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Tech for Tomorrow

Doug Mow

BPM in Action is Hot!

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Ebizq's BPM in Action virtual conference yesterday was a great success. With travel restrictions in place, brick and mortar conference attendance down, and social computing on the rise, it certainly seems like the wave of the future.

Elise Olding (@eliseolding) and Clay Richardson's (@passion4process) presentations were terrific and covered two very interesting topics. Elise spoke about the need for BPM Competency Centers (CC) to manage resources, collect best practices and help organizations mature in their pursuit of BPM project success. Elise and Gartner have been talking about this for some time. This was a central theme at the Gartner BPM Summit last fall in Orlando, FL. The business issues and the CC solution continue to be extremely relevant.

During Elise's presentation, several polls were taken. One of them found that the audience was evenly split between those organizations using BPM, planning on BPM and not pursuing BPM. From an industry perspective that would seem to point to BPM adoption accelerating in 2010, as many have predicted. Another poll revealed that approximately one third of the audience classified themselves as beginners, and one third were intermediate BPM users. Only 13% considered themselves experts.

Clay Richardson presented the concept of social BPM, a topic I have posted on in the past. I have spoken with Clay on this topic and his view is that BPM development and process creation would be significant benefactors of feedback loops using social media as the platform. We agreed that open collaboration and quick feedback can help accelerate process evolution to reach a steady state very quickly.

Elise and I had a conversation after we both listened to Clay's presentation. She was very enthusiastic and had a lot to say, much of it captured in a guest post on Jim Sinur's blog:

"We have a tendency to embrace the 'next big thing' or 'hot topic' as our esteemed speaker noted. But we need to remember the 'big thing' still remains IMPROVING business performance and SOLVING business problems, not HOW we solve them. Oh, and then there are the cultural/people challenges. (A huge topic for another time.)"

She certainly has a lot to say on the topic and I encourage you to go read her post in its entirety. It seems like she wanted Clay's subject!

They both have valid points. In order to get beyond the significant hype, we need to aim this solution at business problems. What are the business problems and processes that social BPM can solve? Exactly what business performance metric can it improve? And the customer/subscriber/patient experience, how can social BPM improve those experiences to win new customers?

So, what are the business issues? How do you measure them? How can IT partner with sales, marketing, customer support or any other functional group to create a better customer experience or patient experience? Just like today's virtual conference, there are some very slick technologies out there to leverage. Which ones are you using to build an edge for your organization?

Doug Mow blogs from a business executive's perspective about IT trends, tech news and life in the trenches of an Enterprise 2.0 transformation.

Doug Mow

#CMO of Courion Corporation responsible for all branding, communications, messaging, online and offline marketing. Courion is the leading provider of access management tools that provide maximum access to corporate IT assets with minimal risk.

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