Session Abstract: Clay will unveil the latest Forrester thinking on BPM / SOA and provide valuable insight on the future of enterprise technology.
Clay Richardson is starting us off this morning, kids he’ll be tweeting as he presents. His presentation is entitled Detect and Eliminate BPM Budget Busters, and is focused on LEAN BPM. LEAN, Clay describes, is about being the right size for what you are trying to do. While the presentation is focused on BPM, many of the concepts apply to SOA. Recent Forrester survey, BPM is the number one priority for organizations. Hard hurt industries, such as financial services, are number one adopters. However, at the same time, these organizations are seeing their BPM budgets being cut. Thus, the need for LEAN BPM.
To be successful with BPM:
- Think like a CFO to keep initiative off chopping blocks
- Overcome PR issues
- Adopt LEAN practices in effort
Calls out Economist article from early this year on CFO as new king in the organization. I read that. Essentially, it talked about the return of initiatives that have quantifiable bottom lines, versus nebulous “growth” or “innovation” stories.
Challenge 1, BPM is high priority, but getting funding is hard, and the amount is decreasing. The secret, Clay says is that CFO’s have a passion for process. Shows us a tag cloud of article titles from CFO publications. Big words: Management, Reporting, Regulatory, Benefit, Process.
Challenge 2, once you get the budget, how do you maximize the value?
LEAN BPM Trends
2. Platform Convergence – using right BPM tool for right job. Also, understanding data quality implications. BPM & MDM should be considered together. Forrester calls this “process data management”
3. Lightweight BPM – matching the tool for the job. If automating employee on-boarding, might go with lighter tool. Such as Serena, which has mash-up capability. The downside, could result in unmanaged sprawl as we saw with Microsoft Access. Calls out need for governance.
4. Solution Frameworks
5. BPM Center of Excellence – Must important is to pick the methodology that matches what you are trying to do. The governance process should support this. Don’t pick the method first, understand the problem first.
Clay is talking about OMG’s Business Ecology:
- Business Ecology is about minimizing waste streams
- Business Ecology is about (something) to do with minimizing environmental impacts (green/sustainability)
Clay has a Forrester Wave up now. Lean and collaborative components are driving the next wave of BPM adoption. Clay mentions related blog post. The wave he is speaking to is published in that post.
Social technology brings in the ability to keep context, maintain all related conversations.
Reviewing the wave diagram, Clay is now talking about in-process analytics, the capability to analyze and adjust processes on the fly. In-process analytics uses complex event processing. The industry leading this now is healthcare.
Another area Clay points out is Process Data Management. Again, the combination of MDM & BPM. It’s important to be able to rate the quality of the data as the process is executing. If you know the data quality is less than stellar, you might not make an in-process decision.
Clay is emphasizing that MDM isn’t solely in the realm of SOA, it’s important in place. Question: Does BPM take on MDM responsibility? Should they be kept separate (I believe the question is technology/tools focused, not architecture strategy). Answer: BPM would know the data quality and then delegate the cleansing to the MDM realm. The real issue is getting BPM & MDM initiatives / people talking. BPM & MDM can’t survive separately. If the data isn’t clean, people won’t trust the process. On the MDM side, if the governance process isn’t automated, you don’t really know if the data is ok.
This will have interesting implications for organizations that currently do MDM type work in the back-end, somewhere between the data warehouse and business intelligence. Moves everything more real-time. Or, data needs metadata on relative data quality (cleansed yet) to be factored into business process execution and decision making. Interesting stuff.
Now, some group discussion on responsibility for data quality (let’s call it health), and the assumptions data consumers make on that health.
Challenges on BPM projects:
- Consensus log jams
- Skills mismatch – make sure the analysts you rely on are skilled in process design, not just process requirements gathering. This is the difference between a (traditional) business analyst and a process analyst. Keys are (1) recognize and eliminate bloated requirements, (2) have evolutionary mindset – recognize the 80/20 and (3) collaborate.
Besides the harder skills, analyst also needs to “have passion for process”. Passion includes “process orientation” and “tech savvy”.
Audience comment, Clay agrees, this is a re-emergence of industrial engineering.
- Waterfall mindset
One more thing on the skills, the best process analysts have engineering backgrounds.
In discussion with the group, Clay is telling a horror story of government waste, on a “transformation” initiative with a 500-page requirements document. In the end, the “solution” didn’t meet the original need. Ignored key value objectives. Perfect example of need for LEAN. Focus on value delivery. Stop when value stops.
Key differentiation with “re-engineering the corporation” is the focus on people.