Developing The Discipline of BPM

Derek Miers

As some of you may already be aware, I joined Forrester Research a little over a month ago. Some will wonder why, after many years of plowing the independent field, I decided to join the competition. Well, I don’t feel I have joined the competition.

I know it sounds a little sickly, but I feel like I have finally come home. I got so used to working by myself, I forgot what it was like to have colleagues. I really came here to help build a business that caters for the needs of Business Process Professionals. I have known Connie Moore for about 17 years and we have been erstwhile collaborators throughout that time. Clay and I had been exploring partnership opportunities before he joined Forrester.

My first experience inside Forrester was to attend “Starting Blocks” - a 3-day program where the Executive Team come in one at a time, to meet with all new employees that had joined the organization since the last program. What a fantastic eye-opener that was. Here we had the thinkers and strategists sitting down and engaging in a dialogue - exploring what they were doing and listening to feedback - quite an unusual behavior, and a reflection of the culture of the organization.

Now I work in Connie’s team, bringing my own perspectives and capabilities - complementing the skills already here. My research focus could be summarized as follows:

“I am specializing in the methods, approaches, frameworks, tools, techniques and technologies of Business Process Management (BPM), Business Process Improvement, Business Transformation and Organisational Change; with a special emphasis on an outcome-based, customer-focused approaches.”

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Why is Forrester so jazzed up about Business Capability Maps?

Alex Cullen

I recently published a sample business capability map for insurance firms as a way to illustrate many aspects about the description and use of this business architecture methodology. One of the readers of this report commented “It seems the business capability maps provide value as a complement to existing methodologies” and referenced Strategy Maps and Business Process Modeling. This made me realize that I should explain more how Forrester sees capability maps as more than a complement – and why we, along with many of our clients are so ‘jazzed up’ about this methodology.

A bit of background: Forrester views capabilities as stable elements of a business model, where the dynamics of a firm are reflected in the business goals for the capability, and the processes, functions, information and other assets which are how a capability is delivered. A capability map describes all the capabilities, and the relationships between them, which an organization needs to have as part of their business model to achieve outcomes. Think of Sales as a simple example, where there are business goals and associated metrics for Sales, and processes, functions, information and people assets necessary for this capability to be delivered. And Sales has a relationship to Fulfillment, to Customer Service and to Marketing.

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Welcome to Forrester's new Blog Network for Enterprise Architects

Alex Cullen

Forrester analysts have long been active bloggers about the roles and subject areas they cover. If you've been a prior visitor to the Forrester Blog For Enterprise Architecture, you've seen posts from Randy Heffner, Gene Leganza, Jeff Scott and myself. From these beginnings, we've learned a lot - and we've put these learnings into our new blog platform and network.

Here's an overview from Cliff Condon, the champion and project manager for this new platform:

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Hey everyone. Here it is – Forrester’s new blog network. We made some change to improve the experience for readers and to encourage more analysts to blog. Feel free to poke around and let me know what you think.

There are a few things I’d like to point out to you:

* Everyone’s welcome here. Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.

* We still have team blogs focused on role professionals. Our role blogs, such as the CIO blog and the Interactive Marketing blog, are a rollup of all the posts from the analysts serving that specific role professional. By following a role team blog, you can participate in all the conversational threads affecting a role.

* And now we’ve added analyst blogs as well. If you prefer to engage directly with your favorite analyst, you can. Look on the right-hand rail of the team blog and you’ll see a list of the analyst blogs. Just click on their name to go to their blog. Or type their name into “Search”. An analyst blog is a place for the analyst to get reaction to their ideas and connect with others shaping the marketplace. You’ll find the blogs to be personal in tone and approach.

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Analytics For Content And Process: Cinderella With Slipper Confusion

Craig Le Clair

Analytics gets a lot of attention these days. And it should. Additional business insight is really important to improve the customer experience and more and more to understand the on-line experience. And predictive analytics is really cool. But these exciting areas tell only part of the story. Analytics can also help improve content management and transactional business processes. The infrastructure and plumbing that keeps most companies afloat. Analytics can help consolidate archives, improve capture, classify documents, improve business processes, and enhance the value of packaged apps. In short, there is a strong analytics play just for better content management and process improvement but poorly deeloped use cases and better buzz in other areas tamps down the potential. But we shall hear more about this soon.

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Podcast: Challenges For Process Professionals Leading Process Initiatives In 2010

Clay Richardson

Our latest featured podcast is Clay Richardson's "Challenges For Process Professionals Leading Process Initiatives In 2010".

In this podcast, BP&A Senior Analyst Clay Richardson walks through five key challenges that process professionals need to address to be successful with business process management in 2010. Topics include lean principles and lean thinking, effectively connecting process initiatives with value drivers, the importance of data, and process based management.

We look forward to your questions and comments.

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Storming The Bastille: A Populist Uprising In The BPM World?

Clay Richardson

During a recent internal jam session, Connie Moore and I were jamming on big trends we see coming together in the BPM space.  Much of our discussion centered on social BPM and process professionals wresting control from IT over their process improvement initiatives.  By the end of the jam session, Connie and I formed a stark picture of business process professionals and business users in open revolt against IT – pitchforks in hand – demanding greater collaboration and inclusion across all phases of the process lifecycle.

 

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How To Have Fun On A Snowy Day: Tweet Jam With Business Process Pros (#bpmjam)

Clay Richardson

Wow! What a blast!  I just finished hosting Forrester's first "tweet jam" with Connie Moore, Derek Miers, Jim Kobielus, and Alex Peters.  To my knowledge this was the first time a virtual jam session has been hosted on Twitter by an analyst firm. 

My heart is still racing from the flurry of questions and responses packed into a short two hour window this afternoon. A total of 69 participants generated over 500 tweets around our discussion topic: "Top Challenges Facing Business Process Professionals In 2010".


During the session, we covered a wide array of BPM challenges.  Specific challenges that generated the most tweets included:

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Has Case Management Arrived At Last?

Craig Le Clair

Interest in case management will climb higher and higher throughout 2010. The drivers are a mix of old and new an include.  The most important - there will be an increased need to manage the costs and risks of servicing customer requests — like loans, claims, and benefits. Customer experience has evolved to where fundamentals of the product are secondary. Its now about design and the personality of the experience. I tried to help my daughter buy a car the other day. The Ford Focus didn't make the cut.  Why? No lighted mirror.  I then knew I was in for a long process. 

There is also a greater emphasis on automating and tracking inconsistent "incidents" that do not follow a well-defined process.  Does homeland security come to mind? And lots of new pressure on government agencies to respond to a higher number of citizen requests.  But this next one is the killer.  We will see new demands from regulators, auditors, and litigants  on businesses to respond to external regulations.  After Bernie "made off" with 50B or so the SEC had an epiphany of sorts. Gee.Lets give the field agents more authority to investigate — and perhaps depoliticize the process. Brilliant. Lets let the folks that actually know the regulatory target actually make decisions. Well. Great. We think this will lead to a ramped up number of investigative inquires and guess what?  Each one is best handled as a case where consistent policies, audit trails, and analytics can apply.  Lastly, there is the increased use of collaboration and social media to support unstructured business processes.

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Forrester Tweet Jam Session: Top Challenges Facing Business Process Professionals In 2010 (#bpmjam)

Clay Richardson

Forrester analysts will host a “Tweet Jam” on February 10, 2010, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM ET to answer questions from Business Process professionals and App Dev professionals about top challenges facing their process improvement initiatives.  During this interactive Jam session, Forrester analysts will share the results of our groundbreaking “Business Process Professional Role Deep Dive” research that uncovered major trends and critical challenges facing aspiring process improvement programs.

Key questions we will tackle during this Tweet Jam include:

1. Which role(s) should lead your business process initiative?

2. What are the best practices for establishing your BPM COE?

3. Do yourtraditional business analysts have what it takes to drive BPM initiatives?

4. How heavily should you rely on your software vendor for project implementation?

5. How should you connect your EA and BPM initiatives?

6. Which process improvement methodology (Six Sigma, Lean, TQM) is best for your initiative?

7. How should you incorporate BPMN modeling into your process initiative?

8. How should you measure the progress or success of your process initiative?

9  What’s the typical sizeand composition of process improvement teams?

10. How should process improvement connect to master data management?

11. How do you think Social BPM will impact your organization?

The session will be hosted by Clay Richardson, Connie Moore, CraigLe Clair, Alex Peters, John Rymer, and Ken Vollmer. To join this interactive conversation, simply tune in to the #bpmjam hash tag on Twitter or follow the analysts that will host and moderate the session.

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Who Owns Information Architecture? All Of Us.

Leslie Owens

Fellow analyst Gene Leganza wrote an excellent overview of Information Architecture, available for free via this link: http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/topic_overview_information_architecture/q/id/55951/t/2

Gene briefly explores the misunderstanding between “Enterprise IA” and “User Experience IA.” This tension was well characterized by Peter Morville almost 10 years ago (See “Big Architect, Little Architect.” Personally I think it’s clear that content is always in motion, and unsupported efforts to dominate and control it are doomed.  People are a critical element of a successful IA project, since those who create and use information are in the best position to judge and improve its quality. Many hands make light work, as the saying goes.

For example, if you want a rich interactive search results page, you need to add some structure to your content. This can happen anytime from before the content is created (using pre-defined templates) to when it is presented to a user on the search results page. Content is different than data, a theme Rob Karel and I explored in our research on Data and Content Classification. For this reason, IA is both a “Back end” and a “Front end” initiative.

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