BPM’s Social Wind

Sunday, July 8, 2012 | comments

BPM is the practice of refin­ing and optimizing processes from end-to-end to promote efficiency and effectiveness, nurture innovation, or increase customer value

Social is collaboration and knowledge sharing which are critical part of the "process of process improvement". That’s why social BPM get coined when BPM meets social software. To dig deeper, what does "social BPM" mean? What is its area of effectiveness and efficiency? Why social BPM seem have fallen short of expectation?

1.      Social BPM means Convergence

·         Convergence of digital technology trends: Social BPM means to converge BPM with other latest digital technologies such as social computing, mobile and advanced analytics, to manage formal or “informal” processes via both inside-out and outside-in point of view in decision making and customer experience optimization, or even embed gamification mechanism into BPM to encourage positive behavior and improving staff satisfaction.

·         Convergence of People centric Process & Document-centric Process: to manage end-to-end process more effectively via converging business’s social layer, organizational layer, and technology layer seamlessly; Social BPM refines micro-process to better integrate with macro-process;

·         Convergence of BPM and PPM, at least it encourages business to manage process and project more holistically via better communication and resource sharing.


2. Social BPM’s Benefit:

·        Effective Communication: Social is about facilitating interpersonal communications, or cross-functional collaboration, social BPM will help interaction between many process players;

·         Enterprise Architecture Refining: social is about mediation of social interaction and social relationships, the systems design would center on architecture, emergent social dynamics. The social BPM can refine business process by embracing ecosystem seamlessly

  • Culture Evolution: culture is the way how a group of people think and do things, social encourages sharing and inspires collective wisdom, social BPM will shape the open culture or organization’s habit in process optimization and business transformation
·  Innovation Management: Innovation is about how to manage novel business ideas and achieve its business values, social BPM can be a right tool to help manage innovation via full life cycle.

·     Customer Experience Management: Modern digital technologies allow customers to have more alternatives when selecting services or vendors, also with social power to voice opinions for the services received, social BPM has potential to refine process with customers’ feedback loop and improve customer experience as a goal.

·         Social Business in Building: When an organization uses good BPM supporting technology such as social, the management philosophy will change from the old command and control to empowerment and measurement, social BPM becomes one of pillars in shaping social business


3. Why does Social BPM seem have fallen short of expectation?

·         A process is really only as good as its repeatability. Without capturing this tacit knowledge, you have no hope of a repeatable process. So in essence, no social BPM has not fallen short if you possess the correct features in your BPM platform solution.

·         Lack of Effective Social Governance: the most current social products are not built on a solid model of how narrative works in the human mind and as communication transactions channels between actors/players. And typically, a model of "work", what should be the subject of conversation, is also missing. That said, social without governance discipline will not improve productivity.

·       Installing social tool only won’t make process better: social platform is cool because it's about the information that is shared and used. So if you expect that social tools will make your process better just by installing them, It's no surprise you will be disappointed. Integration and participation are important and people truely matter.

Will social BPM like wind to lift up social businesss's wings? As BPM continue its journey, passing the rocky road, reach the value trails, touch the mighty waters and now meet the social wind, what's the next stop any way?
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