get my hands on soon to review. You Twitter and Facebook on the move, why can’t you BPM on the move ?

If you extend the technical side further you can create a whole raft of mashups involving workflow integration with twitter-style updates and instruction. Stick this on an iPhone/ BB/ iPad and resources may never need to be desk bound again. We are literally on the cusp of something very very big. It will take time for enterprise adoption on a large scale but unless the roadmap is thought out in advance for the industry we’re going to fall short of delivering something truly revolutionary and it’ll just be labelled a fad. What I would hate to see happen is that vendors just jump on the bandwagon with Twitter-BPM modules for their suites and dilutes the value proposition.

The other thorn is how this is sold to clients who will be sceptical about letting their workforce have an internal chat system (which a lot will try to avoid adopting because they’ll simply use is as a lack of productivity excuse) so the message sent out by vendors needs to be very carefully managed and consistent.

Social BPM is coming. You may have no choice but to join the community when it does.


2 responses to “The Social BPM paradigm

  1. This is a great discussion. Social BPM cleary talks to the people side of process management ie the non-automated activities alongside the automated activities. Most of the vendors in the BPM space are workflow/automation vendors. But there is an increasing awareness that IT can help non-atomated activities – which is where Socail BPM comes in The iPhone / iPad are devices which will make Social BPM seem ‘real’. How will it play out and drive real benefits for companies – read my blog

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