Collaborative BPM: capturing the buzz to create success

I had a thought this morning about what was missing with ArisAlign that I couldn’t put my finger on when I received the demo and then it hit me.

There was no apparent ‘buzz’ or vibe about it. All the components were there; the collaborative space, the whiteboard, the process editor, discussion forums, professional networking. And yet…..it all felt clinical in it’s execution. It’s not just Software AG, I expect other vendors will come up against this soon enough.

If you were a part of the Forrester #bpmjam there was a massive vibrancy about a large group of people taking part and adding their piece about the hot topics right now. Connie and I touched base after the session and we both agreed that there was a definite buzz in taking part. I remember a conversation I was having with another Business Architect a
couple of years back, we were looking into different operating models to try out for a Life and Pensions business. Armed with just a couple of scraps of paper to draw on we were exchanging ideas and scribbles at a rapid pace and the energy generated was incredible. Sounds very sad when you get excited by drawing pictures of departments and divisions but the way it was conducted, a quick fire succession of bouncing ideas, scribbling the changes down, more ideas, more scribbles, each time a another spark when a connection was made. By the end of it I was hyper
simply because we came away with a result that was the product of rapid interaction.

And that’s what collaborative BPM will need to really set the industry and client interests alight, moving away from the failed implementations
Gartner refers to as “less-than-successful collaboration support environments and knowledge management initiatives that still haunt project leaders”

In their favour, Thomas at Software AG did say they were looking into creating a Google Wave-like messaging platform for the solution. A unified and collaborative communication platform has to be a prerequisite for any future ‘social’ BPM tool but not only this, in my
view vendors need to look into innovating not immitating if they are to capture the type of energy a true collaborative effort can generate.

Create a buzz guys, not just another buzzword.

And while we’re on the subject of buzzwords….
I really wish they’d move on from saying it’s ‘social’ BPM…..it devalues the entire concept by giving it a label like that.

Might as well call it the “BPM World of Warcraft”: process discovery can
be a grind but if we do it together as a dynamic group we can slay the Dragon easily.

😉

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2 responses to “Collaborative BPM: capturing the buzz to create success

  1. Theo, I haven’t tried ArisAlign, so I can’t judge how it performs as a collaborative BPM platform, but I do know that building a platform that supports both process and collaboration is difficult to get right. For these type of tools – God is really in the details and getting it right is much more difficult than it looks. In general, I think that "Joy of Use" for these types of collaborative BPM tools is going to be a key component in user acceptance.

  2. Hi Theo,I think that your comment is fair. ARISalign, in it’s initial release, is focused on ease of use and collaboration. Hopefully this will get some main stream users involved and feel natural for them to use. While it may not be "Google Buzz", I do believe it’s applicability to the business will cause some buzz. That being said…I guess we could start looking at a Wii version of ARISalign. Think how much fun that would be!Matt

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