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Is BPM now irrelevant without social?

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From this ZDNet blog, "Matt made the case that social and BPM technologies must be linked." So how dependent are BPM and social?  Also, is social now irrelevant without BPM? 

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  • As a future imperative - that social and BPM tech must be linked- I think that's a fine thesis. Whether they must be or not, may be irrelevant - they will be, based on what vendors are doing with their products.

    We could ask the same question about BPM and cloud, for example :)

    or BPM and Mobile...

    All the same answers in my opinion - they'll be linked.

  • I agree with Scott.
    BPM is not irrelevant without social, mobile, cloud, and UI design. But BPM is definitely empowered by these aspects, which will become more and more relevant in the close future, as demonstrated by several approaches that aim at comprehensive, multi-perspective enterprise modeling covering all the above issues (for instance, the MDEE approach) and by recent efforts in modeling standardization that also go in that direction (for instance, the IFML standard adopted by OMG).

  • So far agreement but add this comment. As supporting BPM technologies mature so it will become apparent which tools have that “elegant” Business Oriented Architecture that can deliver such attributes. The article included Event management and in context triggering discussions on important issues including whose participation is required. So any software technology needs to handle the formal and informal seamlessly; Social is only one aspect…?
    Last year this subject was looked at by JP Rangaswami at SFC http://confusedofcalcutta.com/2012/06/17/continuing-with-the-social-enterprise-and-flows/ This recognised “old workflow” was not up to the job. JP came up his "collaboration flows" which I rather liked with the following attributes;

    • Nevertheless, associated clearly with identity, not anonymity
    • Designed for sharing, for community
    • Secure: full audit log, archived, persistent, searchable, retrievable
    • Instant, real-time
    • Yet shiftable in time and place, so that asynchronous work can be performed
    • Carrying contextual metadata cheaply
    • Embedded with enterprise social objects that themselves attract commentary and revision
    • Able to operate in and across multiple channels
    • Subscriber- rather than publisher-powered
    • Built to internet and public cloud standards
    • Transparent, inspectable
    • Built to make use of communal ability to learn rather than individual stocks of knowledge

    I would add "time" as an important element it may indeed be the only measurement to allow empowerment of people using “Social” as an informal element in any process?

  • I'd say user interfaces are irrelevant without collaboration and communication tools. You see that when Salesforce.com's Benioff says that Chatter will become their UI for all of their products.

    At a basic level, getting work done is about connecting with the right sources and filtering out the wrong ones. Enterprise social media does exactly that.

  • It ain't no fun when we all agree, but I'm afraid I must join the herd in saying that BPM is not made irrelevant without a social component. In fact, the two technologies are aimed at solving two different business problem, so one without the other is not at all problematic. Can they be put together in order to increase the total value an organization receives? Absolutely. But that is a matter of intelligence, not relevance.

  • BPM and social are really only dependent where there is a clear business case for them to be linked. The industry may make a difference too, since highly regulated industries may need to actively ignore social inputs (internal or external) in some scenarios.

    In a highly automated business process or one driven by well defined data, then social activities may be going on outside but they may in no way influence the outcome of the process.

    As more human influence is required in customer interaction or in the decision making process, or there is more of a case management scenario than a structured map of activities, then social becomes an essential component of a solution.

    I'd say that the ZDnet blog post puts too much focus on the event driven engine as the third component (technology for the sake of technology), when it should be focusing on (Social) CRM. Without a consistent view of a customer inside processes, social and community management environments, it is virtually impossible to provide better than average customer service.

    BPM, CRM and social are the real threesome we should be watching.

  • Appian is all-in on the social front, but they're holding a weak hand. Social just isn't driving business process, at least not to the extent their marketing message would suggest.

    ROI. Time to value. TCO. These are true BPM goals. Social, event processing, case management—these are all just various ways to achieve those goals, each important enough in some applications and irrelevant in others.

  • Is business irrelevant without social? I think it effects everything.


  • For a bit if fun how about a different view - BPM is very ineffective without social!

    There I have said it, an apparent voice of dissent, well possibly not. As with others I would agree that BPM technology can deliver value with or without social software attached or linked to it, as ever it all depends on the problem you are looking to solve.

    In which case why am I so sure that BPM is ineffective without social? It is all a matter of definition. If we go back to the BPM is a discipline definition and we remember that social is really about have people work together co-operatively, then it becomes obvious that to effectively improve and manage processes we need to involve the people who know the work - change is something to be done with people not too people - thus social is critical to effective BPM.

    Perhaps a different slant on the question might be, can social software really replace real human interactions when analysing and designing BPM technology solutions? In the BPM technology situation there are many who are suggesting that through the integration of social technology with their solution we can do away with meetings and workshops and instead interact via a social platform, in some cases this might be true, but call me a dinosaur if you want, but I still believe that if the problem does not justify the cost of people working together face to face, then the chances are that we are never going to justify the cost of a full blown BPM technology solution, as the solution is going to cost more than the problem requires.

  • In my opinion these are bullsh**, technology driven, discussions. Who cares whether BPM(s), social and whatever are linked? At least my customer (I own a motorcycle repair shop and a biologic farm) doesn't

    I would say; stop discussing and get to work. And there we are; BPM is about work. Work done by people, but managed as a process. And technology can help you by that, but it is not ABOUT technology. It is about delivering what you promise.

    It's people helping people.....mmmm that sounds quite social. Fortunately in the old fashioned meaning of the word.

  • Not necessarily.
    Social can be considered as an add-on or patch on top of the Core BPM Layer. (Can be put as Good and Nice to have). The heart of BPM has always been and will be the "Process".
    Though I totally also agree with the advantages of adopting Social in a BPM Process.
    Social sounds promising in situations where the social data needs to be exploited to reap better benefits targeted towards customer centricity.

  • I find myself in a very agreeable mood today. Theo is spot on, we have drifted away from the core of BPM, business process management, with bells and whistles and features and functions. And Daniele puts it eloquently and succinctly that we h ave moved away from the business need.

    For my part: I'd take a hybrid view of the Theo and Daniele. We have to move the power of BPM INTO the hands of the business. How much more empowered are the business because of MS Excel? BPM should be as easy to use as MS Excel and Visio (run 3 amazing running). We need to let the business run with the technology and be there to guide and support.

    Automate the business and you automate for a day: teach an executive to automate and you automate for life.

  • BPM is never irrelevant with social. You can make a clear account of whatever you do. It is never irrelevant. We can completely tell that it is never too easy to make something famous without any social issues. So make something the first preference is a difficult job. Hostsailor

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