Process Is The Main Thing

@ Anatoly Belaychuk’s BPM Blog

Posts Tagged ‘BPM’

Functional and Process Management: Tools Support

In the previous articles, we positioned Project Management and Process Management as systematic ways to compensate the issues of pure functional management: loss of control at handoffs, loss of focus on corporate goals, sub-optimization, etc. Let us now consider the tools (i.e. software) support for functional, project and process management.

Let’s start with the functional management. First, there are standalone applications – accounting, warehouse, product lifecycle management (PLM), advanced planning & scheduling (APS), etc. targeted to specific departments. Historically, these applications have appeared first as the earliest form of management was functional management. » read the rest

Processes vs. Projects vs. Functions

In the first article we described how the division of labor increases productivity of an individual employee yet, at the same time, creates a disconnect between departments reducing the company’s effectiveness.

These problems arise when the company grows. As long as the founder is in charge, and the number of employees is limited, the mutual understanding and motivation among managers is sufficient to limit “friction” to a minimum. Then, e.g. a new ambitious sales director comes onboard to reorganize the sales department.  The changes might be positive overall, but the former mutual understanding with the director of Manufacturing is no longer there, leading to tensions, that evolve in a search for a “scapegoat” in meetings with the CEO.

Another case: a business owner (who is also the CEO) decides that the business is finally standing firmly on its feet, and he can withdraw from the operational management and devote his life to surfing. In few months, the company plunges into a feudal disarray.

What options does the executive have in dealing with the coming disorder? » read the rest

02/03/15 | Articles | ,     Comments: closed

How the Division of Labor Lowers Productivity

It’s all because of Adam Smith! Wasn’t he the one who introduced the division of labor? What, he didn’t invent it but simply described it? Anyway, it’s the phenomenon that we are going to talk about, not the person.

It happens all the time: as soon as we find a solution for a problem, the solution becomes a problem itself. The division of labor is not an exception: it increases the productivity indeed, but it also decreases in other cases. » read the rest

01/31/15 | Articles | ,     Comments: closed

Where Is The Beginning and The End of Processes?

No, it’s not about processes start and end event, it’s about what should be named as process and what shouldn’t.

A few quotes showing the range of opinions -

Paul Harmon comments the “Process and Capabilities” discussion at LinkedIn BPTrends group:

One of the major differences in the field is between people who use “process” to refer to a diagram, or even more narrowly to the pattern of activities and flows, and those who use “process” to refer to everything that is involved in producing specified outputs. I am definitely in the latter camp… for me, the idea of separating “recourses” or “people” or “managers” from “process” is simply to take a very narrow view of process… The “capabilities” the Army cites are small processes - activities if you would - that get assembled into larger processes when necessity requires. One capability is landing by rubber raft. Another is hiking 10 miles very quickly, etc. Once a specific hostage situation arises a process (project?) is assembled of many discrete activities and executed.

As we can see, Paul tend to name “process” literally everything - activities and combinations of activities of any scale, and makes no difference between processes and projects. » read the rest

I’m Back to This Blog

I want to apologize to the readers of this blog for not updating it for more than six months.

If a professional blog becomes silent, it means that either the author has lost interest in the subject, or right opposite - the author has become too busy. The latter is my case.

Firstly, I’m now a BPM Evangelist at Comindware. I consulted the company for several years and now joined them. This is a very strong, professional and ambitious team and I’m proud to be a part of it. This is a chance for me to implement the ideas that i’ve got after ten years of BPM practice.

While Comindware already has two products Comindware Tracker and Comindware Project we are going to release a breakthrough product early in 2015. It will feature records keeping, support for projects, processes, adaptive cases, end-to-end resource management, social interaction and mobile interfaces. As a technology evangelist, I’m involved in defining the vision of technology and software products and translating this vision to a broad audience through articles, social media and public appearances.

In addition to this activity, I was deeply involved into Russian CBOK project initiated by ABPMP Russian Chapter. It costed me about a thousand of hours but now the translation is over and I’m able to get back to normal life.

I have published several articles during last months so the next blog posts will be the reposts. I look forward to your comments.

12/12/14 | Notes | ,     Comments: 4

What Are the Biggest Challenges BPM Will Face in 2015?

That was the question Peter Schoof asked at forum. It provoked long answer that I’m copying here to get back next year.

Peter, is your question about technology? Management discipline? Capabilities and overall process maturity of today’s enterprises? All of these? Ambiguous questions provoke misunderstanding.

If accepting the widest scope (i.e. considering all three aspects) then where is the bottleneck, I wonder?

» read the rest

12/12/14 | Notes |     Comments: 3

Takeaways From bpmNEXT’2014, Twitter Style

Below is the collection of tweets I didn’t send from Asilomar. The asterisks designate my personal favorites.

March 25, 2014:

Foreword from Bruce Silver: We gathered people well-known in the industry. People knowing the answers, no sales guys.

Me: there is more use from smart guys saying wrong things than v.v.

Brayan Reale (Colosa/ProcessMaker) presented FormSlider - nice app builder for structured and ad hoc workflow. If you have to set it up then it’s designed poorly. #ui

Me: in few years desktop development tools will become obsolete.

Romeo Elias (Interneer): BPM for small-IT or no-IT organizations. Ability to work offline and store everything locally until reconnected. #ui

Scott Francis (BP3): Brazos mobile UI, continued from last year. Responsive HTML rules! Mobile UI should not just match the desktop UI - it should be superior. Proposed: register and play. Promised: 1) single UI for different engines (so far: IBM and Activity) 2) make Brazos Open Source. #ui

Me: there is a room for industry initiative - standardize process engine API.

Roger King (TIBCO): task/resource management in big organizations (thousands of branches). Started talking about modeling but has fallen to program code too far. #org

Me: thanks for the reference to Resource Patterns work by Van der Aalst et al.

Jim Sinur (not Gartner): the next catch phrase is Intelligent Agent. #agent

March 26, 2014:

** Tom Baeyens (Effektif): value of cloud - register and login vs. install and setup. No dependency on IT, cheap (do it yourself), scalable from personal to enterprise (oh really?). Inspired by UI from Trello and IFTTT. Decisions implemented via buttons on a user task preceding the gateway (questionable). #ui

Me: thanks for the reference to Amazon Simple Workflow.

* Stefan Andreasen (Kapow, now part of Kofax): hook up web applications by emulating browser session. Robot (web crawler) presented itself as API to a specific app. No coding: build by example. “Best on show” winner. #integration

Me: similar approach was used to wrap up “green terminal” apps in the past. So the idea is not that new but the implementation looks pretty nice.

E. Scott Menter (BPLogix): GANTT instead of BPMN. Predict future timeline of the process. #analysis

Jean-Loup Comeliau (W4): global model for process and data. BPMN data stores mapped to data classes. #arch #bpmn

Denis Gagne et al. (Model Interchange Workgroup): live model interchange demonstration between 12 BPMN tools. #bpmn

Me: from BPM practice perspective, model interchange is more a “checkbox feature” than a necessity. Yet from BPMN adoption perspective it’s important to make BPMN a true standard.

*** Denis Gagne (Trisotech): manual BPMN validation by pinging a token plus live process flow animation by triggering multimedia content on a click. #bpmn #ui

Me: there were many talks about simplicity but Denis was the one who really made it simple - bravo! My personal vote for “best on show”.

Bruce Silver, Stephan Fischli, Antonio Palumbo (BPMessentials/itp commerce): generate “good BPMN” (based on Bruce’s “Method and Style”) by wizards. #bpmn

Me: process modeling is business programming after all. It may be simple in certain cases and complex at other. It requires professionalism. I don’t buy wizards and automatic verification in general programming neither I would in process modeling.

Gero Decker (Signavio): bridging the gap between BPA and EA - integrating Signavio with Archimate (leading enterprise architecture tool) by links. #arch

Me: don’t like loose coupling and don’t believe in round-trip. EA capabilities must be implemented within BPMS. From “What You Model Is What You Run” to “What You Architect Is What You Run”.

John Reynolds, Amy Dickson (IBM): preconditions for ad-hoc activities. Any BPMS is an event process engine. #case

Ashok Anand, R.V.S Mani (Inswit): how to democratize BPM by lowering acceptance barriers with appyio platform. #arch

Jason Bloomberg (EnterpriseWeb): Agent-Oriented Architecture. Policy-based, data-driven intelligent agents. #agent

Me: sounds great but would you approach a business analyst with “intelligent agent”? Or better yet to a business manager?

March 27, 2014:

Harsh Jegadeesan (SAP): intelligent business operations with SAP HANA, using global logistics operator as an example. Cycle time forecasting. Monitoring and KPI implemented as BPMN extensions. XES: let’s standardize on process logs for easy process mining. #arch #analysis

Me: that was probably too much for the format suggested and the case looked too tailor-made to make general conclusions about the future of BPM.

Dominic Greenwood (Whitestein): Intelligent Process Controller, another variation of Intelligent Agent theme. Using DHL as a reference: accept transportation orders on the fly, relocate track routes dynamically responding e.g. to traffic jams and other cool stuff. Goal-driven BPM. #agent

Me: similar to SAP case, too tailor-made for generalizations.

* Jacob Freund (Camunda): open source engine for java developers. BPMN javascript framework, to be published soon. Amazing: simple BPMN engine implemented in javascript. Live BPMN forum. #bpmn

** Keith Swenson (Fujitsu): Cognoscenti - federated case management. Open source. Personal ACM environment for every participant. Clone projects (copying case contents) at handoffs. Let’s accept silos as domains of control. #case #arch

Me: the use case isn’t quite common but anyway that was the boldest ideas presented at the show.

James Taylor (Decision Management Solutions): model-driven rules engine. Decision Model and Notation (just beta-released by OMG). Everything at the diagram has URL. Elements: rules, documents, knowledge sources. OpenRules open source engine. #arch

François Chevresson-Aubain, Aurélien Pupier (Bonitasoft): modify connection properties on the fly for better robustness. #integration

Me: isn’t it a standard function of ESB?

Robert Shapiro: Optima - a holistic simulation and analytics tool. What-if resource utilization vs. cycle time analysis. Optima Process Capture: generate process map from log data and make predictions. #analysis

John Patton (Sight Software): another analytical tool. #analysis

Alfred Godeke, Chiel Labee (Vision Waves): from enterprise management ontology via model-driven execution to connected. #arch

Me: impressive but probably too much for the format given.

Best in Show nomination:

Special thanks to:

Now let’s look at what others say:

04/01/14 | Responces | ,     Comments: closed

(Русский) “Управленческий хайтек” - доклад на конференции CNews 06.02.2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in Русский.

02/13/14 | Presentations | ,     Comments: closed

BPM As Usual

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12/26/13 | Notes | ,     Comments: closed

(Русский) Типовой перечень бизнес-процессов

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11/08/13 | Articles |     Comments: 1

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