Harmon on BPM

Paul Harmon’s monthly Editorial, Harmon on BPM is posted in chronological order, beginning with the most recent posting.

Harmon on BPM: Process Mining Grows Up

Any conventional business process improvement book provides many examples of incremental process improvement techniques. Paul suggests, however, that the more automated the process is, the more process mining deserves your attention. Read his reasons for this conclusion.

Harmon on BPM: Is AI a Threat to Jobs?

A recent story on the BBC reported remarks by Mr. Andrew Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, warning about the threat that Artificial Intelligence (AI) posed to British workers. In this month’s Column, Paul presents the surprising results of Mr. Haldane’s inquiry into his assumption that AI would reduce the number of available jobs.

Harmon on BPM: AI and Business Processes

In this month’s Column, Paul provides a context for examining the current interest in AI which began in the Eighties and has recently re-emerged. One of the limits imposed on AI in the Eighties was a lack of sufficient computer power. AI was an expensive and time consuming process. Paul believes this re-emergence of interest in AI is much more grounded now that the computer power is there to accommodate it. Read why he thinks so.

Harmon on BPM: Elon Musk on Productivity

Simply stated, Tesla is having trouble reaching its goal of 6,000 units per week at its Fremont plant. When the Model 3 was first announced, Musk said that the Fremont plant would use radically improved technology to make its production the most efficient in the world. That’s quite a challenge. Read Paul’s analysis of where Tesla is now and what innovations they might come up with to achieve their production goals.

Harmon on BPM: Trouble at Starbucks

Paul opines that a good process analyst must be the master of a number of different disciplines, including defining flows, identifying decision points, and determining the effects of defective environments, people or technologies that are integral to the operations of the organization. This month, Paul focuses on people problems such as those recently experienced at Starbucks – specifically, on thinking clearly about what’s involved in getting human performers to properly apply the company policies appropriately to the situations at hand.

Harmon on BPM: Industry Studies

While technology trend studies are useful, Paul thinks today’s most interesting trend is “Industry Studies.” He observes that a growing number of reports are being written that describe how companies within a given industry are likely to change. Because these studies are focused on specific industries, they are especially useful to the executives within those specific industries. Read his Column for details.

Harmon on BPM: Teaching Employees about Process

Based on his lengthy experience in working with organizations, Paul is absolutely convinced that managers and employees need to understand processes. They need to know that the activities they work on are a part of the larger set of activities that constitute a process, and they need to know that these processes will show how work gets done in their organizations.

Harmon on BPM: Then and Now: The Impact of Change on Organizations

Times have changed dramatically since the 1980’s when organizations could establish and maintain their product lines and market position for decades. Today, even the largest and most successful companies find their product lines popular for a few years and then find themselves scrambling to replace them with the next new thing. Paul concludes that jobs that support facilitation of change are the safest jobs in today’s business environment.

Harmon on BPM: Defining Problems for Critical Processes

In his December Column, Paul cited two key tools that agile process developers needed to know. One is the Stakeholder Diagram which he discussed in that Column. The other is the Scope Diagram, a tool that refines our understanding of a process and identifies problems that we might want to alter or improve. In this Column, Paul focuses on the Scope Diagram.

Harmon on BPM: Establishing Objectives for Agile Process

In the November Poll, we asked our readers to tell us what percent of their processes were well documented, modeled and routinely measured. The results revealed a considerable discrepancy between interest and application. In this Column, Paul presents the Stakeholder Diagram as a tool to simplify an agile process redesign.

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