When To Use A BPM Suite?

Connie Moore By Connie Moore

I was going through a bunch of old slide decks last week and came across this one particular slide that struck me.  I think it gave me pause because I don't normally use the slide, and I hadn't seen it in a long time.  I think the material is workwhile for anyone thinking about using a business process management (BPM) suite, so here goes.

Consider a BPM suite when you need to:

  • Change processes frequently. This is probably the most important reason to look at using a BPMS, but a few years ago you wouldn't have seen this on the list, much less anywhere near the top. Back then, everyone preached the mantra that you should find a repeatable process and use BPM to automate it.  Maybe this came from a Six Sigma view of the world in which practitioners were trying to drive out variation in order to reduce defects and increase quality.  Anyway, the old thinking has been turned on its head now: use BPM for processes that constantly change (in addition to the highly repeatable ones) because processes that constantly change are 1) hard to automate and 2) probably some of your highest value processes because they are usually people and knowledge intensive.  A BPMS coupled with a continous improvement mindset (this latter point is the really important part) can really make a difference when it comes to processes that change.  And let's admit it right now--business processes change a WHOLE lot more than we think they do.
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A Day In The Life Of An Information Worker

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

How do information workers -- people that use computers or smartphones in their job -- spend their days?

We set out to answer that question using our new Workforce Technographics(R) data. In our launch survey to understand how regular people use computers, smartphones, and applications to get their work done, we surveyed 2,001 people in the US with jobs in which they use a computer. We asked about all kinds of things, including how much time they spend with their computers and phones, which applications they use daily or even hourly, what applications they find indispensable, whether they work mostly with other employees or with customers or partners, and much more.

Our first report is a quick snapshot of a day in the life of an information worker (iWorker). (We'll be sharing a lot more data at a Webinar on Thursday at 11 AM ET; register here.) For example, did you know that:

  • Gen X (not Gen Y) is the most likely to use Web 2.0 technology to get their job done?

  • Smartphones are available to only 11% of US information workers?

  • Email is still the only application used on an hourly basis by most iWorkers?

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Oracle On Demand Gets Customer Service Knowledge Management with Integration with Inquira

Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. By Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

Knowledge Management and Customer Service

This quarter I've started some research on knowledge management (KM) for the contact center and customer service. This is KM for both agent-assited and self-service. One of the biggest misnomers about customer service is how important great knowledge management is to good experiences. And no, I don't mean Sharepoint. That's a fine product- but for customer service- one needs to find answers and not documents.

Customers often wonder - why, when they do a search on a website or when they ask a customer service agent for help- they wonder why the search results are awful- meaning nothing that got pulled up in the search was even remotely what they needed. And they also wonder why the agents don't have THE answer.

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Analysis from Microsoft TechEd 2009 - Take 1

Head Of BI Job Description

Boris Evelson By Boris Evelson

I get many requests from Forrester clients to describe job requirements for a head of BI team, department, solutions center, etc. While Forrester does not have a formal description of such requirements, if I map such requirements to all BI best practices that I write about, here’s what I come up with:

  • Champion and rally the organization around BI. Educate senior non-IT executives on the value of BI: without measurement, there’s no management. Be able to argue that business, not IT, should own BI.
  • Build and support BI business cases (BI ROI)
  • Understand Key Performance Measures and Indicators that drive company measurement, reporting and analytics across functions like
    • Sales  
    • Marketing  
    • Customer Service  
    • Finance  
    • Operations/Logistics  
    • HR  
    • IT/Systems  
    • Compliance and Risk Management  
  • Understand how these metrics and measures align and track against overall business strategies, goals and objectives.
  • Be proficient in all aspects of BI and Information Management processes, technologies and architectures such as
    • BI delivery mechanisms: portals, thin/thick clients, email/mobile phone alerts, etc  
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Agile is dead, Long live agile - Reflections from Agile 2009

And you do the cokey cokey The Agile Regime Change by Dave West and Tom Grant

Agile is dead, Long live agile.



That’s how the Agile 2009 conference in Chicago opened. In the keynote, Alistair Cockburn cleverly paraphrased Marc Antony’s funeral oration from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “I come to bury Agile, not to praise him.”


A very narrow definition of Agile has passed away, to be replaced by a mature, expansive version that has now joined the mainstream of development methodologies. Agile with a capital “A,” with its vision limited to the development team, died of natural causes. Its successor still worries about build scripts, daily Scrum meetings, and IDE plug-ins, but it recognizes the sovereignty of business objectives, and governs jointly with other methodologies. While we might talk more about agile with a small “a,” the significance of this change is big.

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EMC To Acquire Kazeon

Brian-Hill by Brian W. Hill

This week, EMC announced that it plans to acquire privately-held eDiscovery vendor Kazeon Systems, Inc. The deal, expected to close in Q3 2009, grew from an existing EMC-Kazeon partnership and will enable EMC to provide a range of natively developed applications to support eDiscovery needs.

As enterprises work to cut eDiscovery costs, the broader market for mitigating legal risk is expanding at a rapid clip. The market, however, remains highly fragmented, with a mix of big players and a multitude of smaller providers. Over the past couple of years, the market has been going through some growing pains and continues to consolidate. In exchanges with a large number of enterprises, buyers report frustrations in integrating applications that support disparate steps of the eDiscovery process – many are also increasingly questioning the long term viability of some of the smaller providers. As larger vendors look to round out and rationalize their portfolios, this consolidation trend holds promise in potentially easing enterprise eDiscovery integration headaches.

So will this deal prove to be positive for EMC customers seeking to mitigate legal risk and drive down eDiscovery costs? My immediate reaction is that the acquisition will be good for both EMC and its customers in the long term. Here’s why:

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Gen Y and the Future of the Workplace: Recapping Our Discussion With Forrester Clients

Followers of my posts on this blog have seen a consistent theme: what does the influx of young workers mean for the present and future business world? Yesterday afternoon my colleagues Clarie Schooley and Heidi Shey joined me in hosting 82 Forrester clients for an open and frank discussion on this topic. The conversation, which included participants across the age spectrum, was spirited and landed on a few broad concepts:

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Don’t worry — I backed up my phone to the cloud!

Rob Whiteley I just nuked my phone.

Ok, so maybe I didn’t nuke it, but I wiped it clean. It’s all part of an experiment. I’m one of a lucky few (20 to be precise) that are piloting iPhones here at Forrester. So far, it’s been great, although there are the usual bumps and stumbles you might imagine with any new technology. For example, has anyone else out there come across the mysterious disappearing calendar item? Every once in a while I come across something that’s on my desktop Outlook client, but not on my iPhone. I’ve done some pretty exhaustive scenario testing and I think I’ve isolated what triggers it, but of course there’s no discussion of it anywhere in the Googlesphere. Very strange, but I digress. As much as I’d like to talk about my iPhone experience, I’m actually more interested in any consumer mobile device in the enterprise.

(Psst. Apple, if you’re listening I can be contacted on this blog, on Twitter, or via email. I may not be one of our device analysts, but my analyst credentials would be revoked if I didn’t at least have an opinion.)

Ok, so why am I interested in mobile devices? Because in the last few weeks we’ve been swamped with clients’ requests to help craft their security policy for this technology populistphenomenon. Not only has iPhone proven to have enterprise staying power, but the promise of Palm Pre and Windows Mobile 6.5 has many an executive dreaming of replacing their old scroll-wheel driven BlackBerry with a slick touch interface.

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Social Technologies Will Drive The Next Wave Of BPM Suites

By Clay Richardson

When you spend time taking a sober look at a market's maturity - like we did with our recently published BPM Tech Radar report - some technologies make you yawn, but then other technologies give you goose bumps.  The primary purpose of the BPM Tech Radar was to map the maturity of the 15 most critical technologies that make up the BPM landscape.  This included tried and true technologies such as workflow, process modeling, document imaging, and business rules; in addition to bleeding and leading edge technologies such as process data management and process mashups.  

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