I was recently invited to participate in the ‘Social BPM Handbook 2011’ to be published by Future Strategies in June 2011. This is an important subject covered by a great collection of expert arcitcles, while I don’t fully agree that BPM and Social are natural complements. Rather the opposite!
My contribution is thus titled: How to Link BPM Governance and Social Collaboration with an Adaptive Paradigm.
Social BPM, which—much like BPM itself—still lacks a congruent, accepted definition, is mostly understood as being an orthodox BPM product that has some add-on social collaboration facilities such as Twitter-like chat. This kind of social collaboration consists mostly of real-time text messages linked to the context of the activity being performed. The people empowerment of social networking is however understood as an evolution of what was called Web 2.0 and named Enterprise 2.0 by Andrew McAfee. This potential of the Internet has already been described in the cult book ‘The Cluetrain Manifesto’ coining the phrase: ‘Markets are Conversations’.
Social networking is also often seen as one way to improve creativity and innovation in large organizations. To keep their companies competitive, executives do not only need to think about how to reduce costs but more importantly how to use IT to enable knowledge and innovation. They need to understand the immense potential of change that information technology can provide when it is used to empower people to improve business processes and to reach goals defined by management instead of disenfranchising them through bureaucracy. And BPM is just that bureaucratic control effort that Social Media tries to bypass. BPM is about command and control while Social enables people to do as they please.
While Business Process Management is a social activity in principle because it enables people to perform business interactions they are not social in the sense that they empower people. BPM is in my mind the opposite of empowerment. Therefore I see a huge gap between BPM and Social. The claim that BPM collaboration and communication patterns are now referred to as “social computing” is in my mind incorrect.
Adding Social to a BPM product does not transform it. WfMC Fellow Dr. Michael zur Muehlen, “If you only focus on streamlining process execution and making it as efficient as possible the social aspect diminishes. But if you consider process discovery, the development of a shared understanding of what your operations look like, and monitoring your process environment, then social plays a big role.”
I am in utter agreement with zur Muehlen, but we have to make the step from ‘talking about analysis’ to actually ‘creating or modifying the process’ and that step does not happen in your typical BPM product with a social twist. This is why I propose in my contribution to this book that an ‘Adaptive Process Paradigm’ has to be employed. While analysts still consider that ‘dynamic’ (ad-hoc add-ons and changes) are enabled by social, I propose that ‘adaptive’ is about an evolutionary approach to process creation and innovation that happens through real people empowerment in the process environment and dumping the bureaucracy enforced through Process Centers of Excellence.
You will find this book to be very helpful in understanding the trends and opinions on Social and BPM that are out there.
Table of Contents
Clay Richardson, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
The Quantum Organization:
How Social Technology will Displace the Newtonian View
Keith Swenson, Vice President of R&D, Fujitsu America Inc.
The Role of Trust and Reputation in Social BPM
Nathaniel Palmer, Executive Director, WfMC
Voice of the Network Through Social BPM
Setrag Khoshafian, VP of Product Marketing and BPM Technology, with Patrick Tripp, Steve Kraus, Pegasystems Inc.
BPM, Social Technology, Collaboration and the Workplace of the Future
John Flynn, Head of Innovation and Strategy, Process Tech Ltd. UK
Scaling a BPM Initiative into an Enterprise Transformation with Social Collaboration
Sandy Kemsley, Independent Analyst, Kemsley Design
How to Link BPM Governance and Social Collaboration with an Adaptive Paradigm
Max Pucher, Chief Architect, ISIS Papyrus Software
Change Management Processes
Keith Harrison-Broninski, CTO, Role Modellers
Dynamic Clinical Pathways – Adaptive Case Management for Medical Professionals
Roy Altman, CEO, Peopleserv, Inc., and Kenneth Altman MD PhD FACS. Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Next Generation BPM Suites: Social and Collaborative
Manoj Das, Director of Product Management and Linus Chow, Principal Consultant and BPM Evangelist, Oracle
Engineering Social BPM applications with a Model-Driven Approach
Marco Brambilla, Professor and Researcher, Piero Fraternali, Professor, and Carmen Vaca Ruiz, PhD Student, Politecnico di Milano
Evidence Based Improvement – Listening to Customers to Improve Customer Service Processes
Vikas Nehru, VP Product Marketing and Ajay Khanna, Sr. Director Product Marketing, KANA
How Social Technologies Enhance the BPM Experience for All Participants
Steve Russell, SVP Research and Development & CTO, Research & Dev / R & D, Global 360
Next Generation Social Media: Alignment of Business Processes & Social Intelligence
Vinaykumar Mummigatti, Vice President and Global Head – BPM Practice, Virtusa
A Case Study of BPM in a Kaizen Environment
Ted Roper, Quality Manager, Ford Motor Company
Social Technology Makes the World a Better Place: Pro Bono BPM
Annelize Booysen, Financial Director and Michélle Booysen, Managing Director, Pétanque Consultancy
Taking Channel & Distribution Management “Social and Contextual”
Ram Ramdas, Co-founder and CEO, Herald Logic and Jay Pullur, co-founder and CEO of Qontext, USA