BPM has reached it's tipping point, are you brave enough to leave your comfort zone ?

With “Social BPM” (I prefer Community or Collaborative terms rather than Social, or following from yesterday’s blog post, Lateral, in context of ‘social’ it may turn off buy-in on an enterprise level as a gimmick so this needs to be carefully managed) it’s almost like we’re approaching Day 0 for BPM because the old semi-rigid improvement methodologies like Deming and DMAIC have to change to take into account these new flexible ways of working together. It’s like “crowd sourcing” or swarming in BPM terms, it’s no longer just a select few with ‘process owner’ titles who have been charged with the business process knowledge to engage in a BPM initiative. I’m talking simplisticly, I know that we engage the business community in our efforts but that level of engagement has been as rigid as the rules we follow as practitioners. Reading the Twitter streams coming from the Gartner BPM Conference I was surprised that Mark McGregor, a keynote speaker this year, suggested that “great results in BPM workshops can only be done in a physical meeting”. This is poor statement in my opinion because it completely ignores the myriad of enabling technology available to involve and engage EVERYONE necessary to make the BPM initiative a success.

Being openly collaborative across the enterprise appears to be moving BPM out of it’s 20 year comfort zone and it’s going to be challenge for some to move with it given statements like the above. We are in effect tearing down the last and very well hidden silo in the enterprise. Practitioners have spent decades telling the business to remove silos when designing operating models and cross functional processes but invariably erect one more to protect themselves without realising it.

Here’s a final thought: define a BPM Centre of Excellence now that Social BPM is coming. It’s can no longer be a centric function can it…..


2 responses to “BPM has reached it's tipping point, are you brave enough to leave your comfort zone ?

  1. Theo – Not sure I’m with you on this one.I agree with Mark when he says "great results in BPM workshops can only be done in a physical meeting" because what he isn’t saying is "The only way to get ANY results is in a face-to-face setting" he is merely stating that the GREAT results come from being in the same room. I think there are benefits and advantages to social tools, but at the very basic level you are missing all the non-verbal stuff that a face-to-face meeting can give you. You’ve facilitated process discovery sessions the same as I have and you know that it’s what people don’t say as much as what they do say that can surface important items.This, to me, is not ‘silo mentality’ in the way things are being done. It is a tried and tested process which has yet to be improved upon.Unless you have empirical evidence to the contrary? :)Gary

  2. I’d concur that physical meetings are a must for certain discussions. Much of what we communicate is not portrayed or projected in our voices and video conferencing masks some of these too.In order to produce the "straw man" my experience suggests that face-to-face draw out the important issues, allow them to be discussed and closed much quicker than any other means of communicating.email, messengers, teleconfs, tweets all allow misinterpretation because they don’t have the subtle nuances we pick up when communicating face-to-face.Which is not to say that subsequent discussion around the straw man can’t be conducted this way effectively but my experience suggests its quicker and more powerful to do this in a room with sandwhiches and coffee…. maybe even beer :)Mike

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