Wednesday, April 30, 2014

IBM Impact 2014: Incremental Transformation & Innovation

There is a noted change, here at Impact, in the Process and Decision areas in 2014. There are less technical architecture charts and more business focused case studies. What's more important is that some of the case studies were headed towards transformation and others were just plain innovative. While I miss some of the architecture charts and I wanted to see use typical uses cases with products linked to them, I still prefer the customer stories.


While there were a goodly number of point process case studies that delivered high amounts of business benefits, there were several examples of incremental transformation. In fact KPMG had an architecture and tools that enabled IBM BPM shops to rapidly delver multiple process projects aimed towards incremental transformation. That aside, several firms had long running process programs that are changing the way todays business works. Organizations that are on this path are Nationwide, GE Capital, Lutron and Supervielle Bank. This was encouraging and I expect to see more large scale examples emerge from the IBM customer base over time. Read more about incremental transformation:


Both IBM & some of it's customer base are showing innovation. Criiel life science has designed a genomic data ecosystem that offers storage of genomic data, expert interpretation an a process driven interchange framework that delivers clinically-relevant genomic interpretation at the point of care. Watson is a main piece of the technology base that delivers a prescription regiment modeling tool for physicians.

Watson itself will be changing the man-machine relationship in new ways. Watson can take knowledge fragments from many data sources and deliver statistical hypothesis that can be improves over time as the knowledge base expands and refines. It is wicked fast and wicked cool. It also keeps knowledge based personas on all the participants (human or not) and links them in near real time. This is amazing stuff !!!!

Net; Net:

IBM and it's client base is delivering transformational result with innovation. IBM is being innovative as it is using rapid mobile development, & cloud as Trojan horses to drag in BPM, Advanced ODM and Cognitive Computing. I can't wait until next year to see what clients do with IBM's offerings


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

IBM Impact 2014: IBM Flexes It's Process and Decisioning Muscles

The size and scale of Impact is mind boggling, but finding good content was pretty easy for process management and decision management. While both are contributors to IBM key themes of mobile and cloud, it is clear to me that IBM is delivering on their 2013 Impact promises by delivering solid case studies from their customers. While I have not heard a transformational case study yet, it is clear IBM wants to partner with organizations that want incremental transformation. I am satisfied that IBM is gaining momentum in the process and decision management arenas. Add the power of Watson under the emerging cognitive computing theme and IBMs future is so bright, it might have to wear shades.


Besides the wonderful panel on the future of process, decision management, cloud and the internet of things, there were a couple nice case studies for day one of Impact that caught my attention.

Tangerine Financial:

The combination of mobile and process management allowed the bank to win new customers.


The combination of mobile payments and process allowed for better roaming checkouts and revenue lift.


Implementing a set of very complex rule combinations allowed Delta to make sure their pilot assignments were appropriate and legal. This was done with a fixed target date.


Was able to deliver compliance documents in an effective manner for their partnering employers to keep them in the Fidelity fold.

While none of these were transformation focused, you could see the seeds for incremental transformation with successful first implementations for some mainstay IBM clients. I can't wait to see what day 2 of Impact delivers :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

The New Technology Society is Emerging

A new technology driven society is just around the corner. The building blocks of the this remake are here today and the moves organizations make will determine their outcome as a winner or a loser. The organizations are in a demanding race to be the best digital organization in their respective or adjoining sectors. Please see the link to a short video below to learn more about the new technical society.

Please enjoy the video below:

Please read about one of the key building blocks:  Smart Agent Oriented Processes

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Free PEX Business Process Webinar on Wagile Methods

The Process Excellence Network (PEX) is offering a free webinar on reducing the risk of process project failure and increasing your chances for delivering better business results with processes.
It is being presented by Dan Morris and myself. I have found that the combination of agile methods and traditional waterfall approaches lead to a "best of breed" method that delivers. This combination enables the delivery of innovative and dynamic processes for superior business performance  See

Please join us for a session on Wagile for BPM by signing up on the link below:

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Digital Organization is Fully Dynamic

Dynamic digital organizations have the ability to adapt to what ever faces them in a manner that outperforms expectations. This is much easier said than done. It requires the ability to embrace better practices, influence behavior, and attain process outcomes in the mist of shifting business conditions. This requires organizations to master change,  incremental transformation and emerging technologies.


Embrace Better Practices:

Organizations seek best practices by nature. This allows organizations to create stability and excellence. In the past era of stability, there was no need to get in front of this. We live in a different era, so just focusing on best practices will not be good enough. Dynamic organizations seek emerging better practices and are committed to anticipate and find these better practices and combine them with tried and true best practices in an ideal mixture. See the following post for more details.

Influence Behavior:

In organizations that are seeking better relationships and practices, there is generally a need to change the way that people behave. It might be the traditional approach to giving your employees and contractors new goals for different results, but in today's world there is more to do. If you play in a value/supply chain you will need to shift policies and constraints to influence behavior for better outcomes. If you need more revenue you will have to influence prospects and customers by anticipating their needs.

Seek Process Outcomes:

Organizations that are dynamic are always looking to change and optimize their processes. This means that decisions that are in and around the processes need to be sharpened as well. Processes often recognize new patterns that need to be addressed by the business. This is particularly true of goal seeking, case based or unstructured processes. Through continually seeking new insights and acting on them with optimized processes, organizations will attain better outcomes.


Master Change:

If organizations want better outcomes, they need to become great at change. This requires leaders behaving in specific way by applying balanced levels of leadership, sensitivity, communication, patience and intelligence. Smart organizations usually embrace a change method. The most popular and adaptable method is ADKAR. The best organizations at change constantly practice and audit change projects.

Master Incremental Transformation:

Organizations have legacy behaviors, processes and systems and turn key behaviors are rare, so most organizations embrace incremental transformation practices. It's really hard to throw out system investments, so surrounding them with business differentiating processes leveraging new interfaces, flexibility features and intelligent technology. This allows organizations to learn new methods, tools and techniques while leveraging past investment in systems.

Master Emerging Technologies:

Quite often organizations can be attracted to brand new and shiny technologies, but sharp organizations figure out profitable combinations of technologies. This makes more sense when you see examples of combinations. Example 1: Combine decisions modeling, big data, poly-analytics and in memory data to deliver better decisions. Example 2 Combine complex events, inline optimization, predictive analytics and resource orchestration to deliver better processes. Example 3: Combine mobile,  internet of things, intelligent agents and real time infrastructure for instant customer relationship management. There are many combinations that have delivered innovative and dynamic business results, so the world is your oyster.

Net; Net: 

We are living some very exciting times for applying better methods, real time behavior and new technologies for creating more dynamic organizations. This creates opportunities for creating intelligent business operations enabled by processes. Fasten your seat belts.

Friday, April 18, 2014

For Those Who Celebrate Easter

Peace be to all. If you don't celebrate Good Friday and Easter, please pass by this one. For those who do, this is the celebration of our freedom and peace. Happy Easter !!!!

Notice the contrast of the skies for my Good Friday painting and my Ascension painting. The flower represents mankind humbled before the cross and freed from judgement and working ones way to heaven. The flying cross represents mankind's free journey to heaven via the cross.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Digital Organization is Multi-Goal Driven

There is a management saying that goes like this  "You Get What You Measure". I would suggest that you should measure what you are targeting and that's why goals are so important. Those organizations that model their goals and can shift the weightings of these goals as needed will become the best digital organizations. Most organizations want static best practices, but the reality of today demands something else. In a simple world the only measures that count are revenue, expense and economic value. While tactically this is necessary, but there are many contributing goals that help these basic measures. Contributing and leading goals should be mapped and analyzed.

Pick Your Goals:

There are traditional contributing goals that organizations need to deal with to deliver financial results now, but there are other goals and appropriate measures to select that have either a leading or a high influence effect over time on the financial results. Here are a dozen other goals to consider to measure:

Value/Supply Chain Excellence
Enterprise Excellence
Customer Rage
Service Excellence
Corporate Citizen Ship
Human Capital
Corporate Wellness

Model Your Goals:

If you don't model your goals and their relative relationship to each other, you are doomed to be react mode and let financial results slip over time. Knowing what the best balance of all the contributing goals is essential to reach great outcomes in a complex world.

Model the Scenarios for Goal Changes:

There may be situations where you need to change the relationship of contributing goals or the emphasis (weighting). At a minimum one should know the likely outcomes of weighting and relationship changes. Technologies can contribute here with goal visualization, animation and simulation.

Net; Net:

The kind of complexity that organizations have to deal with will necessitate leveraging visual and dynamic goal models. The more complex the business and the business environment. the more need for goal modeling

Monday, April 14, 2014

Up Coming Events for Collaboration

It looks like I have another busy quarter and great opportunities to interact/collaborate with many folks on the advancement of Intelligent Digital Businesses and BPMs role in better business outcomes. I hope we can chat in the next few months :)


Date               City              Sponsor             Content

4/27-5/1      Las Vegas       IBM                   Impact 2014
5/21            Web Event      BPM.COM        Mobile Intelligent Business Ops
5/22            Web Event      PEX/Wendon    Wagile BPM Methods
6/4              Web Event      ABPMP             Wagile BPM Method
6/9-6/10      DC                   Pega                   Pegaworld 2014
6/16-18       DC                   BPM.COM        Case Management
7/14            Web Event      Open Text         Agile Time to Value
9/17            Web Event      SAG                   BPA as a Service

Net; Net:

I look forward to interacting with many to move the intelligent & digitally equipped processes into the mainstream.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are Scientific Methods Creating an Innovation Shipwreck?

There is certainly nothing wrong with science and persistent measurements, but have we pushed it too far? With economies dancing around recessions and companies trying to find their way to higher profitability through cost containment, it not surprising that innovation and the quest for revenue has taken a back seat. I would propose that organizations shift some of their attention away from pure cost concerns to innovation around revenue generation and intense customer focus. I believe that this will require a creative redefinition of how we interface with customers and a new look at our processes.

The Case for Continuation of Maniacal Measurement:

There is significant pressure for profitability, so the need for measurement should intensify for even greater profit margins. There is a cost squeeze with extreme competition, so we should measure more rather than less. The scientific measurement era has gotten us great progress, so why should it be abandoned in the name of innovation. Organizations can't risk letting go of the measurements and controls in the name if innovation. Are you crazy? With big data, predictive analytics, complex pattern sensing and better visualization of metrics, the current course has more potential.

The Case for Increased Process Innovation:

The definition of insanity is the repeating of the same behaviors and processes and expecting different results. Organizations are reaching stall speed by just pursuing cost containment and artificially increased stock prices without new revenue lift. Better customer treatment and innovative prospecting while wrapping and leveraging existing digital assets in new ways will generate revenue lift. With the mapping of customer journeys and the creation of new processes to mirror the better journey, the possibility more revenue is real. With the internet of things, event pattern recognition, hyper collaboration, machine intelligence, autonomous agents and process mining, the new course has more potential.

It's Not a Zero-Sum Game:

Old management styles think about "Win-Lose". If you find yourself on one side of this debate or the other, you are sub-optimizing. The most successful organizations will become a balanced digital organization. This will require navigating through some rough waters near some risky rocks, but be worth the investment. See the following posts for some case studies that combined both approaches

Some organizations are getting it and are combining the innovation that is afforded by the new digital assets, organizational resources and contextually smart processes to raise revenues and optimize costs. I expect more exciting case studies to emerge on the journey to "the better digital organization" driven by processes.

Net; Net: 

Organizations have to shift more effort into innovative processes that engage prospects and clients while leveraging the strengths and digital assets that they already own. This means that as organizations add new digital assets and behaviors, they need to add them in a way that leverages innovation considering the customers journey; not just the products and services an organization has traditionally offered.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pitney Bowes Canada Delivers Better Customer Service with Time to Market Savings

Customer Satisfaction is top priority for Pitney Bowes(PB), a provider of communications technology solutions for small, mid-size and large firm. But despite recent improvement efforts, the company had identified there were still situations where they were finding it difficult to get Customer Service Time within agreed service levels and error rates. To address the issue they designed and practically implemented a new "Automated Rapid Process Improvement" approach, based on Process Discovery Software (process mining), that  boosts the efficiency of  process improvement projects and has brought large savings. For this project Pitney Bowes won PEX Network's Best Process Improvement Project Under 90 days announced during PEX Week USA, January 2014.

The Challenge:

Despite the improvement efforts, PB have continued to experience the situations when Customer Service Time(CST) did not meet Service Level Agreement (SLA) and error rates exceeded the acceptable level. In addition, employees had difficulties to properly complete some repeatable processes resulting in high operational cost. All of this had to be completed under the gun as management wanted significant results in a the shortest time.

The Solution:

For understanding and measurement of existing processes PB had chosen StereoLOGIC Discovery Analyst - an advanced process discovery tool. Leveraging this new mining and visualization technology, employee operations were monitored and corresponding business process maps were generated and visualized automatically. The process time and the time associated with each activity were also measured by the mining tool automatically and presented in MS-Excel format. The discovered better practice processes and training materials were documented automatically for many to follow consistently.

The automated comparison of similar processes executed by different employees has enabled PB to reveal deviations, wasted time and errors. The tool helped process engineers to visualize the path between the problem and its root cause and communicate this information to other team members. The analysts generated problem reports including inefficient processes and traceability to problem sources supported by time metrics, systems screens, and related data. They identified 7 issues causing errors and wasted time in the process, estimated their impact on the current cost of each transaction and estimated potential savings and transaction cost which came true. This lead to rapid results that astonished many people involved.

The Results:

In just 2 weeks the team has revealed the average wasted time of 43.5% and average error rate of 20% They also identified unnecessary process complexity and lack of training were determined to be the main root causes of errors and delays. They discovered that more than 50% of these delays and errors could be fixed in a very short time and simplified the 50% of the processes as they were base-lined.

Cut the customer service response time by 56%
Reduced the error rates (errors in servicing customers) from 20% to ~0%
8 consecutive months above 65% NSAT (Global Corporate Target for Customer Satisfaction – first team to achieve globally)
Reduced the operational cost by 30%

Net; Net:

Process discovery (aka process mining) is a great contributor to process intelligence and can deliver very quick and impressive results

This is a highly summarized case study provided by StereoLOGIC

Other Customer Service Case Studies 

Friday, April 4, 2014

TD Bank Delivers Speed to Growth Through Service Excellence

In 2014 there is a renewed emphasis on customer at the speed of business. TD bank has successfully combined both to deliver some impressive results. Leveraging better work management and smart dispute processes, TD Bank has hit a rich vein of gold.

Delight Customers
At Warp Speed

The Challenge: Grow the Card Business 50%

TD Financial Group’s Visa card business has grown its portfolio of accounts by 50% over the past two years and plans to continue aggressive growth in both domes­tic and international markets.

Management was convinced that service excellence was the key to success in this highly commoditized business, but TD Visa’s service operation was not positioned to grow with the business. Day to day service fulfillment activities were inefficient and complicated by the underlying system infrastructure. Legacy systems were expensive to maintain and functionality needed to sup­port new card products could not be developed on these inflexible solution. 
TD Visa’s client service operation was organized into many specialized support and fulfillment teams, struc­tured around cumbersome systems and manual pro­cesses required to fulfill customer requests. Delivering excellent service at the point-of-interaction via ‘one-call’ resolution was rare as existing processes did not let agents resolve most customer issues at first contact. In the back-office, mundane administrative tasks (such as the re-keying of data into various systems, organ­izing and shuffling paper documents, etc.) delayed reso­lution. The time spent on value-added activities such as case review and selling was limited as skilled analysts were consumed by administrative tasks. 

The Solution: Reuse and Reinvent

TD Visa decided to address their legacy infrastructure issues with a complete system overhaul. BPM was selected as the technology to provide a full servicing solution, “wrapping” around a new core processing plat­form and automating processing activity from the call center through to the back office.

BPM provides a 1080, high definition solution to opti­mize the customer experience and automate operations for call center staff in Toronto, London, Montreal and India. Full account and transaction information is pro­vided on the CSR desktop. Intent-led service processes enables higher levels of customer service and ‘one-touch’ issue resolution. Process automation capabili­ties are able to straight-through-process basic requests.
Issues that cannot be resolved directly at the call center are automatically routed to central workbaskets used by all back-office dispute and fraud staff. Smart routing capabilities assign cases to staff from the centralized workbaskets. Paper-based processing and manual re-keying of data is eliminated as electronic case data is routed to the appropriate personnel automatically

The Results: Continued 50% Rate of Growth

Key benefits of the new system include a 30% increase in one-touch customer service resolution and a 70% reduction in average resolution times for requests requiring back-office intervention. The deploy­ment would deliver both an improvement in service excellence as well as cost savings through streamlined operations. In addition, 50% of the back office dispute staff was redeployed, and a 95% reduction in IT compliance cost was realized.

Net; Net: 

In a age of revenue emphasis, process management (BPM) can speed results to the bank while saving money.

This is a highly summarized case study provided by Pegasystems

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Blog Activity for the 1Q 2014

I thought you might find it interesting what folks are interested in reading about process related topics on my blog. It is interesting to me to see what gets hit the hardest, so I can plan future postings for you. First are the top ten blog posts to date.  The up and coming subjects were around delighting customers, machine intelligence and big processes. 

Next are the hot topics in the last 30 days as shown below, but notice the interest in bpmNext, the digital organization, smart processes and collaboration. The surprise for me was the art projects. 

Where in the world are the hits coming from?  The US is always number one by a wide margin and is not shown here. There is no surprise that UK and Germany are at the top, but I am surprised that Japan is much lower than I expected. France and India seem to be coming up higher than in the past.