Enterprise 2.0 Needs BPM 2.0

Buried this week in creating new marketing collateral. Most vendors have websites that exaggerate and over-sell. We have the opposite. Look at our website and you wouldn’t have a clue about all that we are doing around the world in shared services, outsourcing and back-office transformation programs.

Trying to assemble all that is happening, and to tease out what really matters, one of the most interesting threads to emerge is about BPM and the next generation enterprise.

I’ve touched on this before but it’s a big enough theme to return to many times. I’ll resist painting it as a promised land, but Enterprise 2.0 will surely be a process mature organization. And it will be virtualized: hybrid service delivery models – mashups of shared services and outsourcing – will be the new normal.

And all of that will be impossible to achieve without an enterprise-wide collaborative framework, in the language of business process.

Seen in this light, BPM is a critical enabler – the foundation really – for Enterprise 2.0. Excel over email won’t work any more. It doesn’t scale, and it makes compliance scary. It’s grossly inefficient and can never align business and IT effectively. [it’s surely at the heart of the trillions of dollars wasted on IT failures]. And it fails to effectively leverage what the Lean and Six Sigma communities can bring.

To underpin operational excellence, efficiently and sustainably, the next generation enterprise will need a collaborative framework – let’s call it BPM 2.0 – which will have three essential properties:

  • holistic – a joined-up view of the entire enterprise and its end-to-end processes – everything, not just what’s automated, and including risks and business controls management; a single repository that meets the needs of all the stakeholders
  • real – not an artificial construct owned by IT, but the day-to-day business reality – the DNA of the business, integrating process with real-time metrics and training, deployed to every desktop as a personalised intelligent operations manual
  • governed – with a robust but easy-to-use governance framework that underpins every aspect of compliance and risk management.

That’s my breaking news. I think it’s quite exciting because we pretty much have the first BPM 2.0 platform in place already. It’s just that you wouldn’t guess it from the website! Now back to the Powerpoint narration, trying to unpack all this into bite-sized chunks of marketing collateral to prove it…

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Mike Gammage is VP and Principal Consultant at Nimbus Partners. Mike has worked in performance improvement consulting, and more recently the BPM space, for more than two decades. He is particularly interested in the overlap between two very dynamic worlds: BPM and perfomance improvement (the drive across all industries to standardise, improve and automate) and sourcing and the virtualisation of the enterprise (the drive to create more flexible and lower-cost service solutions through outsourcing, offshoring and shared services). In either case, Mike believes the enterprise needs a single source of truth about its end-to-end business processes, as well as a framework for the design and implementation of change. It also needs to connect the end-user and all other stakeholders to ensure the adoption of change. These are the keys to sustainable transformation and continuous improvement.