Ryan Gates, Senior Solutions Architect, Appian on BPM Accelerated: Merging Technology and Methodology for Rapid Results
Modern application development approaches delivering faster and better business decision-making are a must across increasingly dynamic global markets. New IT models such as mash-ups, situational applications and Software-as-a-Service delivery are driving competitive advantage for the companies that can utilize them effectively. Business Process Management (BPM) provides the platform to harness this dynamic power. This presentation discusses how easily-consumable, secure and scalable software, along with a proven methodology for rapid deployment delivers results faster.
Ryan’s agenda is BPM: What, Why and How, plus a Case Study on SaaS based approach to BPM.
Ryan starts with a general definition of BPM, splitting out business process from business process technology. Appian offers a business process management suite. Ryan has components diagram up now, the center is the Process Engine. Ringing the engine are: SOA, Business Modeling, Portal/UI, Case Management, Content Management, Events/Messages, Real-time Analytics, BAM and Simulation. Ringing those are templates and frameworks. The outmost ring was business focuses: optimization, and 2 things I missed.
Beyond Rapid Application Development, BPM enables:
- Common language between business and IT
- Increased flexibility of IT systems
- Less time on systems maintenance, more time on innovation
- Opportunity to better leverage and manage emerging SOAs
Who implements BPM?
- IT departments
--- Solve IT process workflows, such as governance, project management, change management
--- Rapidly deliver business solutions
- Lines of Business
--- Appian does have direct sales to Business Units, Business units want to model and automate processes
--- May, or may not, require IT integration
Accelerate BPM in Organization
- Business Case
- Identify right tools
- create team (people)
- develop and deploy (methodology)
- measure success – according to Ryan this needs to start at day one with goal setting
How do you sell BPM in organization. In 2009, CFO is king (same as Clay mentioned).
- Demonstrable bottom line value
- Process centric organizations are not built overnight
--- focused projects, incremental process centric expansion
- Increased consistency and efficiency
- Increased visibility
- competitive advantage
Customer examples: Concur, US Marine Corps, Enterprise Rent a Car, European bank – these were all “rapid ROI” examples
Three legs of stool for successful BPM: Technology, Methodology and People
Tool selection factors:
- On-premise or on demand (SaaS)
- Rapid prototyping, deployment, change management – how does tool manage change?
- Process and development ecosystem
- Real-time analytics -- “if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it”
- Ease of use
People – collection of IT developers, business analysts and end-users
Methodology – Ryan’s methodology slide has Center of Excellence in the middle. Ryan says COE shouldn’t equate to specific group of people, the COE is a discipline. The goal of the COE is grow organization’s process centricity.
Now, a maturity model. Goes from Individual to Project to Program to Enterprise. Ryan says the point is to continuously deliver value. Don’t start big. Start with value. This ties to Clay’s talk as well.
Ryan is talking about “Worse is Better”, idea by Richard Gabriel in 1991, contrasting the “right thing” vs. “worse is better”
- Right Thing: correctness, consistency, completeness trump everything, at the expense of simplicity
- Worse is Better: Simplicity above correctness, consistency and completeness.
Ryan mentions similarity to Cathedral and Bazaar. I’d also point to the “Good Enough Revolution”. His point, again, goes to value delivery. You can’t know what ‘completeness’ is. You can (should) plan for continuous change. Work towards getting things more correct over time. However, those changes shouldn’t (continuously) tear your company apart.
Ryan says you need to pick your first project weighing process complexity and business exposure. He flashed by a 4-quadrant chart up with some examples.
The case study: Clayton Financial
- rapidly changing industry
- increased scrutiny on expenses
- limited visibility
- some more…
As well, needed something now. Didn’t have time, budget for big IT initiative. Led to selection of Appian’s BPM SaaS offering.
The case process revolved around the Financial Analysts. Got a process up in 4-6 weeks. Now, monthly releases. Initially, no integration. So, no IT required to start.
Lots listed on the slide, Ryan emphasizes Prototype Everything and Frequent Releases.
Others: resist temptation to start at detailed level of process. Emphasize reporting needs up front. Limited or no system integration in first release. Focus on change management and process management early on.