Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year

I just wanted to wish all my readers, collaborators and others a "Happy New Year" from the Sinur clan !!!!!!!!!  I wish a happy and healthy new year to all. Welcome 2015 and the happiness, changes and challenges it brings. 

To Start the New Years Celebration, I wish my collaborators in Australia and China a Happy New Year. (I do know that China celebrates at a different time, but I wanted to show a dragon because they are so kewl )

Then on to some more of my readers further west in Russia and India, but celebrating before us.

Then the Shadow of time moves west to where my name came from in Slovenia and on to Paris where Sherry and I were engaged. I am hoping for more readers in Africa as well some day.  

 Then on to the US in New York and then to home in Phoenix Rising :) 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Business Process in 2014; A Year in Review

BPM continued to march forward despite the fact that BPM of 2014 has become multifaceted thus creating camps of people having different views of what BPM is going forward.  I'd like to take my shot at analyzing what happened in 2104. One thing is for sure, BPM means many things today as it is not just a fixed process with happy paths only.  I categorized the 2014 themes into three categories and they are Business Impact, Market Momentum and Technology Interactions.

Business Impact:

In 2014, businesses continued to reduce costs with process improvements, but their main goal was revenue generation. This was initially accomplished through attracting new customers and bring them on board as fast as possible and showing them the promise of a savvy partner for the future. This was done leveraging social mobile and cloud. In addition organizations started mapping their customers journeys with themselves in order to keep and expand the new and existing relationships. At the same time, established organizations started to look over their shoulders at the new entrances in their respective sectors and how they were leveraging the new and emerging digital platforms.

Market Momentum:

The BPM market continues with nice double digit growth both software and services, but it is quite bifurcated in nature. There are the traditional leaders / players and new upstarts that are picking a niche portion of the market to grow forward. Some of these up starts are picking adaptive case management, cloud, social and others are picking low end simple processes. This is good for the market as it pushes the leaders to get better while offering growth niches. There were also some major marketing themes that caught momentum. Rapid development, smart applications, adaptive case management, differentiating pace layering, decision management, smart content and the internet of things all created buzz for market growth.

Technology Interactions:

2014 saw the leverage of many new technologies and technology combinations. It was good to see the aggressive use of social, mobile, cloud, big data, IoT, decision modeling and case management in real business solutions in 2014. This tells me that the cycles for inclusion of new technologies are speeding up and organizations are looking to take advantage of any technology to keep costs down, raise revenue and optimize customer attraction. This shows that BPM helps break down and leverage technology silos along with business functional silos. This is encouraging and I expect this to continue and even accelerate.

Net; Net:

2014 was a great year for BPM and I expect more exciting things for 2015 that I will start sharing after the "ball drops" and the fireworks display over all parts of the world. While 2014 had many of the process experts picked areas dig their process trenches in for their view of BPM war, the big picture BPM is one of diversity and inclusion. We are all going to have to expand our skill sets to learn to manage the new multifaceted BPM category.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

I want to wish my readers a peaceful holiday season this year. As you can see Maggie Mae is excited about the holidays and her eyes are lit up with the joy of the season. We wish you the best of health for 2015 as well. I look forward to the direction of digital business takes next year with the newest technologies working together. We should have good fun discovering and debating the progress. I also look forward to 2015 to complete some new art projects. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Up Coming Events for Collaboration / 1Q 2015

Things are shaping up for an exciting 1st quarter of 2015 for me. For those who want to interact on the role of decisions and process in the digital organization, we should have some good opportunities to discuss emerging trends. I hope to have some interesting conversations and identify great case studies to publish in 2015.


Date           City                Sponsor                 Content

1/19        Orlando             PEX                        Process Excellence Week 2015
2/23        LasVegas          IBM                         Interconnect / Digital Economy
2/25        Scottsdale         DST                        DST Advance User Conference 
3/9          LasVegas           Kofax                    Transform User Conference 
3/30        Santa Barbara   BPM.COM             Defining the Next Gen Process

Net; Net:

The first quarter of 2015 looks to be aimed at producing better business results with the emerging methods, techniques and technologies that surround mobile, social, cloud, big data analytics, decisions and emerging process actions. The biggest benefit for me is to connect or reconnect with a strong network of change agents. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog Activity for the 4Q 2014

While the interest in the Internet of Things(IoT) and BPM continues to be of strong interest, there is an increase of interest into decision management, behavior modeling and journeys (both customer and work journeys). There is a strong trend towards emerging processes represented by goal directed processes and case management. The bottom line is that there is still strong interest in BPM despite the many growing facets such as smart applications, swift application development, adaptive case management, and goal driven swarming processes. As intelligent devices emerge and intelligent personal assistants help knowledge workers, the very nature of process will transform. The events of interest, for me, were Tibco Now and the Gartner BPM Summit. The 15 hot posts last quarter are illustrated below:

While most of my blog activity is US based, below are the top world wide demands outside the US.

I think that 2015 promises more growth for BPM, but it will be a BPM that better supports emerging and evolving processes that closer support the evolving business goals designed for better business outcomes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Art Projects for the Fourth Quarter 2014

Fall colors are always an inspiration for me, but capturing fall colors and the moods have always eluded me. This time I think I managed to capture the feel in my "Autumn Bridge" painting. Speaking of elusive, I have been trying to create a heart shape with fractals for years now. I finally lucked out and created a heart shape that Sherry really liked. It's been a break through quarter of art for me. See below and let me know if you agree :)  For more of my art please see the following links

http://www.james-sinur.com/paintings/  for traditional paintings
http://www.james-sinur.com/digital-art/  for digital art

Autumn Bridge

Happy Heart


Jumbo Shrimp

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gartner BPM Summit Rocks Big Change

There are over 700+ attendees at this years BPM conference in LasVegas and the place was buzzing with activity. This was a significant increase over the last BPM conference and it was good to see that folks were looking to leverage processes in building their digital business future. While the industry wrestles with the term BPM because of it's history as an operational improvement discipline, BPM is changing as radically, over time, as the businesses it serves. Though I have only attended the first day, it is clear that Gartner is encouraging companies to move to become a digital business. This means that there is a big change in store for them and their processes. This can be disruptive or not depending on how organizations approach this challenge. 

Building a Digital Business Future:

Gartner is making the case for organizations to start their journey to the digital business this is a moment in time where new opportunities and threats that are both visible and invisible. The opportunity to mix the digital and physical worlds has never been greater because of the Internet of things (IoT). This theme was prevalent in all of the keynote speeches. The most notable was Daryl Plummer and Jorge Lopez. It was a shame that Jorge's speech was keynote quality, but given the night before the main crowd arrived as it painted a great framework for Gartner's main theme and gave context for the BPM conference. 

It's Time for Innovation:

All the ingredients for creating a new or better business with process as a key contributor is here today with the IoT and Cognitive Computing. This theme started with Guy Kawasaki and trickled through the conference with sessions on next practices in innovation and designing the brain aware enterprise from Jackie Fenn. While I was personally disappointed that there was not an emphasis on using BPM technologies for incremental innovation and transformation, several of the process excellence award recipients were leveraging BPM that way. 

Disrupt or be Disrupted; Either Way Big Change:

Another prevalent theme was the notion that organizations could not afford to sit still and new entrants with this new technology could threaten established players. It was clear to all of us that managing big change was a key theme. While mentioned in all of the keynotes, it was brought to bear in Janelle Hill's digital disruption pitch. The wave of change was continued with Elise Olding's riding the tide of change presentation. The pragmatics of this Marc Kerreman's aligning change with process improvement scenarios. 

Net; Net:

I think Gartner is on point here with big change, big chaos and the chance for getting bypassed, but organizations are best wrapping their systems of record in a differentiating layer to start to cope with immediate change. Over time organizations need to look to the IoT and Cognitive Computing starting with smart processes and maybe new business models running in parallel to their existing revenue generating capabilities unless a new upstart causes panic.

BTW Gartner has not paid me to attend theses sessions, though they did comp me on the attendance and hotel. I rarely do anything for free, but I got to see my Gartner buddies and some of my favorite technology and service providers, some of which are clients

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Critical Connections & Collaborations in the Internet of Everything

The Internet of things (IoT) offers great opportunity for organizations aimed taking advantage of the new digital world of new of advanced interactions with their existing and potential constituent communities. While there is great potential for effective interactions that can yield revenue, speed, and savings with ease and satisfaction, there is an underlying complexity and number of people, things and enterprises that must be enabled in contexts and situations dynamically in real time. This means introducing new methods, techniques, technologies and positioning existing systems and technologies in new ways. There are three areas of technologies that must be working together effectively in new success patterns. The areas are business process management (BPM), business rules/constraints management (BRM) and machine to machine interactions (M2M) connecting and collaborating.

BPM Takes on Additional New Roles:

BPM is normally acting as a central control mechanism that manages the process from a holistic “end to end” perspective. While interactions with the IoT can still work that way by asking for an assist from a sensor, a combo package of smart/collaborating sensors or a sensor clusters. With the advent of IoT, now BPM can be triggered to play out specific set of prescribed of actions often called a process snippet (a portion of an end to end process). Also human collaboration can be requested for knowledge assists, collaborations and authorizations. BPM can also be embedded into an intelligent and complex physical device like a lawn cutting robot.  The result for BPM is more utilization; not less, but this will require a different mindset in the leverage of BPM. 

BRM Takes on Additional New Roles:
BRM is normally acting as a local decision mechanism in the context of an overall process or application. While these kind of interactive decisions will still be leveraged, rules will be combined with events/data to recognize patterns and notify or collaborate with humans, systems, sensor packets and complex physical devices. In addition, rules will be combined with additional search and analytical mechanisms to produce more cognitive problem solving.  Like BPM, BRM will be also embedded complex physical devices to guide the sensing, thinking and actions of said devices. In additions rules can be stated in terms of constraints that can act as boundaries of free ranging devices, processes, systems and human interactions. The result for BRM is more utilization, but this again will require a different mindset in the utilization of BRM.

M2M Introduces New Standard Collaborations:
Flexible options will be needed in the configuration, collaboration and communication of physical devices that can range from simple sensor nodes to complex agent based controllers. This will require the local integration of various sensors, actuators and other devices with communication security. Additionally there needs to be back end support for data, asset and UI management assisted by big data driven analytics.  

These machine collaborations are dependent on information models that separate the uniqueness of the device from the uniqueness of another device. In other words, there needs to be a standard meta-model of the communication and collaboration of the devices by describing their properties and capabilities. This creates a data hand shake that can be understood in a universal model for any communication. It is important also to have level of abstractions (meta-data) to speed development and execution of these communications and collaborations.  The best example of this is the Eclipse Vorto Proposal.  See https://projects.eclipse.org/proposals/vorto

Net; Net:
In order to facilitate the leverage of the fast growing internet of everything, there will be an emphasis on emerging patterns of the leverage of BPM, BRM & M2M supported by standards on leveraging big data analytics. This means linking of these contributing technologies to sense patterns, make decisions and act in concert to reach goals that change with emerging situations. The successful digital organizations will figure out how to leverage these approaches and technologies in their business models, services and products. 
Don't be surprised if the technology lines blur and that you will get dragged into new technologies as your digital organization emerges or transforms. We are already seeing it in IoT enabling vendors like IBM, Bosch, Pega & Tibco

Friday, December 5, 2014

Giving Work Visual Transparency is Essential

Now that work, and the processes that support work, can handle emergence while being goal directed, a new challenge arises to provide all participants a visual audit trail of what actually happened. This is important for several reasons. At a minimum, there needs to be a visual history for retracing activity and at a maximum looking for ways to improve the work experience for all participants while helping managers adjust to emerging regulation, conditions, decisions and actions. Imagine looking at your last vacation trip, after the fact to think of better or different routes and experiences.

Visualizing Work Journeys:

Since emerging work is not necessarily visualized until it is well underway or after the fact, there is a need to visualize the actual journey for people or machines to understand the paths taken to meet a set of balanced goals in effect for the duration of the life of the work. The journey could start with a customer request or a tripped sensor, but what is decided and what happens needs to be tracked and visualized across multiple parties, countries, systems and technologies. This will allow for maximum transparency for all parties and many reasons.


Visualization for Goal Improvement:

As more and more work is goal oriented, shifting the goals as emerging conditions is something that has to happen. In fact the goal settings, in force, when the work starts will be one of the major elements to capture as a map legend for the work visualization. By analyzing the work visualizations, managers can precisely adjust the collective goals for more desirable outcomes for specific work journeys, participants and scenarios.


Visualization for Better Practice Patterns:

Goal driven or not, emerging work needs to be analyzed for better and repeatable practice patterns. Once visualized and analyzed, decisions can be made to make them part of a proposed process pattern inventory for participants (men or machines) to select and follow, In other words if a work journey looks successful, it can be put into a bag of tricks or made a happy path that can be leveraged over and over. For those who do not believe in repeatable sequences and that all work should emerge every time, this would seem unnecessary, but there are resource optimization reasons for doing so.

Net; Net:

Visualizing emerging work will be one of the most important business needs for the future. This means tracing work from on premise to the cloud and back, from machine to machine (IoT), from human to human, from automated personal assistant to humans and may need multiple sources of audit trails integrated for visualization. In some cases, patterns of emergence can be classified and put into repeatable processes for optimization reasons.

Additional Reading: