Saturday, May 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Do you have the right to question or even argue with your boss? In most cases, people would say 'are you kidding!!'. Without the right to argue, how can management even hope to avoid the potholes and cliffs that we all face. In the case of innovation, the right to argue is paramount to creating a 'creative culture' that delivers results. -From Phil McKinney's Blog: The Right To ArgueI consider myself lucky to be in an environment where I can have a very constructive "discussion" with my boss. This post by Phil McKinney (Check out his podcast - it's fantastic!) promotes arguing as an enabler for innovation. From my experience, arguing can be VERY productive, but it's important to make sure that you keep the following in mind:
- Focus on the issue at hand.
- Use well thought-out logic and supporting details-especially if the argument takes place in a group setting.
- If the argument is not being productive, STOP.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
There's so much discussion in the blogosphere about WHAT BPM is. This conversation is so important--we need to be able to define the space before it can be communicated to our CEO's, our business units, and our IT departments. BUT, it would be refreshing to find some discussion regarding HOW to analyze processes. I know there are plenty of training courses out there to help guide the way, but I would love to see some conversations focused on how people analyze processes to create something that is innovative and valuable for our companies and our customers. How are we supposed to define BPM if we do not have a shared understanding of how to do BPM? Bruce Silver has blogged on how to model processes, and his posts have been very helpful in understanding BPMN. His focus, however, does not seem to be about how to analyze processes either. Can someone point me to a blog or website that focuses on the tricks of the trade? (As I find links I'll post them on the sidebar as "Process Analysis Tools")
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I just created a web-based group on the CollectiveX platform called "BPM-Process Analyst Group." My hope is that we can get some meaningful discussions started around the topics near and dear to process analysts. CollectiveX is good for creating a network and discussion groups. I've already started two discussions:
- Tricks of the trade
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I just finished facilitating a workshop with stakeholders of an end-to-end enterprise process. In one day we were able to get some fairly deep insight as to some of the problems of the process. Some of the issues identified probably are very similar to many processes at other companies:
- No end-to-end owner of the process.
- No formal communication platform.
- Goals are based on functional areas without alignment to corporate strategy.
- IT systems inadequacies.
- make the workshop 2 or 3 days. One day is just to short to digest the concepts. It's also very tiring.
- challenge the group to develop specific solutions. General solutions (e.g. define an owner) helps get the ball rolling, but I was hoping to come away with a list of projects to implement.
- harp on outside-in approach. It really helps to focus on solutions in if we are asking ourselves "How does this add value to our customers."
Posted by Douglas Golden at 3/22/2007 09:44:00 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I like reading George Van Antwerp's blog postings either on his blog or on the BPM Enterprise blog.
His most recent blog post on BPM critiques the current focus of BPM on technology solutions. As he puts it
if you focus purely on BPM as a software deployment, you will miss the benefits, limit adoption, and frustrate your executives.We do exactly that in our company, and I don't think we are going to see huge benefits from our BPM projects. We may find better platforms that will help us to reach a higher level of efficiency, but overall the outcome won't be disruptive or transformative. I'm trying to do some true process analysis with stakeholders around my organization without IT involvement. Much of the focus is on preparing ourselves to answer some of the questions that George lists:
1. What is your planned/actual ROI or NPV? 2. How is BPM transforming your business? 3. How are you using BAM to change the decisioning process and management 4. processes across the company? 4. Has the agility of BPM allowed you to compete on process and less on price? 5. What has the reaction been of the CEO or board of directors?Also we'll focus on answering the question "How are we aligning our processes to meet the expectations of our customers?"
Monday, March 12, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Friday, March 2, 2007
I just came back from the Gartner BPM Summit a couple of days ago, and I found it quite stimulating and validating. The sessions were fairly diverse and the content was palatable for both business and I.T. professionals. The keynotes were fantastic and I particularly enjoyed Peter Schwartz's talk on Scenario Building and thinking about the future. I'll probably pick-up one of his booksin the near future. On the last day of the conference, Gartner set aside 1.5 hours for "how-to" sessions. There were some tough choices to be made, because they crammed 4 very compelling sessions into the same time slot. I chose to go to Steve Towers and Terry Schurter's session on aligning processes with customer expectations. Bruce Silver's session on BPMN came in a close second. Too bad Gartner couldn't give one more slot for How-To sessions, because I really wanted to sit in on his session too! Steve and Terry's session was a boiled down version of their full BPMG training. As in the BPMG training, they focused on how BPM should be done in the context of meeting customers' expectations. That's one concept that was lacking from much of the conference--the importance of the customer in dictating how we structure our processes. I'm wondering if anyone else could help me answer the following: Why was the focus of the Summit mostly on making processes more efficient (inside-out) versus actually innovating processes to deliver on customer expectations (outside-in)? The biggest bang actually comes from innovating processes to meet customers' expectations. Both approaches have there place, but the Summit really missed the boat on the Customer-centric approach. I'm sold on the fact that this "outside-in" approach is the way to implement BPM, but aside from Steve and Terry and only several powerpoint slides throughout the rest of the conference, the outside-in approach was absent.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
- This is a plug for his product, but Ismael articlulates a key problem with BPM Suites--They are not easily deployed by business without much IT coding and integration (even though vendors claim otherwise).
Sunday, February 11, 2007
A very useful "outside-in" approach to changing processes is to focus on mitigating the risks associated with "Moments of Truth." I was introduced to this concept by Steve Towers of BPMG. Essentially, a Moment of Truth (MOT) occurs every time an organization interacts with a customer. The term was originally coined by Jan Carlzon in his 1987 book titled Moments of Truth. In his book, the former CEO of SAS explained that in 1986
...each of our 10 million customers came in contact with approximately five SAS employees, and this contact lasted an average of 15 seconds each time. thus, SAS is "created" 50 million times a year, 15 seconds at a time. These 50 million "moments of truth" are the moments that ultimately determine whether SAS will succeed or fail as a company. They are the moments when we must prove to our customers that SAS is their best alternative.This concept has really helped me as I analyze processes at my organization. In all of my projects I now try to identify and optimize as many MOTs as I can find. By eliminating MOTs or at least minimizing their risks, processes become more focused on the value proposition for customers. I found a great website called This is Broken that is dedicated to sharing broken Moments of Truth. It is a forum for people to submit and discuss broken customer experiences. The website does not call these broken interactions "Moments of Truth," but they are essentially the same things. I found this website while I was watching this video of Seth Godin that also illustrates broken interactions between organizations and their customers.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Welcome to my blog! It's taken me a little time to get this thing started, because I just didn't know what direction to take. After much thought, I've decided to write about my education and experiences regarding Business Process Management (BPM). Recently, I took part in a perspective-changing training by Business Process Management Group (BPMG). Although, I was expecting the training to concentrate on topics like process modeling, BPM Suites, and standards, the discussion was heavily focused on how to meet the needs of the customer. They called it an "outside-in" approach. From their perspective (and now mine) the premise of BPM is that all procesess, systems, roles, and strategies of an organization must be aligned with customers' expectations. WOW! My goal for this blog is to take this premise and explore its implications. I plan to focus heavily on the notion of a "Successful Customer Outcomes" and my experiences of implementing BPM projects. I look forward to the discussion that this blog triggers and hope that we all can learn a little bit about increasing our companies' abilities to meet the expectations of our customers...