As much as we hear about not having a common definition of what a process really is, process is going viral anyways. What are the reasons for this explosion of process? One is that process has delivered on the benefits of revenue lift and cost containment while delivering time to market visible innovation without losing sight of visibility, accountability and governance. The other is that process is getting easier and is no longer the domain of the cloistered few with colored belts of honor. I think there are five big areas driving the growth. There are others, but these are the "big rocks" making ripples in the pond from my perspective.
Process Modeling in the Cloud:
Cloud is helping process deliver in many ways, but modeling in the cloud allows for high levels of collaboration across skills sets, geography and organizational boundaries and levels is big. It really doesn't matter is you are trying to understand the processes in place or trying to design a target model. the cloud creates a great place to collaborate safely.
Light Weight Processes as Prototypes:
In an era that puts a premium on failing fast to make adjustments to move forward and deliver for opportunities quickly, processes are spot on the money. In this "do it, try it, fix it" world that is energized by agile development, processes hit the mark. Even if they end up as a specification for a more involved effort, process benefits can be tried and realized quickly.
Differentiating Process Wrappers:
Everybody is stuck with legacy, bespoke or bought, that holds back business differentiation. Creating a hybrid process or application that wraps existing non-differentiating systems and code with innovative and forward thinking combinations of features and function is another fast growing area of process growth,
Smart Process Applications:
If time to market and starting with better or best practice jump starts is your thing, pre-built processes with levers of adjustable interfaces and features is a reasonable answer. This is important when you don't have the skill sets necessary or the patience to develop them over time. Some of these application leverage some of the key emerging capabilities, such as social, mobile, cloud and big data analytic technologies for you,
It is always the dream to start small and have all of your efforts end up in big change. This is happening in many industries and the demands for a better customer experience to win the revenue generation battle. In an era where smaller competitors can compete with the giants of an industry sector, the emphasis on non-disruptive incremental change and transformation with process is gathering momentum quickly.
The old ways of doing things are falling away "TIMBER !!!" and being replaced with the latest process habits, emerging features and speed for innovation with differentiating behaviors. Hang on to this rocket as it is moving business up and out of gravity's pull. What a time for process, even though we can't all agree on what BPM means. Pretty interesting problem to have :)