Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Digital Organization is About Better Decisions

The need for better and faster decisions is rising fast and the means for enabling them is growing fast. The challenge for organizations will be to learn how to master the new approaches for better decisions. We all heard of the story about correlating beer and diaper sales resulting in higher revenue. This story emerged in an age where speed and scope were much different than today with expanding scopes, increasing speeds and new combinations of analytic capabilities (poly-analytics). Let's dive into some of the factors to consider in decision making today.

Inside / Outside:

Because of performance issues, decisions were determined in a separate environment and slow analytic behavior was the norm. Today with big data, in memory and in process context, there is a big opportunity to make better and faster decisions. Now decisions can be made in-line emerging scope processes. Also the variety of data types is expanding to audio and video thus kicking off the link to semiotic and in context meaning. Because of this embedding of some decisions, DMN is evolving to a first class standard linked to process (BPMN) and events.

Decisions Everywhere:

Decisions are used in many ways and will become much more important as processes can now include work that is not totally defined and structured. Decisions are used to recognize conditions that need attention and more analysis. Decisions are used to advise people what actions might be taken with statistical certainty. Decisions are used to act automatically when given the freedom, parameters and constraints. As people and machine assistance collaborate to solve emerging work issues and decide to produce the best results under the evolving circumstance, decisions will become essential for work assignment and completion.

Decisions Enable Actions:

Decisions can help in deciding the types and combination of analytic approaches to help solve emerging patterns. Decisions are key when to apply and adjust constraints to free flowing and parallel processes. Decisions are essential in formulating parameters, rules, goals and tolerances. Decisions are the back bone for recognizing new events, opportunistic patterns, threats and better practices.

Net; Net:

As work becomes less structured the role of decisions become much more important. As work get delegated to cognitive computing (smart agents), the role of decisions become more important. As action and work management become more goal directed, decisions become more important. The more complexity and freedom introduced into work management, the more important decisions become. As processes and decisions interact dynamically, the smarter processes become and the more unstructured work can be completed in line with desired business outcomes.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Getting Excited About Another Disney Creation

Here is a the trailer for the next Disney Animated Film due out in February. My son, Andrew, works on this team and is pretty excited about the story line. I can't wait !!

Copyright by Disney

Trailer For Your Convenience


Free ABPMP Webinar: New and Innovative Approach to Driving Success in BPM Projects

ABPMP International is offering a free webinar on reducing the risk of process project failure and increasing your chances for delivering better business results with processes.

It is being presented by Dan Morris and myself. I have found that the combination of agile methods and traditional waterfall approaches lead to a "best of breed" method that delivers. This combination enables the delivery of innovative and dynamic processes for superior business performance  

See http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2014/03/successful-digital-organizations-slay.html

Please join us for a session on Wagile for BPM by signing up on the link below:


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Digital Organization is Context Savvy

When events, data, decisions and actions are considered in too narrow of a context, the results can often be undesirable in the long run. While the outcome may seem successful, for the moment and even profitable, short sighted decisions and the resulting actions (or inaction) can lay the seeds for negative long term consequences. This post focuses on the seven areas that should deem further consideration.

Perspective and Scope:

If you look at the illustration image above, you have no idea what the colors mean, what date this image created and what streets of Manhattan are included. We know that the image was on or before Sept 11, 2001 because the twin towers are still standing. The picture,today, would look very different. It's easy to assume that the colors mean height, but do we know for sure. If we zoomed out would the colors change? Context makes the difference.

Because technology is allowing for the ability to process much more data, thousands more of event feeds, consume and understand more knowledge content, try different analytic alternatives before taking action in seconds, organizations are going to be able to expand their contexts from transactions operating now to considering alternatives in a predictive way and adjust emerging business needs.  The savvy digital organization is working hard to consider all contexts and produce better outcomes.

1. Relationship Contexts: 

It is easy to just focus on the customer context and lay out better CRM in the context of expanding history. There are partners, employees, vendors and investors to consider when guiding today's adaptable processes and systems.

2. Economic Contexts:

It is important to know if your organization is acting in an expanding or contracting economy. While the global economic picture and trends play here, so to local markets and the state of the individuals that participate with you as prospects and customers.

3. Goal Contexts:

When organizations adjust goals, usually in a more assertive fashion, it is important to understand what other goals might suffer or have to take a lower rating in the clustering of the typical multiple and linked goal model established for organizations.

4. Change  Impact Contexts:

When organizations initiate change, they need to consider the number of changes that are hitting at all levels of the organization. While a change might be good in and of itself, however, in context of other change programs, the risk the failure increases for the combination of changes. Organizations often forget how multiple and separate change efforts affect the first and second level workers.

5 Competition Contexts:

Organizations need to consider what their competitors are doing or likely to do in response to many of the same contexts that are affecting them. This may have to be considered in light of each market place, but decisions here need to be taken with care.

6 Community Contexts:

Often organizations will consider the community as one unit. There are multiple threats running through the community an organization touches.  Today organizations can be hurt by reacting to consequences of actions on any one of these threads or smaller streams of the community at large.

7 Compliance Contexts: 

Legal frameworks can have significant impact on an organization and its processes. Building in compliance  in your processes ahead of time instead of measuring the risk after the fact is a must in today's world.

Net; Net:

With all that technology affords to organizations, there is really no reason ignore contexts that didn't seem to matter in the past. If you don't pay attention, your competitors will and you will find out too late.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Will Your Processes be Smarter than You?

With the advent of cognitive computing, rich big data analytics and distributed intelligence, it is not out of the picture for your processes to be smarter than you. Most likely your processes will have access to really smart personal assistants. This is especially true for "knowledge rich" and adaptive processes such as case management. Click on the link below for a keynote speech that I gave at bpmNEXT 2014. I hope to have an update for next years conference, if they invite me back to discuss the "Intelligent Internet of Things"


The presentation is an extension of Gartner's work on Intelligent Business Operations which is referenced liberally in the presentation with attribution, of course. In addition materials are leveraged from my latest book co-authored with Peter Fingar and Jim Odell. See the following for a quick review:


Some of my posts on smart processes:





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Managing Work with Adaptive Case Management

Adaptive Case Management(ACM) is a popular topic these days. When managing work, there are many ways to deal with classes of work (aka use cases). Typically we stick to the methods and tools that we first learn and are skilled in dealing with work management. If you want to learn how ACM can help you, there are a couple of opportunities coming up that you might want to participate in soon.

There is a virtual summit coming up next week and a deeper dive event in DC in June

Virtual Summit Sign Up Here:           http://www.bpm.com/adaptive-case-management-virtual-summit.html
BPM & Case Management Summit: http://www.bpm.com/bpm-and-case-management-agenda.html 

I hope to chat with many of you at either or both of these events :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Digital Organization Practices Break Through Innovation

There are organizational cultures that encourage innovation and there is the rest of the pack. The successful digital organization realizes that people have to be rewarded for innovation and other people need to be given a safety net.. If an organization is just interested in maintaining their cherished best practices and not challenging themselves by constantly searching for a better way, they will wind up on a bad path.. Digital organizations find ways of dealing with change. See a compelling blog post by Elise Olding on the myth of change resistance:


I've identified five things organizations can do to foster innovation below.

Innovation Through Collaboration:

Really sharp organizations find ways to engage all their constituents leveraging the latest collaboration methods, particularly social technology. This not only includes stock holders, board members, customers and employees, but partners, suppliers, value chain participants and the collective set of public groups that have diverse goal sets.

Innovation Through Pattern Discovery:

Innovation focused organizations are hungry for emerging better practices and have ways of watching the interaction and collaborations in and around business events, complaints, cancellations and successful collaborations that may be indicative of better practices or opportunities to tune existing practices.

Innovation Through Proactive Analytics:

Many organizations are just satisfied with managing through history for better optimization opportunities, but the innovation focused organizations leverage multiple and new analytics to find better opportunities for success. By intermixing knowledge worlds and find the statistical probability of trying new approaches, organizations can identify better alternatives. With the advent of cognitive computing this will be a growing area of opportunity.

Innovation Through Engaging Speedy Adoption:

Organizations that practice better change practices under high speed conditions are the ones that will gain advantage in leveraging the innovations they foster. This time advantage helps large and small innovations. There are a number of emerging practices around "big change" and "incremental transformation" that should deem ones attention.

Innovation Through Practicing in Sand Boxes:

The problem innovation and fast change is that risks go up. This can be obviated by practicing changes in an environment that keeps the risks low. This means that a "model business" and test beds need to be established for practicing change and the effects of those changes on the business in an accelerated fashion. Simulation is one of those cherished practices.

Net; Net:

If your organization is not thinking innovation, especially for revenue generation and customer retention these days, you had better be looking over your shoulder. Innovation is no longer an option, it's a necessity.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Digital Organization is Fully Visual

Organizations need to up their game when it comes to accurately and visually represent their business behavior and business outcomes. While visual representations alone may not completely represent all levels of detail to all people, visual representations greatly speed the understanding of the state of business and relationships. I have outlined five areas that could really benefit from better visualization.

Client Interactions:

While ideally clients could interact with organizations leveraging advanced forms of gamification, there are forms of visualization that would really assist the clients as to their progress during a process or the status of their request(s). In addition a client should visually understand the nature of the relationship they have with the organization.

Work Management:

Showing the status of individual work items, cases and aggregations of work classes visually is something that is done today, but taking it up a notch is probably in order. Showing animations of work progress either in-flight or historically is really needed. Also the productivity of each resources and groups of resources should also be visualized in a better way to optimize productivity.

Goal Attainment:

Showing visual progress towards goals is also essential for the motivation of all parties contributing towards results. Showing dynamic weighting changes amongst several competing goals is also important as dynamic management adjustments in today's world should also be seen as well as heard. The impact of decisions or changes can also predicted in this way as well.

Context Representation:

Showing a process in context of bigger arenas is also helpful for all parties. If a process is participating in geographical market, for a set of constituents or a step in a value or supply chain also speeds understanding necessary for today's changing world.

Partner & Community Interactions:

Watching how collaboration works amongst workers is typically what is watched carefully, but often we forget the interactions with partners and the public. Visualizing these interactions and networks is important and this is crucial high high end knowledge that crosses knowledge worlds.

Net; Net: 

We have barely tapped the power of better visualization in our organizations. The best digital organizations will excel in semiotic representation of progress and context.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sinko de Drinko 2014

May 5th is a great time to celebrate the Mexican heritage, here in the US. I like to raise a glass to my friends from south of our U.S. border. Let's all join in toasting this growing cultural influence. We are lucky, here in Arizona, as we get the benefit of great eats, drinks and artwork. The history is intriguing and worth a read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo  Cinco de Mayo is a great reason to raise drink to celebrate Mexican culture. I will do my best and I hope you enjoy the evening as well :)