A question recently asked on eBizQ’s BPM Forum.

According to the analysts, Social BPM is new.  Certainly the terminology is new, but are the concepts behind it?

In Gartner‘s recent BPM Hype Cycle, SocialBPM is near the bottom starting the climb to the Peak of Inflated Expectations.

But I believe that “the future is already here – it is just unevenly distributed”.  By that I mean I can point at 100’s of clients who are routinely engaging their end users to drive business process improvement. Are they using Twitter, LinkedIn or GoogleGroups. No – but they are using these style capabilities embedded within their BPM applications, optimised for driving sustainable, auditable change.

That is why it is easy to get cynical about analysts getting all frothy and excited when a BPM vendor, possibly late to the party, launches their “BPM V6 with added SocialBPM zest” product. See my blog “Social BPM – new and improved” http://bit.ly/cJnwPt

But does that mean companies like Nimbus, Business Genetics and others can sit on their laurels and say “We were doing this since R1.0″

Clearly not. Embracing what is best from the current crop of Social Networking tools can make their products stronger at engaging end users. Because that is what is at the heart of Social BPM.

An end to end process must accurately represent what end users do on the ground, and have the mechanisms to allow them to suggest changes which are rapidly incorporated. At the same time as tracking an auditable change cycle for compliance.

Put mathematically : R = I x A x A  > results = initiative x adoption (squared)

This is taken from Common Approach, Uncommon Results book  http://www.ideas-warehouse.com

Without end user adoption, what is documented and what is actually done will rapidly diverge. And then, even if the processes are in the newest SocialBPM tool it is simply ‘Lipstick on a pig”.


6 thoughts on “Social BPM – is this new and ground breaking?

  1. Ian – I think this is spot on and on the same lines I have been thinking recently.. The next generation of BPM, PjPfMgt, StratMgt software etc will be about personal “places of information / diagrams” that if they are your and shared they come to life… Draw the anology of Facebook and there is some real potential.. and your network of “places” where a place could be anything whether it is process, performance objective, project etc…

  2. I see a fundamental flaw in social BPM – it involves work! The reason that social media is so successful is because it involves people in communicating about everything and anything – mostly NOT work. Saying that, I think there is a lot we can learn from the user experience of using software like facebook to make BPM’s interaction with users a better one.

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