Letter from the Managing Editor:

August 2015

Dear BPTrends Member:

Well, it is August again – the month when we suspend our normal publication schedule and publish our “Best of BPTrends” list. We have selected publications from the past 12 months and categorized them according to topics that have generated the most interest among our readers. We hope you will find an Article or Column that you haven’t read and a few that you’ll wish to reread. We will resume our regular publishing schedule in September. Thanks for your continued support and Happy Vacation and Happy Reading.

Carolyn Potts
Managing Editor

Business Architecture

Business Architecture: Abstraction in Business Architecture

Abstraction is a concept key to modeling. In his Column this month, Mike Rosen provides an introduction to the principles of abstraction and relates them to business architecture.

Practical Process: The Case for Process Architecture

Roger Tregear states unequivocally that if you don’t have a Business Process Architecture, you’re not doing process management. As Roger defines and uses it, a BPA is a simple, but not simplistic, view of how the organization creates, accumulates, and delivers value. It is a practical and pragmatic management tool. In this Column, he provides examples of frameworks that emphasize the “simple” approach.

BPM Defined

Process Solutions: Just what is BPM

Having participated in several debates on BPTrends Linkedin forum about how BPM derives its value, it became clear to Tom that there is considerable disagreement among experts and practitioners about what components comprise BPM. In this Column, he presents his conclusions about just what BPM is and the value to be derived from a properly implemented BPM initiative.

Business Rules

Business Rule Solutions: What We’re Learning from Decision Engineering—Part I

White-collar workers make operational business decisions day-in and day-out. Learn about the latest developments in business rule and decision engineering in Part I of this two-part Q & A with Ron Ross.

Business Rule Solutions: What We’re Learning from Decision Engineering, Part 2—Fresh Thinking About Business Process Models

Ron Ross encourages BPM practitioners to consider fresh ideas about business process models. Using a Q & A format, he relates what you need to know to bring your thinking and practices up to date in this, the concluding Column of this two-part series.

Business Rules Solutions: What the Business Rules Group (BRG) Has to Say about Business Rules

The Business Rules Group (BRG) has played a central role in developing core notions of business rules and the business rule approach in its current form. In his Column, Ron Ross examines the main themes in BRG’s thinking on business rules as explicitly expressed in four highly influential work products. It also reveals how that thinking has been refined since the early days in 1989.

Process Governance

Practical Process: A Failure An Opportunity of Governance

In his experience as a BPM consultant, Roger finds that most organizations fail to sustain effective process-based management because they fail to firmly embed business process governance, a prerequisite to effective BPM. In this Column, he offers five practical steps to incorporate governance in an organization’s processes, thus assuring a sustainable process-based management system.

Process Improvement

Process Improvement: Integrating Process Management

In this, the second Column of a series on how to integrate process management into an existing management system, Alan Ramias provides an example of how it can be done on a larger scale—by extensively integrating tools, roles and practices of process management into an organization.

“Large Organizations Don’t Need Customers, They Can be Busy With Themselves.”

Using a quote from Bert Kersten, a Professor at Nyenrode Business School, Peter Matthijssen discusses how the customer is frequently ignored as employees focus on internal projects. In this Article, Peter exhorts BPM practitioners to keep the focus on the customer by asking a series of questions about process improvement projects.

Process Improvement: Ain’t Misbehaving—The Behavioral Side of Improvement Work

While improvement practitioners are “tool-savvy and tool-adept”, they are less equipped to deal with the so-called “soft stuff”. Alan Ramias and Paul Fjelsta address the behavioral side of improvement in this, the first in a series of three Columns that will focus on this issue. The principle behind the series is that behavior can be reengineered and, to achieve lasting organizational change, it must be.

Motorola Solutions Case Study

Matt Feetterer, a Channel Account Manager at Motorola Solutions, Inc., describes how he and his team carried out a process improvement project whose goal was to develop the right processes to enhance channel sales. Read this Case Study to learn how they successfully accomplished that goal.

Communication Best Practices for Business Process Improvement Project Success

Based on her experience as a Consultant with in Leadership, Project and Process Management, Gina Abudi strongly believes that BPI projects require significantly more communication than many other projects. In this Article, she provides proven techniques that enable the BPI team to get buy-in from all of the stake holders—even those resistant to the project.

The Power of Hidden Rewards in Creating and Sustaining Change

Gaining buy-in for change is central to the success of any business process improvements. And rewards are what motivate most of our behavior. In this Article, Daniel White, an organization development consultant, describes an example of how examining and altering rewards for unwanted behaviors can be a powerful factor in creating buy-in and positive behavior change.

The Future and BPM

Extreme Competition: The Cognitive Internet of Everything

Peter Fingar has frequently said that “everything is changed, changed utterly.” In this Column, he explores how the cognitive internet will profoundly affect Business Process Management and offers suggestions to prepare your organization for the sea change he predicts will occur.

Harmon on BPM: 2015

As the world economy picks up, Paul looks forward to 2015 in which, he predicts, new technologies will challenge process professionals who will be equipped to meet the challenge with a variety of new tools.

Applying New Technology

Materializing the Digital-3D Printing Amidst IoT

Lavanya Easwar, a senior architect within the Enterprise Architecture Practice at Wipro Technologies, examines the opportunities presented by 3D printing in the connected world of IoT (the internet of things) and SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies). She demonstrates how their intersection opens avenues for the business to serve the customer better.

Software Robots for Process Automation: Fudge or a Strategic Solution?

At the outset of this Article, Howard Smith asks if it’s possible to automate new Business Processes without IT. Read what Howard has to say about the potential for this technology and decide for yourself.

Process Measurement

Harmon on BPM: KPIs and Stakeholders

In this Column, Paul Harmon provides a brief description of the approach to performance measures used in the BPTrends Associates Process Redesign Methodology. It is a comprehensive approach with equal emphasis on Customers, Management and other Key Stakeholders. When applied, it produces a complete list of measures for a process.

Lean and Lean Six Sigma

Harmon on BPM: Integrating BPM, Lean and Six Sigma Organizations

Paul Harmon recounts his experience working with an organization seeking to integrate its business process efforts. The organization had a Lean Six Sigma group in place and was in the process of creating a BPM group. Paul’s suggestions were successfully implemented with positive results. Read his Column for the details.

BPM and Lean: Improving Agility—Step Back to Move Forward

In his inaugural Column, Peter Matthijssen addresses the challenge of serving the customer in “real time.” To do so optimally, it is critical that the organization be “agile.” His considerable experience in helping companies build a strategic capability for agility suggests that agility is something that requires support–but how much and what kind? Read what Peter has to say for the answer to the question.

Process Solutions

Process Solutions: Process Automation—Building the Perfect Beast

When Tom Bellinson took a position at a large public university, he was exposed to some process management variations that were in high contrast to the small and medium size businesses in which he had worked for most of his career. Unlike a small business, a university has countless processes. This led some to deal with this variation by using tools such as Microsoft Access and Apple’s FileMaker Pro. In this Column, Tom defines the four sets of integrated capabilities present in both tools—Data Modeling, Interface Design, Report Builder, and Programming Logic, and demonstrates how each tool can be used to automate processes.

Business Capabilities

Harmon on BPM: Processes and Capabilities

The question of what is a process and what is a capability continues. Are they different? Are they the same? Paul Harmon offers his take on what he considers the most useful approach to defining and using capabilities in a process-focused environment.

Thinking Processes, Capabilities and Services: What’s in a Word?

Howard Smith opens his Article with the statements, “Everything is process. Everything else is just the name of a specific process design.” Read Howard’s insightful Article in which he presents a convincing argument to support those statements.

Demystifying the Relationship between Processes and Capabilities: A Modest Proposal

Alan Ramias and Andrew Spanyi recently printed out 196 pages of commentary from the BPTrends Linkedin cite on the seemingly endless process vs. capabilities dispute. Undaunted, they have decided to weigh in on the discussion and do so in this Article. Please tell us what you think of their conclusions on the BPTrends Linkedin site.

Book Review

Facilitator’s and Trainer’s Toolkit: Engage and Energize Participants for Success in Meetings, Classes and Workshops by Artie Mahal, Reviewed by Paul Harmon

Artie Mahal is a master facilitator, and, in his review, Paul asserts that, in this book, he successfully teaches readers the same skills he applies in his own classes. Paul strongly recommends this book to anyone engaged in a process improvement project that involves a workshop or facilitation session.

Calendar of Events


BPM 2015 Conference—August 31-Sept 3, 2015. Innsbruck, Austria. This is the annual academic conference for professors, students and researchers involved in university BPM programs, worldwide.

Forum Praktyków BPM Conference—October 12-13, 2015, Warsaw, Poland. This annual conference is produced by Process Renewal Group Polska under the auspices of Polish Ministry of Economy. It is a platform for BPM practitioners from public and private sector to exchange the experience of building the process maturity in their organizations.

Building Business Capability Conference—November 2-6, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada. This popular annual North American Conference is co-produced by BPTrends, Business Rules Solutions and the IIBA, bringing together a broad range of professionals who collaborate to provide integrated solutions for enterprise performance improvement.

Education and Training

View Complete Calendar