Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankfulness is a State of Mind

Sometimes I have to be reminded, but it is important to practice thankfulness in my life. Thanksgiving Day, here in the US, makes us all take a bigger view of our blessings. I can only speak for myself here, however I am eternally thankful for many things. Despite losing a fantastic son this year, I can find many reasons to be thankful.

I am thankful for:

Life and health in that I am stronger than last year

My family lead by my patient wife Sherry. Great adult children in Melissa, Bryon, Dave, Emily, Steve & Beth. Fantastic grand kids in Keegan, Karson, Xander, Gabriella, Hope, Kale, Nolan & Amanda.

My friends all over the world that stay in contact despite my issues

My customers, work associates and followers that keep me honest

The gifts that God gave me and continues to allow me to grow

Success of Big Hero 6 (The last project my son worked on along with many)

Freedom to worship and to choose

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Is Work Goal or Flow Directed?

Last week, I managed to create some controversy in my post about Work Journey Management.  Some folk felt that there should never be any sequence of steps in a process. Others stated that without sequence, there would be nothing but chaos in processes and people would be totally confused. This brought up a number of thoughts for me and the first was should processes be flow directed or goal directed.

The Case for Goal Directed Processes:

The appeal for goal directed is that the process emerges as it seeks the set of goals that it has at any point in time. As the goal changes the process automatically adjusts to meet the new set of goals and weights for those goals. This is very good for emerging processes where the flow or portions of a flow emerge as time moves and target move. You see major portions of goal directed processes in Adaptive Case Management and late bound processes. The problem with this approach is that sometimes actions are not understood until visualized after the fact.

The Case for Flow Directed Processes:

The appeal for Flow directed processes is that where better practices can be selected and followed based on conditions that are known at the time. People like flow directed because they can visual study flows, understand them and improve them by adding new new paths, exceptions while maintaining control. The problem is that it takes time to do all this in a time to market fashion and control is centrally controlled.

The Best of Both Worlds:

I think that the day of large centrally controlled flow directed processes is going away, but it doesn't eliminate the need for sequencing. I think the overall process should be goal directed and somewhat decentralized (authority pushed to the edge with smart resources such as  people, agents and things), but there will still be snippets of sequence that will be utilized. Eventually all resources will be bidding for work and sequence will wain significantly, but I am not convinced sequence will completely disappear.

Net; Net:

The world is changing from flow directed to goal directed and distributed intelligence, but we will need learn new skills and habits to manage emerging work. The minimum would be to let flows freely flow with constraint boundaries and audit the results after the fact for new constraints.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Four Views of Process Success

Determining success on any project is always a challenge. When I first started in IT, it was did you deliver the requirements on time and on budget. Things are much more complicated today. Dan Morris enumerates what he thinks is success in a BPM project. This is certainly worth your time to read in a day of many things fighting for your attention.

Click on the link below

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Work Journey Management (WJM) Describes Emerging Processes

For nearly two decades, we have been calling business process management BPM. While it has served us well, it doesn't accurately describe process management. First of all not all processes are related to business, though businesses are rife with processes. Secondly the processes imply a fixed map of activities like roads or train tracks and it takes focused effort to build the paths. Work Journey Management can go any where at any time. Like trekking, it can be on roads, tracks, paths, water, or mountain ridge. It also can go underground or under water or in the air. Processes now can go any where now as well, particularly with the IoT which many call the "Internet of Everything".

Planning Customer Journeys:

Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is all the rage today as it should be in the coming "Age of the Customer". By studying the behavior of customers, organizations they can plan effective interactions. The customer journey map is a contextually sensitive graph that describes the journey of a user by representing different touch points that characterize his or her interaction with a service or a product. These journeys are point there are deviations that occur because new events, goals and behaviors emerge from the expected paths. Like trekking there is an initial plan, but conditions, elements and the state of the trekkers could cause a change in path and plan. Each trek can be analyzed after the fact to improve future expeditions.

Work Journeys:

While some work journeys will parallel customer journeys, but not always as process activities permeate everywhere for others. Fixed processes only seem to work for a portion of the journey and some of the activity will be made up on the fly based on changing goals, new patterns, new contexts, constraints, emerging scenarios and the state of supporting resources, This is why work journeys seems to better represent the idea of emergent processes that represent where the world is headed fast in the digital organization.

Net; Net:

I'm not convinced we should eject the term BPM, but if we do I would vote for WJM as it seems to represent a world where journeys are started with an initial plan, dynamically adjusted in-flight and studied after the fact for effectiveness.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Does Design by Doing Eliminate Good Design?

We are moving from a world with centralized processes that are designed in a holistic fashion to processes that are built for change and collaboratively assembled to achieve optimal balanced outcomes. There are two extremes "Doing by Design" and "Design by Doing", but I believe there is a balancing act between these two extremes that we as process professionals need to seek. Each use case needs to be examined for the right balance. With the advent if the "Internet of Every Thing" and the need for speedy analysis and response, puts a premium on processes built for change and fast development. Design is more important than ever, but it is different than the era of BPM that we just went through in the last decade.

Doing by Design:

Traditionally we  use process models to visually depict existing process flows. This allows process to be shared and worked on in a collaborative basis. Analysis of current practices are brought to light with this approach. When designing new flows that are more stable, this approach works for designing a process. When these processes maps become large and unwieldy or are to rigid for business needs then employing other approaches make sense. One is by adding dynamic rules in the process so some adaptation can be supported as this allows some deviation of action. Another is by simulating alternative paths and actions to ensure behaviors under many, but not all situations.  Another is design by doing.

Design by Doing:

Quickly emerging is another approach that allows for dynamic assemblage of processes that are created as the need arrives. It's kind of like a "lego" approach for processes and some times the process builds itself because of embedded machine intelligence, dynamic human collaboration or a combination of both. In this way the process model now becomes an audit trail of what really happened and can be studied for improvement, governance issues and the need for new constraints on the assemblage. These are known as emergent processes and are supported quite well in adaptive case management, agent and IOT technologies; quite often used together. The issue here is the granularity of the pieces and their specific roles in a resulting action.

Designing the Balance:

The problem is there are always camps of belief to deal with in designing processes. It is important to understand the attributes of the specific part of a process. There are portions of  process (snippets) that are unlikely to change as they are specific patterns of work that endure. There is nothing wrong with the "doing by design" approach for these, but just make sure you have thought through a great number of scenarios. With the advent of customer control, that is coming down the line, we will see more emergence in our processes. With these actions deigning the granularity and assemblage of these granules, will be the challenge. In fact some emergent processes will have little design, but will use constraints to keep processes from "breaking bad" or emerging in an undesirable fashion. In these cases, additional models will have to be considered.


Net; Net:

There is no one fool proof way of designing processes. It depends on the expected volatility, but it is clear that things are changing for more emergent behavior in processes. You will see vendors headed in this direction and watching their success will be interesting to watch in the coming years.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Evolve Your Business Processes to Optimum Level (and how to keep them there)

Dan Morris and Rod Moyer have crafted a white paper on business optimization that tries to answer a couple of key questions. "Can optimum business state be reached?" and "Can it be maintained?" I particularly enjoyed the "Hitting a Moving Target Time After Time" portion of the paper. The paper is worth a read, so I thought I would bring it to your attention. Like a tuned car, you can extract great performance in the real world.

Link to the Paper Here:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reaping the Benefits of Intelligent Decision Management

In this post, I am going to summarize four case studies where applying operational decision management has led to significant benefits for organizations. Two of the examples are in the financial sector and the remaining summaries will be in the gaming and transportation sectors. Keep in mind that these are highly summarized and anonymous.

Revenue Driven by Intelligent CRM:

A Large multinational financial services corporation gains ability to provide prompt, personalized, proactive service to their clients

The Need:

Alert research analysts and sales based on specific patterns of interactions (or non-interaction) to enable them to more efficiently and effectively service clients.


•Flexible, extensible platform for modeling growing set of alert patterns
•Greater insight into client interactions across channels to enable more personalized service and more intelligent customer relationship management

Real Time Fraud Detection:

Major Chinese financial institution realizes enhanced fraud detection and greater time to value with flexible and agile decision management platform


•Detect fraudulent credit card transactions and take appropriate actions at time of interaction
•Implement new fraud detection scenarios more quickly


•Greater range of fraud detection scenario support
•Ability to more quickly implement new fraud detection scenarios (from ~1 month to < 1 week)

Intelligent Real Time Loyalty:

Major online gaming company gains agility and business control for creating real-time marketing campaigns for online gambling platform


Ability to implement and manage sets of rules as “plans” with simple and complex events over variable time horizons for implementing customer loyalty and retention plans, as well as fraud risk


•Powerful situation detection
•Agility in deciding bonuses to offer, which can be managed by the business

Real Time Monitoring for Increased Customer Satisfaction:

Major North American railway gains greater real-time visibility into operations


Ability to dynamically monitor trains for fraud detection, operational monitoring and ensuring customer satisfaction


•Enhanced real-time visibility into train operations
•Ability to graphically visualize network of equipment
•Greater customer satisfaction from real-time insight and proactive notification

Net; Net:

The combination of event pattern recognition, strong analysis and actions used in concert can leverage the power of operational decision management in beneficial ways. Hopefully these real world case snippets can encourage your organization to move further into the cognitive world.

These are highly summarized case studies provided by IBM

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ashley Red is the Next Big Thing

Sherry and I like to listen to music and relax on some of our weekend time. We happened upon an up and coming group from Las Vegas, home to great groups like "The Killers" and "Imagine Dragons", called Ashley Red. We fell in love with their ability to play the latest alternative and pop covers with great skill and enthusiasm, but they really know how to create original music. They have come out with some new tunes and a CD. Guess who's artwork is on their CD entitled "City of  Lights" ? There are nothing but great cuts on this CD, but our favorite is "Contagious" & "Hero"

This is an adaptation of my piece called "Ying Yang"

Ashley Red has become "white hot" with their own spot on Valley View Live, Channel 13: a Las Vegas ABC affiliate. They have also opened for Bret Michaels and Bon Jovi. Their brand of music is alternative rock with a salting of Miami techno themes. We really enjoy them immensely and see them every time they pop back to Blue Martini or Wasted Grain in Scottsdale, but sadly, for us,  they are moving up and away.

Cass Cates is the front man and his voice is amazing. He just loves interacting with the crowds and is great to watch perform. He often shares his microphone with the audience and really gets into the party mood. Hector Rios plays like Edge, of U2 fame, and brings a myriad of sounds out of his lead guitar. Thor Jeppesen lays down a mean bass and contributes to the song writing. John Kurimai is the happiest drummer on the planet and manages the electronic part of the show (usually key boards). If you ever get a chance to see these guys, when you are in Vegas or when they break big, enjoy. Check here for their schedule:

You can buy their tunes now individually right now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Big Hero 6 (BH6) Rockets Out of the Blocks

'Big Hero 6' had a fantastic three day opening delivering 56.2 million in the movie houses. What's more impressive is the the audience and critic approval ratings were 94 & 91 percent respectively. This is an amazing start and I would love to congratulate John Lasseter and his team on another winner :)

As many of my readers know my son, Andrew James Sinur, passed away when the team was celebrating the wrap of the film last summer. The Sinur family would like to thank the team for supporting us  as we grieved heavily in the last months. The pinnacle was the message in the credit crawl to Andy. We all broke up watching last Friday night. Disney, John and the team has such class to do this for Andy and our family :)  Keegan and Karson, Andy's kids, were deeply moved. We all loved Andy so much. He was one of a kind.

Dish Nation even mentioned the memorial

Notice the wonder and glee on Andy's face as he sees a Baymax prototype during the production phase of the movies. Andy is just above Baymax.  Here are some of the pictures of our grateful family from opening weekend.

Additional Blog Posts Leading up to the Opening Day:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tibco Wants You to Change the World with Attitude and Their Technology

The first day of Tibco Now was about mindset and attitude towards creating a changed world with technology. Obviously Tibco want you to use technology in their rich portfolio. You might ask "what do they have and how can I use it?" Tibco did a nice job of showing the audience what they had and balanced it with a goodly number of client case studies. Here are my thoughts based on needs I see in the market place. Tibco certainly can support more than these.

We Want Visibility:

Tibco offers one of the best combinations of Visualization with Spotfire, Jaspersoft and LogLogic. You can handle both business data feeds and technology data feeds with these technologies.The new mobile metrics looks yummy. Since you can't manage what you can't see, this is a great place to start. Marks and Spencer showed how you can create a wave of enthusiasm by combining collaborating business analysts with inquisitive executives. M&S has gotten a deep taste of how this can affect their business world.

We Have the Need of Speed:

While Tibco has always show the ability to manage data well with MDM, they now have combined a number of technologies to speed up the cycle of intelligent action. Businesses have FOMO (fear of missing out) just like we do. By sensing event patterns and applying rules for interesting and analyzing patterns, Tibco can put opportunities and risks in front of managers at a blinding speed rate. Of course this engenders a need for some machine learning to spare the managers for overload. This will only accelerate with the "Internet of Everything" Leveraging events with in memory and live big data combined with analytic capabilities put Tibco in a good position. There were a number of good case studies in the oil and transportation industries for the attendees.

We Have the Need for Business Optimization:

Well Tibco can sense emerging patterns, analyze them and suggest actions, but many of the actions need to be put into the context of a process. This can be a tight predetermined process or a loose emerging process. The choice is yours with ActiveMatrix supported by the integration capabilities in Business Works. Add the speed factors and the visibility and business folks have a wide variety of options with Tibco. There were a few examples from the financial industry, but Tibco need to be more assertive with ActiveMatrix supported by their other technologies.

Net; Net:

Tibco has a wide portfolio of technologies that will have to get easier to use over time that can bless key business problems, so they bare a deep look. The issue will be Vista, the new owners do to this blessed portfolio of technology assets? I hope they don't mess with it much and leverage these assets in their own vertical software stacks like Tibco has done in it's Engage offering for marketing managers

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tibco Now: First Day of Futures with Fast Data

Vivek Ranadive starts the show off with a bang, after the mayor of San Francisco welcomed the crowd of over 2500 to his city of 4% unemployment.

 He then mentions the five big trends that will be surrounding the big change that will be necessary to get to the next level of civilization (civilization 3.0).  They are:
  • Extreme Service: All organizations will be leap frogging each other to out-service their competitors.
  • Explosion of Accessible Data: The amount of data to manage, digest and analyze is mind boggling
  • Platform Reach: It takes a rich and integrated platform to reach to all constituents in a way that wins
  • Rising Asia: China & India continue to dominate in GDP growth
  • Math Trumps Science: Why is no longer the driver; intelligent actions win the future

Vivek stated that every business is a social network linked to a perishable inventory of products, services or knowledge.

Malcom Gladwell, the best-selling author, challenged the audience to make changes with the technology that was emerging. Malcom said our attitude will change the world if we wanted to do so. 

He left us with four major points that he saw Malcom McLean who change the whole shipping world with containerized freight. The example was richly told and displayed four major themes. They are:
  • Leveraging ones imagination to change the world
  • Enable a sense of motivated urgency
  • Move away from a rules based society to a values and goals based society
  • Embrace the fact that every company will become a software company

Mark Andreessen then came on stage and gave the audience a feel for what a VC does as a person who sorts of the best of a bunch of terrible ideas. Vivek then interviewed Indra NooylI, the CEO of Pepsi who explained how she created an environment for change that was necessary because customers are now jumping ahead of companies because of technology. Her mantra was “perform while you transform while navigating uncertainty”.

Mitch Barns, the CEO of Nielsen, had four jewels of wisdom. They are:
  • Trimming waste is often the starter for innovation
  • Move from central control to edge control where the interactions of business really happens
  • Get rid of zero sum thinking (a winner and a loser). Many can get a partial win
  • The world needs data cooperation and collaboration

Net; Net:

Get ready to change the world because we all know what to do with emerging technology. I would soften that a bit and say “Learn to use emerging technology to get ready to change the world”