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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014: Preparing for the BPM Shift

Operational Agility, Organization Liquidity Will Drive Digital Business in Future

Roger Hughlett's avatar

By: Roger Hughlett

October 10, 2014 | EventsCase Management/BPMAnalysts

Business Process Management (BPM) is shifting and that shift is bringing just as many opportunities for organizations as it is bringing challenges. The key, according to John Dixon, VP at Gartner Research, is embracing change now rather than later.

In his presentation at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando in October – titled "BPM Shift: Obliterate What You Know About BPM for Digital Business" – Dixon explained in broad terms what the most effective organizations will do as they move more toward the digitalization of their business operations and processes.

Organizations, from government agencies to commercial businesses, need to be agile on multiple levels. It goes beyond agile IT systems and includes operations and organizational agility. Your software as well as your teams need to be designed to be as flexible as they can be in order to manage the unpredictable nature of business today.

Dixon quoted Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, to put this concept in perspective.

"We have a strategic plan. It's called doing things."

— Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines


This concept can be directly applied to what many have described as a shift in BPM. This shift is moving enterprises away from the rigid traditional BPM solutions that take a process-first approach, and moving enterprises toward implementing case management solutions that are designed to be more flexible and responsive to different scenarios and changing needs.

One of the best ways to create more flexible and responsive systems is by empowering more front-line knowledge workers via the technology.

Dixon quoted a former boss who took him onto the floor of a manufacturing operation and said: “We paid for their hands, but their brains came for free.”

I probably wasn’t the only person in the packed room who wanted to yell “BRILLIANT!” after that statement slapped me across the face.

“We’ve got to empower the people at the bottom to be able to fire up ideas and new thoughts,”
 Dixon said. If we do that, and create an environment where managers are receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing processes, organizations will most likely improve both operations and outcomes.

MicroPact developed the entellitrak platform for Case Management and BPM specifically to empower front-line workers and drive better outcomes.

Organizations may build elaborate BPM systems that, while perfectly architected and based on sound theory, have the potential to be complete failures if end-users are not able to give input into the system.

About the Author

Roger Hughlett was a member of the Marketing Team with MicroPact from 2013 - 2015.