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Embrace Big Process Thinking

To Drive Business Transformation

What will business processes look like in 2020? asks columnist Connie Moore of Forrester Research. Hint: it's big. The five tenets of big process thinking firms will need to be thinking about. Participate in the Process Excellence Columns Here: Ive been working on a big idea for several months. The genesis of that idea was an internal collaboration about the future of enterprise suites versus business process management suites (BPMS). We actually had a mock debate about the future of these two software categories and asked:

Will enterprise suites, like CRM and ERP, dominate in 2015? Or will BPM suites come on strong by 2015 and displace them as the next-generation software platform for processes? Or will both types of suites sit somewhat uncomfortably within the same organization tackling different types of processes?

Interestingly, enterprise suites won in our mock debate (kudos to Paul Hamerman and Clay Richardson), but the BPMS advocates (Derek Miers and Craig Le Clair) definitely held their own. Its just that companies have such massive investments in SAP and Oracle (Siebel) that those software products are not going anywhere very fast. So thats how it will turn out in 2015: BPM suites will keep making bigger and bigger inroads, but they will fill in the spaces for untamed processes that big software packages cant touch. (For more on this topic, see Craigs Stuck In Cement: When Packaged Apps Create Barriers To Innovation report and William Bands The Smart Way To Implement Process-Centric CRM: Deliver Breakthrough Customer Experiences By Transforming Business Processes report.) Our internal discussion sparked a bigger question thats harder to answer, but in many ways is even more important. That ber-question is Whats the future of business processes? and leads us to also ask:

What will business processes look like in 2020? How should business and IT leaders prepare for the future, given that many of them are implementing isolated BPMS projects or sponsoring departmental process improvement projects by Six Sigma teams?

Ive been working hard to answer these questions, and the results of that analysis will be published soon. In the meantime, heres a sneak preview.

First, we need to define a new term: Big process is when senior-most business and technology leaders embrace business process change by shifting the organizations focus from isolated BPM and process improvement projects to a sustainable, enterprise-wide business process transformation program that is then supported and driven by top executives. Moving to big process thinking is a tall order. I dont see how this can be done using a bottom-up approach; it must be envisioned, supported, and driven by very senior executives and then radiate out through change agents up, down, and across the entire organization. Obviously, change management is hugely important; but the companies that have embraced big process thinking in the C suite (Medco comes to mind) have achieved amazing results. So how do you get to big process thinking by 2020? We think there are five tenets of big process thinking to adopt: 1. Transform processes, dont just improve them. 2. Give the customer control. 3. Globalize, standardize, and humanize. 4. Embrace big data. 5. Double down on process skills. These tenets are absolutely critical for looking at business processes from a strategic, transformational perspective rather than a continuous improvement viewpoint. When the report Im writing gets a little closer to publication Ill put up a blog post fo r each of the five tenets to explain them further I know some of them are a little cryptic. In the meantime, if youve got any suggestions, thoughts, or differences of opinion, please share your ideas with everyone by making a comment. And stay tuned. About the Author: Connie Moore Connie serves Business Process professionals and leads a team that provides advice and research focused on application strategy, business process management, customer relationship management, human resource management, and financial processes. Connie's recent research efforts have focused on Lean thinking and dynamic business applications that support designing for people and building for change through the intersection of business process management, the Information Workplace, and Web 2.0. Connie came to Forrester through its acquisition of Giga Information Group in 2003. She has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry and has been an analyst for 19 years. Most of her research focuses on business process management and business optimization. Prior to joining Giga, Connie managed BIS Strategic Decisions' European IT consulting group, headquartered in the United Kingdom. Before then, Connie was vice president of product marketing at TDC (now part of BancTec), a manufacturer of highend document capture systems. She was also a manager with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), specializing in document management, document imaging, and end user computing. Earlier, Connie was with Wang Laboratories, where she managed Wang's technical support resources for the US Department of Defense and intelligence

agencies. She began her career in IT and management at Mathematica Policy Research. Connie is the co-champion of Forrester's 2009 Business Technology Forum with its theme of "Lean: The New Business Technology Imperative." Connie also co-championed Forrester's 2007 Technology Leadership Forum with the theme of "Design for People, Build for Change" and Forrester's 2008 Technology Leadership Forum, themed as "Embrace Technology Chaos, Deliver Business Results." Connie is a widely sought speaker. She has keynoted at many industry events, chaired 10 business process and workflow conferences in Europe and the United States, and co-chaired Giga's "Leveraging Knowledge" conference. Connie also served as a director of AIIM International, the premier association for the content management industry and is a member of the Association of Business Process Management Professionals. Connie attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a B.A. in political science and history from East Carolina University and an M.B.A. in information systems from George Washington University. About PEX Network I invite you to join as a member of the PEX Network Group, you will have access to Key Leaders Globally, Events, Webinars, Presentations, Articles, Case Studies, Blog Discussions, White Papers, and Tools and Templates. To access this free content please take 2 minutes for a 1 time FREE registration at PEX Network, a division of IQPC, facilitates access to a wealth of relevant content for Process Excellence, Lean, and Six Sigma practitioners. Further enhanced with an online community of your peers, we will provide you with the tools and resources to help you perform more effective and efficiently, while enhancing the quality operations within your organization. As our industry becomes more and more dependent on the Web for information, has been developed to provide Six Sigma professionals with instant access to information. Leveraging our strength and foundation in education, IQPC and the Process Excellence Network are uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive library of webcasts gathered from our events, as well as exclusive content from leaders in the industry.