#BRF BPM, Collaboration and Social Networking Presentation

Sandy Kemsley (www.column2.com) is speaking about BPM, Collaboration and Social Networking at the Business Rules Forum in Las Vegas.

How do you bring Enterprise 2.0 in BPM. A few years ago, Sandy had talked about how BPM and Enterprise 2.0 would integrate a couple of years ago. Some of her predictions became real, some didn’t.

She did a quick review of what BPM is and what is in a BPMS.

What is Web 2.0

  • Consuming-facing social software (facebook, gmail, youtube, etc.)
  • Software as a service
    • For example: Google Apps.
  • Harnesses collective intelligence through user-created content
    • For example blogs or twitter
    • Create content with very low barriers
    • It is valuable because the conversation is taking place with people in different places around the world
  • Lightweight development models permit mashups (composite applications)
    • Allows taking bits and pieces from different places and put them together. Some combinations were not necessarily planned, but the flexibility of the APIs allows their pairing.

Web 2.0 Examples:

  • Gmail: rich interface and constantly upgraded feature sets
  • Wikipedia: content contributed by many authors
  • Google Maps: open API allows combining with many other web apps

All the knowledge is in the enterprise and the ability of capturing that information is invaluable by leveraging social software in the Enterprise 2.0.

Business Purpose of Social Software in the Enterprise 2.0:

  • To strengthen weak ties with people in a company or with customers and partners.
  • Social production to collaboratively produce content

There are now software that allow companies to provide that functionality within the enterprise instead of going to Software as a Service. For example, IBM uses something called “Beehive” internally to strengthen connections within the company. As a another example, the US Intelligence community is using a wiki type software to gather intelligence information.

Organizations need to have a cultural shift to allow people to leverage these social technologies in the Enterprise.

The drivers for BPM and Enterprise 2.0 are:

  • Users expectations are changing
  • Trends towards greater collaboration
  • There is a lack of agility in many current BPMS implementations

3 manifestations of collaboration in BPM

  • Collaborative process modeling
    • Multiple people participate in discovery and modeling of processes
    • Capture “tribal knowledge”
    • Internal and external participants
    • Technical and non-technical participants
    • Examples: Lombardi Blueprint, SAP Netweaver BOM with Google Wave
  • Collaborative process execution
    • User can “step outside” a structure process and create ad hoc collaboration
    • Audit trail and artifacts captured within BPMS audit log
    • Eliminates uncontrolled (unaudited) e-mail processes
    • Examples: HandySoft, ActionBase
  • BPM and Social Networking
    • External communities of practice (or centers of excellence)
      • Example: IBM Blueworks, Appian Forum, SOftware Ag Alignspace
    • Internal discussion forums and collaboration linked to specific process models or instances within the BPMS
      • Examples: Appian, Global 360

Impacts of Social Networking with BPM

  • Social and Cultural Impacts
    • The Business needs to commit resources and “bless” that approach
    • IT must allow business to participate
    • Users must feel comfortable getting away from their previous way of working
  • Technological Impacts
    • Standardized feeds for repurposing data. Let the user customize the information they see.
    • Instant messaging or microblogging for process alerts
    • Rich user interfaces eliminates desktop installation
    • User-created “mashups”
  • Economic Impacts
    • Shift from (perceived or actual) high BPMS costs to lower-cost alternatives
    • Rich Internet Application and lightweight development models lower development costs
    • Software as a service BPMS lowers capital costs

Barriers to adoption of Enterprise 2.0 and BPM

  • Perceived loss of control over processes (needs cultural change)
  • Lack of understanding and trust in lightweight development models and tools
  • Risk of data loss or security breach with SaaS BPMS
    • Sandy says that she uses SaaS for her business and after doing a due diligence you need to trust that the vendor is spending more time and money making sure that this won’t happen. If they don’t do that, they will loose your business.

The Future (is already here)

  • Many BPMS vendors incorporating some Enterprise 2.0 functionality
  • These are facilitating change in BPM

The Future

  • Tagging or bookmarking of instances of process
  • IM or other synchronous communication integrated
  • Goal-oriented process responsibility from management to knowledge workers

Very interesting presentation that shows us where things are and where they are going as far as the social networking tools and BPM. I think a lot of that can be extrapolated to topics that go beyond BPM.

The slides will be available on her blog shortly.

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  1. Pingback: Business Rules Forum 2009 – Day 1 #brf — JT on EDM

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