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What does real time mean for BPM, and how important is it?

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What does real time mean for BPM, and how important is it?

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  • Real time usually means 'right now' - but, real time gets its definition from the customer. If an hour from now is good enough, that becomes the definition of real time. If BPM is going to manage the movement of information, then real time is important. As I like to say, BPM can make sure that the right information gets to the right person at the right time.

    • I like the terms used by Vivek Ranadive (TIBCO CEO) in his book "2 Second Advantage". http://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-second-Advantage-Succeed-Anticipating-Future/dp/1444730797

      It is far better to have just the right information in context right now, than all the information in 6 months.

      BPM when applied correctly in organisations can give them a 2 Second Advantage. And for competitive advantage that is all that is required.

      Clearly for organisations the challenge is understanding what information is really required and how critical it is, which is why Process Discovery comes before Process Automation.

      The book has some compelling examples of the 2 Second Advantage being applied in businesses - and it is also an excellent read.

      BTW I now work for TIBCO, but the book is still a good read.

  • Real time BPM could be considered an oxymoron in most enterprises, unfortunately.

    I spoke yesterday at the kickoff of an APQC Study entitled Building Strong Process Management Capabilities (http://www.apqc.org/building-strong-process-management-capabilities). It was not a surprise how many heads nodded and smiles were shared when I spoke of how often BPM means either automation or Visio files getting dusty somewhere on the network. No one doubts automation is real time, but isn't there a better choice than process as a dusty file?

    Interestingly, two of the APQC Tenets of great business process are Governance and Change Management. Real time business process is having accurate, up-to-date information on process and how process is functioning (metrics)...and this requires ownership (AKA Governance) and change management. Real time BPM, outside of automation (which is only maybe 20% of real work) is governance and change management of how work gets done.

  • First let's identify real time for what. There is data and then there is information. Data is usually prolific in organizations. But often data in and of itself, isn't informative. Extracting the data, analyzing it and turning it into information that can enable decision making quickly, in the right strategic areas, is the important part. Information that is available real time allows decision makers to drill down at anytime, understand exactly what is happening and take whatever action is appropriate. So yes, real time information with BPM can be extremely helpful, if the cost to capture, present and maintain does not exceed the benefit.

  • Like I said in September (different context but still relevant to BPM here) you may not be aware of the relevance of the process information you possess because finding the information to put it all in context isn’t clear or immediately apparent. This is the crux of 'bad BPM'

    And so the relevance paradox exists: “This occurs when an individual or a group of professionals are unaware of certain essential information which would guide them to make better decisions, and help them avoid inevitable and undesirable consequences. These professionals will seek only the information and advice they believe is the bare minimum amount required as opposed to what they actually need to fully meet their own or the organization’s goals.”

    It's the last paragraph that real-time BPM will address, it's not just about data or process information and feedback, it's the lifeblood of how you achieve the mission statement companies all seem to cling to but only pay lip service to.

  • I love what Scott said above

    "Real time gets its definition from the customer. If an hour from now is good enough, that becomes the definition of real time"

    I really feel that this potentially has 2 components. The first is real time insight. You must be able to have information on their processes and the associated data. The information is completely up to date or "real time" as needed.

    The second is the ability to make "real time" changes to the processes. Your process changes need to be made at the speed of business. In today’s world business needs change regularly and quickly. You need to be able to make the changes to your process as part of your BPM as quickly.

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