Friday, April 22, 2016

bpmNEXT 2016: Checking The Gravitational Pull of Process

bpmNEXT is aimed at attracting the best ideas and implementations of process from a provider's perspective while checking the pulse of process related momentum. It is mostly attended by the process thought leaders and vendors that play in the process and intelligent process arenas. This includes BPM, Modeling, Collaborative BPM, Workflow, Cognitive and Decision focused vendors. This is where the emerging ideas are exchanged and innovative demos are displayed. This post will summarize interesting themes and point out ideas that I found compelling.

Health Check Panels:


Clay Richardson, Denis Gagne and Kramer Reeves discussed the battle to augment detailed requirements with models. Because models only live for a short time, like requirements, they don't get the respect they should. There is a strong pull to move modeling to execution earlier to iterate to completion, though there was a good bit of exhortation to model early and often. There were good discussions on linking models to measurements and actual process mining (audit trails of process executions).

Value Added BPM Business:

Scott Francis, Jonathan Sapir and Parmod Sachdeva discussed where BPM was being used in business. The common theme was that customers want to leverage system, people and cognitive resources to dynamically chase changing goals. There was plenty of discussion about encouraging business professionals to be involved the building of resource leveraging processes, but the traction is spotty. The theme of "low code" for the developer seems to be gaining with developers. 

BPM Analyst Panel:

Maureen Fleming, Sandy Kemsley, Clay Richardson, Neil Ward Dutton and myself discussed the momentum and trends in BPM. I was unable to objectively evaluate this session other than there was a strong leaning towards easier to use technology to attract more developers. I had an agenda of pushing Digital as the umbrella for process. "Process is the Secret Sauce of Digital" was one of my themes along with customer delight and smart process resources such as smart devices plus cognitive assisted people and systems. Process should enable collaboration between people, machines and systems. 

Key Notes:

Nathaniel Palmer:

Nathaniel said that the future of work and process was the 3 Rs. Robots, Rules and Relationships. He  presented an architecture that was change proof until the year 2020. He emphasized that the mobile first efforts that are going on now will be the legacy we will want to get out of later. He also thought that swarming and learning technologies would emerge to lead the future. Amen to that brother, but we will have to accelerate our ability to accept and leverage potentially uncomfortable change.

Neil Ward-Dutton: 

Neil emphasized test and learn platforms that support the fail and scale fast approaches needed to move to Digital. Neil said that digital would be the grease that enabled better communications between employee engagement, operations, external engagement and products. Digital transformation is the big challenge facing organizations, but the application of emerging technologies will allow the convergence of customer delight, operational improvements and new / innovative products & services. 

Jim Sinur:

I gave a pitch on digital disruption the emerging pressures to lead in revenue increase, cost reduction and market valuation. This will require improving customer engagement, improving business operation and augmenting or changing business models. There were live examples given for each theme.  Business and technical pressures were identified and highlighted along with necessary digital transformation activities that will be enumerated in my new book that will out in the coming month. An improved version of this presentation will be shared in Silicon Valley on May 12th 

Interesting Ignite / Demos:

Business Modeling & Process Intelligence :

8020- Ian Ramsey:

Ian demonstrated a way for a business professional could create process model from lists without knowing what process modeling or BPMN was. This is a good shot at modeling for the masses as it could generate a model usable by any BPMN enabled tool. 

SAP - Joachim Meyer:

SAP assisted by Hana and process mining from Celonis was able to show an inclusive dashboard for an end to end process, with hot spot drill down, to manage an monitor out comes. Looked great for root cause analysis based on real time data. 

Cognitive Process Assists (Cog me baby):

Princeton Blue - Pramod Sachdeva:

Promod semi-demonstrated a cognitive assisted sentiment analysis across several sources of social media data. With the combination of cognition,  analysis and escalation rules, proper actions could be spawned to respond to negative comments. This was less a demo than an extended presentation, but impressive in that it went beyond dash boards for visual recognition to real actions. 

IBM - Eric Herness:

Eric demonstrated image recognition driven by Watson and Spark to adjudicate vehicle crash claims. Eric demonstrated the processes ability to become better by training Watson and Sparc to deal with new images and contexts for a better process. While this was a simple example it showed the promise of cognitive and real time analytic assists for changing rules and processes.  

Collaborative Goal Driven Processes (including Case whose goals are milestones):

BP Logics - E Scott Mentor:

Scott showed a set of activities that all want to execute right now, but are constrained by different rules including precedence and external event / pattern occurance. The activities could either be single actions or process snippets of complex actions, but everything is happening in real time driven by global goals. 

W4 -  Francois Bonnet:

This demo showed process / case collaboration being enhanced by internal or external resources whose experience and reference was visually tagged for opportunistic interaction. It also found the best and free resource for collaboration. Image a cog figuring this out and linking you to another person or cog? 


OPENRULES - Jacob Feldman:

Jacob elegantly showed how the combination of rule sets and optimization could be leveraged for tuning rule sets and making decisions with a sense of confidence. Jacob ran through both simple and complex problem sets showing off the ability to test rules through a range of alternatives from minimum optimization to maximum optimization. 

Net; Net:

Process is healthy and will stay that way as long as we can leverage the new kinds of goals driven and emergent processes along with our favorite processes types of the past. We will be living in a hybrid process world for a while leading to dynamic processes auto configuring with swarming resources. Then the only process model will be an audit trail of what happened putting a premium on mining and better practices combined with growing best practices. Waiting for bpmNEXT 2017 :) 

For More Information See Aragon Research & Aragon Research Blog 

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