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What part of your personal life would benefit most from BPM?

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As tomorrow is the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S., I thought it would be a good idea to go for a bit of levity.  This question comes from Scott Menter: What part of your personal life would benefit most from BPM?

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  • We have bought a house, knocking it down and building a new contemporary one.

    It is a process - big, scary and expensive. And made worse because there is no easy way of managing the collaboration between the different parties.


    • Brave and bold effort Ian. Not fancy retaining the outer walls only as a facade then wowing them with a futuristic interior ?
      Obviously assuming it's period in the first place and worth retaining....

    • This is a good point. We're going through a refi, so I (and millions of others) can attest to the fact that there are a ton of moving parts.

      There's an opportunity here for banks to extend their internal BPM solutions outward to their customers. We've had a ton of issues related to passing docs around with the loan officer in email. It would have been nice if we could have pulled up a form spelling out clearly what docs needed to be attached, and then been able to attach that information directly.

      So that's a form of "personal" BPM, really: that portion of the process that belongs to me as a customer.

  • I need BPM to sort out my comic book collection and my eBay account. Actually, more importantly I need BPM to prize my credit card from my hands and stop me bidding on expensive and rare items in the first place !!

    I could say sex life but I'm afraid it's far too dynamic for even ACM to handle....

  • Very funny question.

    I would say: applying Lean, especially:
    - 5S, to control the chaos in my closet and desk
    - Waste/flow in terms of putting things directly in the dishwasher instead of putting them somewhere in the kitchen

  • Dealing with Medical Insurance company claims processing. Definitely. Though, I was thinking a T-shirt that says "I am a BPM Engine" and signed Aetna would be a second option.


  • I'd like Case Management to help me find my car keys. Also business rules to turn off the TV at 11 so I don't stay up watching movies I've already seen.

  • user-pic

    To play off of Matt's reply, I would like a case management system to help me remember why/ what was I in a hurry to do or get. Version 2 would include would prevent me from going back to my desk and sitting down before I remember the original purpose.

  • Dear Peter,
    I think this is not a toy question at all.
    As a matter of fact, Ian's example is extremely interesting. Other examples: planning a trip for a conference. Or spending a short vacation abroad.

    I've been working recently on what does it mean to move BPM from business to personal processes. You may call it Personal Process Management (PPM).
    You can look at this simple example online app:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou6N7jWh0kA, where users can build simple everyday processes and share the tasks socially with friends or relatives (example: assign the 3-4 actions to do for preparing some outdoor activity, like hiking or so). We also got a paper accepted at the BPMS2 workshop (collocated with the BPM conference) on this just today. I'll let you know more soon.

    We have several examples of online processes for information collection (see for instance this demo video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fmx7daDh-E, you can start at 2:40).

  • Very witty replies so far! But I can't add to the humor because the question is too real, at least for me!

    The study of how a human works really does involve ideas of process and case etc. etc. I would be surprised if some of our readers here have not come across some of the vast material on work and the individual, ranging from anecdotal popular books (e.g. "The Seven Habits . . . " etc.) to more substantive academic work.

    (Interestingly some of the research around "work in the home", starting in the 60's and 70's was inspired by feminism, which highlighted the invisibility of housework to policy makers and economists, not to say husbands. In the same way perhaps, we are beginning to see the real work of managerial employees become the subject of interest, in addition to the long-standing attention paid to shop-floor work.)

    In fact I think we will find that part of the challenge around BPM, a challenge that is now highlighted especially with the advent of so-called "social BPM", is the question of the tools provided to the user of business process technologies. The "autonomous human actor", i.e. the end-user, or the organizational employee, is not that well understood or directly supported in terms of technology. Even all the work in human factors and user interface has only begun to address some of these questions. I would even go so far as to say that the question of the human, the autonomous human actor, is the "elephant in the room" of BPM.

    In several of my blog postings and comments I highlight the question of "governance" of BPM; part of the BPM governance question is a question of how the individual users of BPM are supported, and ultimately treated as "first class citizens" of the corporate information ecosystem.

    The technology and the governance for individual BPM users remains to be delivered. And when BPM technology-for-the-individual is delivered, it will be technology that is also seemlessly useful outside of work.

    We are already seeing a little hint of this via the world of tablets -- and the demand for BYOD. Much more to come that will I think be amazing, even astounding.

  • Must execute a BBQ Planning & Menu (BPM) holiday picnic process, with independently reconfigurable sub-processes for guest selection and inviting, meal planning, drinks chilling, BBQ lighting, cooking and eating. Also, fireworks-setting-off, including appropriate exception handling with the fire department on auto-dial. (Happy Fourth everyone!)

    • "There are tons of insights I could share at this point on Social BPM, but I will hold it off for the next Friday. I don’t want to drown you in too much insight in one go."


  • As we all know, BPM is valuable in many different business situations. Perhaps overlooked is how well they map to our actual lives:

    Vacation requests: Teen son submits vacation request for Hawaii. Mom approves; Dad rejects for lack of funds. Dad submits alternate proposal for Disneyland. Kids notify Dad that they are no longer 8 years old.

    Grocery lists: An opportunity for true collaboration! Each family member contributes to the list. Parents review for price and nutritional content. The fully approved list is then either printed and brought to the store, or sent directly to the grocery store's web site for fulfillment.
    (Hey now that I read that, it's actually sort of cool.)

    Task assignment: Chores are assigned by management. They may be exchanged among the staff, but only after review by management. Certain assignments may be rejected for approved reasons (like receiving an "A" on the recent math quiz).

    Unfortunately, though, until BPM vendors come up with a module enabling me to housebreak our new puppy, I'm afraid that BPM will not quite address the full range of my most urgent outstanding requirements.

  • Well, it is hilarious. But has anyone of you read Business Model You?
    It deals with the personal equivalent of the Business Model Canvas from Alex Osterwalder. The trick is that you should define all your roles / role categories in your life and fill in the canvas for each of them. I made an extended (descriptive) model with five levels of attention. I have been thinking about some kind of a social app to not only fill in and maintain the model, but to share parts of it with trusted partners. The most important part of the app idea would be a successful feedback AND feed forward system.

    Now, remember the planning system from Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective people? Yes, the quadrants and the weekly planning with Big Rocks and priorities.

    Isn't this a nice basis to experiment altogether with social BPM and ACM?

    Your thoughts?

  • I'd need one to follow cake recipes. No matter what cookbook or website I use, my cakes are always hideous! Must include 'happy path' v/s 'bad path' so I can see the consequences of not following the right steps in the right order.

  • Oh dear, so much levity to a question that actually has a serious answer! In the book "People Centric Process Management" that I wrote with Ian Gotts (yes, it is available from Amazon or all good bookstores :-) ), we actually present a process for change. In that we actually flip your question and explain how the process for giving up smoking, or losing weight, any any other such personal changes in life, is the recipe (no faith cake jokes) for how to do better with BPM and change management in business.

    So perhaps not we can change in life as a result of BPM, but how we can be more effective in BPM as a result of borrowing from life! and the effective management of change in our personal lives.

  • Planning a vacation home to visit friends & family!

    From collaborating with friends on activities, to scheduling visits with family, to the air and car reservations-oy, I definitely need a management system for that.

  • Very interesting discussion, truly, BPM, is just part of our life. I would add: swimming pool maintenance process management, usually, when you purchase chemicals, the pool supply store will provide you basic written instruction with four steps: 1) testing 2) add proper chemical accordingly 3) shock the pool 4) maintain it via 3" tablet., etc.
    Yes, now social add more vivid ingredients into all those daily process, many excellent videos contributed by other pool owners to show you all kind of case scenario lively, seems more interesting and helpful than reading written instruction. thanks.

  • Nice discussion and view points :
    Here is a quick snapshot, thinking loud on the "Personal BPM" :
    - We can use a BPM Product to provide the Budget details, reminders and few other info on a scheduled basis like "Money Manager"
    - Automated Tax Payments with reminders and other jazzy stuffs
    - Getting grossery items for the week, based on the approval and rejection of selected items by different members in the family (It sounds quite weird and strange though!! :-))
    - Trip or Vacation Planner with the list of places to visit, explored and feedback. It can also be enriched by integrating with the work calendar, so that it sends timely reminders and alarms for booking tickets, travel accommodations and making the travel plans a reality.
    - Medicine and Doctor checkup Reminder and Scheduler for patients and care takers at home

    some of them would have sounded very absurd and vague!! :-)

  • Managing my house needs a process. Also, my "healthy lifestyle" efforts (aka, dieting). But what I'd really like is for someone to automate diaper changes!

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