BTOES Insights Official
November 19, 2022

iBPM Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT : The Criticality and Re-emergence of iBPMS, But not as You Know it!

Courtesy of Mark McGregor below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'The Criticality and Re-emergence of iBPMS, But Not as You Know it!' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at iBPM Live - Virtual Conference.

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Session Information:

The Criticality and Re-emergence of iBPMS, But Not as You Know it!

The iBPMS market is now over 10 years old. Much has changed during that period in terms of what and how we automate work, how we analyze and design processes, and the reduced time we have to make changes in how we operate.

New technologies and ecosystems are enabling us to completely rethink the art of the possible. The relentless pressures to drive our digital agenda forward, create better customer experiences, enable hybrid working, and drive down costs, lead us to focus on technology and the potential afforded by iBPMS.

But are we looking at the right iBPMS? In this presentation, Mark McGregor will revisit the key capabilities needed for an iBPMS and suggest that while many of us have been looking in one direction a new breed of true iBPMS vendors is emerging from another.

  • Why Automation Centric iBPMS misses the point.
  • Revisiting the core capabilities that are required for a modern iBPMS
  • Introducing the New Kids on the Block
  • What to Consider When Evaluating an iBPMS Vendor

As a strategy consultant, author and coach Mark has worked with users, vendors, and consulting companies around the globe. The ideas and insights that he shares comes as a result of thousands of interactions over a 20+ year period.

Session Transcript:

Great, Mark MacGregor Mark is here with me. I was with Mark in Amsterdam, Just probably a few weeks back.

And it's wonderful, again, to be collaborating with him. Those of you who attend our events, you'll be familiar to, with Mark and his work, he has shared with us on enterprise architecture, on process management, process mining, RPA, and should they, he turns his attention to Intelligent Business Process Management.

March has more than 25 years of experience across vendors, analyst, firms, and end user organizations.

He always has interesting sites to share. And there are often the driver of lively discussions.

So, don't save any of your questions for later. This is the time to ask the tough questions, because there is a great leader there who can handle them. So, Mark, thank you for being here, and sharing your wisdom of our global audience today.

Thanks, Jose, for that to kind introduction. Actually, as you say, fantastic that we actually got some time FaceTime together. There in Amsterdam, and here we are back in the virtual world. Great to have everyone with us today.

Looking forward to this session, and hopefully, as Jose was eliminated, as alluding to, giving you some alternative ways of thinking about things so that we can go, so let's get the presentation back up.

Here we go, right? There we go. So we're all up and running, excellent.

So the criticality and re-emergence of IV PMS but not as you know it.

So many of you will have been around for a lot of years and heard a lot of the stuff around the ... market.

You get some really interesting market, very, very nuanced.

But I also think that it's a market seen a massive state of flux as we all rethink.

What it is that we need from an IB PMS how we're going to use it.

I'm why we should do it, so a little bit of a history lesson to start with.

Any of you that have attended previous ... events will know that. sometimes speaker is a very old, and very good friend of mine, and a friend of mine gym sign-up.

Mark McGregor-4So Jim originally created the IB PMS, definitions, and Malki way back in 2010. 11, when he was still he was still with golden. And when he was looking at, you know, what you see here in the center is that really crowded BPI mass, marketplace full of players. And said, well, you know, we need to find a better way to differentiate some of those. And to be looking at, say, well, where is the market headed?

And what do people need to be looking at?

So we can see that from the 2010 BPM as Magic Quadrant, then suddenly in September 2012, when we look at it as the IB PMS. And by the way, I know that the BP, the traditional BPM as Magic Quadrant was still going than any parallel.

But we suddenly see that actually all of those people that were saying that they were doing PPM, actually don't fit the definition that Jim came up with, the IB PMS. So, we suddenly see a much easier and simpler landscape.

So it's free of the core areas that Jim identified, as differentiating between what was, then, shall we say, traditional BPS, and I, BPM S, Werther.

The ...

says we're going to be more social, usually provide greater context and greater meaning, by including additional extra data sources, to allow us to create that bigger picture, to work on more things. And allow more ad hoc interactions and more discovery between knowledge workers across systems, et cetera.

And this was a real shakeup for many of these vendors who were really very focused on saying, I have an integrated platform that's going to automate everything. And it all happens inside my product and my platform.

He also saw, even then, to actually, we're going to be looking to not just use the applications on mobile devices, but making inquiries of things like have analytics, data, alerts, all these kinds of things, to remain productive while we're on the go.

And the third area was the area of analytics.

Now, Jim have been a great proponent of the value and importance of business activity monitoring, so many years before that.

And it's an area where any of you that considered buying systems back in that time will know, but it was really confusing.

You know, as vendors, you know, we can take any term, everyone understands.

Make it so that you no longer understand what it means.

Because suddenly, business activity monitoring meant.

You can manage of the process that you execute in the system that you build using my platform.

The fact that that might only be less than 1% activities your business undertakes doesn't matter. We can check the box, and we've got business activity monitoring.

So, Jim showed that we needed a broader way of covering the analytics.

Btog CTAAnd not just historical analytics, but on demand. Hey, I need to know more about this, what does this mean if, et cetera, et cetera. So that we can get into some of that predictive analysis, and more around the process optimization.

Now, you'll know that these are things that I've talked about, a little in previous sessions.

one, we've been looking at process mining, and process monitoring.

So it will come as no surprise, to, say, well, actually, here we are 11, 12 years on.

And we're only just getting it.

So what else has changed? So.

Saw the things that Jim identified. So you go, If you go Google and you'll find those three things, and lots of vendors talk about those three buckets, yeah, yeah, yeah. We're doing all that.

But actually what Jim said is here's the 10 core components that you need If you want to be considered as an IB PMS.

Yes, of course. You need that process automation, process, orchestration engine.

But you also need a model driven composition environment, so that you're looking at model driven development, not code.

We need content interaction management, because we need to be interaction with content beyond just the pieces in the application. We need to handle human interaction management. Now, we can look at that as saying, Well, lots of people did that as their automation, but we can remember that. actually a lot of simple workflow.

when he queda connectivity within and across systems.

I've already talked about the active analytics. And another way of looking at it is continuous challenges.

I need that continuous insight, and the ability to take action based on that.

I need to be looking at things like business rules.

I need a really good process component, repository registry, so that I can store all of my processes. So I can look at the cross process impacts.

And when we look at all those things, we can see that actually, the people that the port, it should be Beefy Mesh.

I'm going to bring them back up again now, just as a a reminder actually started to fall, by the way. So, going back and we look at that BPM, moving to ..., then we have the question of, Where are they?

Now, you know, some of, you may be aware of some of these great names of the past and some of you may be aware of the fact that they largely dissipated. So, yeah, here's my logos of some of disappeared Now.

It's not just disappeared in terms of companies gone away.

Most of it was through mergers and acquisitions, but some of it is they've taken the concepts of what they had around that connectivity, et cetera, and just moved into another market.

So anyone that searching around Bosch Software Innovations will find that actually gone away. They're still doing stuff, but they've already focused on the IOT style of automation.

And the same thing goes with some of the others, but not actually disappeared.

Other than the fact that the technology they had doesn't play in the market where it is, because for a lot of people, when they looked at the 10 core components, it was actually more of a checkbox.

So, another way of looking at those, no, 10 pieces, is that the ..., as it was in 20 11, right, the way through until people largely stopped talking about it, even though it's still out there now, is still driven around an automation engine.

So, it's about automation and I'm going to sell your automation. And here's some other things I have to do around the side to sell you automation.

And the rationale between the gray is in the yellow sea areas.

Many of them will tell you that they've got modeling but they're not really model driven.

Know, I wrote about it when I was with MWD advises many years ago as an analyst is that what they were creating largely of visual programming environments I can enable, you should build the model to automate the process.

The fact that the model that you're building is one piece of your auditor cache, which is automated only in one area.

I don't know about the rest of the processes. I'm not, I don't know about your value chains. I don't know how it connects the resource, so, it's, it's very lightweight. It's not truly model driven.

It's really visual programming, but it's enough to check the box.

Many will say that they have a repository.

You think that's great.

So how do I store or my manual, or will you don't store the manual processes here?

We only store the processes that you've automated using our automation engine, all the associated artifacts.

But nonetheless, we can say, we've got a repository.

So, check the box.

As I've already mentioned, we've got the analytics. Now, whether we look active and on demand, they got them, and they do a pretty good job, for the most part.

But they're only analytics on what's going on inside the applications that you create using that automation engine.

Yes, they've done a reasonable job of content interaction, but it's, again, the content that you need to drive.

The automation process, rules, most of them have done a pretty good job in terms of bringing in the roles. And there was an argument. This is actually building a rules driven system can be one of the more effective models that you can do rather than a process, right?

So, the areas in green plants that you know, but the areas in yellow, I'm going to argue that, for the most part, was a chat box.

3-Jun-30-2020-08-31-08-88-AMAnd so, for many of those of us that are on a call like this, or attend some of the other, it's, whether it's the business transformation, the operational excellence will know.

Yes, we're increasingly looking to apply, more and more.

digital automation, two aspects of our business.

But we're using different automation.

We use an RPA. We're using low code. No code. We may still be using ERP. We may still want to be building things with PMS.

So the question then becomes is the traditional ...

approach that's centered around a singular automation aimed you the right vehicle.

So address the whole range of challenges that we're facing around the organization.

And taking that automation centric approach also leads us to just build this project. We're going to build my apologies.

So pose the question.

All we doing the right thing is right.

So we know that just doing things is neither particularly efficient nor particularly effective.

We know that if we take it and we automate it.

And that's good, because now we're doing things right, we're doing it faster, we're not doing the dumb ways that we've become a lot more efficient, OK?

Or, we've taken little pieces.

Well, we think we can do the right things.

But in that purely automation centric approach to IB PMS.

I'm going to question that, do you have the ability to know, nevermind ratio.

Whether you're doing the right things, right, Because it appears to me that you've already decided what the solution is, and you're building a solution to solve a particular problem.

And it's that the classic issues of many Lean six Sigma shops of the past, right?

Everyone working in small groups, I'm working really, really hard to sub optimize the whole, Because no one was actually looking at the broader picture.

Only when we look at the whole, can we identify which areas, all where we should, could come, apply the right process improvements, and apply the right technologies in order to bring them forward.

So, I'm going to suggest to you, the Child Core competencies make perfect sense, but to get the most out of it, we need to rethink, watch the cool.

And it'll come to, no surprise, or anyone that doesn't know me over a number of years.

I believe, look, the coal element is actually the modeling.

Because when we look at, no, that wasn't gonna get too busy, putting the whole 10 things around.

But if we wrap them up, and say, well, actually, modeling based approach gives me the repository that I can store all types of processes, whether they're at the value chain level, whether the procedure level, process level, Wow.

I can have a whole process architecture stored, I can understand the interconnectivity, in one place, I can do the impact analysis.

That's a real process repository.

I can already run Discovery. And, yeah, using things like process, mining, and toss money.

I need to do, and have automates e-discovery.

But automated discovery doesn't help me figure out how Jose and I may work together on a new book, because low amount of process mining, or text mining, is going to figure that out.


There is a button that says, when we're doing the interviews and the old world of post it notes, interviews, no time, emotion. There is still a place for that.

And that if you want a really, truly useful ..., then it needs to make sure that it can help us with both manual and automate it. So that we get that full 360 degree view.

Doesn't mind the fact that, you know, I would argue that it needs to kinda process journeys and rural strug decisions. That's a whole nother level of complexity.

But then, when we look at the automation.

We don't want to be tied as a say to a single automation solution.

We know that we're going to be dealing with human workplace, so we do one, the ability to undertake workflow management.

We do know that there was a time and a place for putting in low code, no code.

We know that there are some things that are more complicated, more scalable, more enterprise centric, that still need the value of Instructure, that running a traditional BPM S type system will bring us.

And we also know that whether we like it or not, significant parts, what our organization is still reliant upon running using package applications of one kind or another change from on prem to the cloud in some ways. In a cloud based world, we seem to use an even more applications than ever before.

So Ally BPM S needs to be able to help us manage all of those, different requirements, manage all those different types of process, know that we can see them in a totally inter-connected way and not be wedded to any single technology.

And, you know, just as another example here.

Let's use the example of RPI. Yeah. I mean, I mentioned it explicitly here.

Um, but if you think about RPA, if you don't model the requirements work instructions for your robot, separately CIO Implementation, you've got some real problems because how do you move from whether it's a blue prism on automation anywhere to a UI path?

Pick a mix You suddenly can't without having to go back and do all of the rework your game.

If you separate the concern of the model and the work instructions and the procedural information you want to use to drive the bulk.

and you're going to find it a lot easier to migrate from vendor to vendor.

Or, indeed, upgrade from boat to boat.

So we need that separation.

And then, on the management level, then, we need to know that we've got that combination of the process monitoring, and anyone knows. I'm a real believer in the value of the process, mining technologies, but actually use the process monitoring. That gives us the process intelligence. It enables us to act when before, we didn't even know we needed to act. So we can get more just in time actions going on.

Screenshot (4)We need the Action Engine, so that it provides us with alerts and options so that we can start to make changes.

We know that, as we become more automation, the fact is, the continuous improvement from the 21st century is going to be increasingly reliant on our ability to get data in contexts from inside systems, rather than from in people's minds. And so, actually, we don't just want to automate.

We want to be constantly improving, and constantly changing. Now.

There's a whole school of thought out there, the worry we're potentially going to see new processes created on the fly.

Based on the data that suddenly going to say, actually, there's a new way of offering you a little bit. Like the Minority Report, if any of you remember, you know, where he's walking down the street, and the shops are all calling out to him. Hey, I've just noticed you've been paid today.

I've got this great offer in that new pair of shoes that you looked at last week, There's another flavor of others coming in, and these things are being created on the fly.

Then, the last point that I raise on here is the area of scenario simulation.

So, it's not just about simulating a process in isolation, but going to start changing things around, putting in what are we looking at the whole scenario. So, I say, by the way, the content pace, you know, is more deeper. And I'm talking about here, who must a lightweight content management.

Because I'm recognizing that still, this is statistics that I was looking at the other week.

Can't remember who it well, so forgive me on this. But still, only 20 to 30% of the processes are automated.

This means that there's still 70% of processes that are carried out by people.

So, they need some degree of work instruction, some procedures, et cetera, and the procedures needs to be versioned.

Therefore, we need some degree of content management in there.

So, I, my assertion, is that, what we're seeing is a new, Played revive ATMS, re-emergence because all of the core competencies are all required.

Bob, the value isn't by having automation of the cool.

It's actually having modeling at the cool.

And, I'm obviously not the only one that thinks this, so, I've thought that, you know, in case some of you had questions.

But, it might be worth just, taking a step back, just for a few minutes, saying, Well, OK.

Is anyone taking this modeling centric based approach?

And the answer is, yeah, there are four vendors that spring, to my mind, that have done it to one way, shape, or another, scenario.

You know, many of you be familiar with, obviously with the sap acquisition, but if you think about it, that was exactly ..., work with the Business Transformation Suite. They were covering the modeling of the mining.

And some automation, and I'll come back to that, some automation patient in a moment. Software AG has been very soon centered around this for a long time.

GB check kind is out and I put them there because if you go looking at the website, then they'll look to have most of the pieces and the date on the automation area, know, they're doing pretty well in the rankings of their automation, pizza, low, high graphics, some of you will have seen recently acquired a process mining vendor, putting all those pieces together.

So the four that I've picked on, offer some degree of automation.

Now obviously the strongest mainstream automation, there is software AG, which I would argue is both strengths and a weakness.

Because if you've invested in that full-blown automation of software AG, you could be becoming a little trapped, you know, by my previous graphic. But in the case of the ...

graphics and as you recheck, it's less about automation to compete with mainstream automation products.

Is firstly about, say, no, actually, we spend all this time talking about process improvement.

And so often, those of us that do process improvement, don't spend much time improving the process, the process improvement, or we talk about automation, but we don't look at automating the work that we do in process improvement.

So a lot of the automation that the modeling tool vendors are providing is around that human workflow.

So, the human workflow, oh, well, here's how we can make sure we're getting the right versions. And work instructions out, in the right places, is how we're reviewing processes on a regular basis. And that's the stock for a little bit of information.

But what's been fascinating, and certainly saw it in a couple of these vendors, is actually the clients themselves and say, Well, actually, you know, that lightweight automation that you've been providing, that's really great because, you know what? There's a whole bunch of other use cases. But I have just one simple, lightweight, human centric workflow.

Can I use it for that?

And it's bubble down.

So there are four vendors.

But in my mind, very much I be PMS vendors of the future.

Below my dotted line, I mentioned the peg the IBM.

Mark McGregor-4And then injects because you can look at it and say, Well, I mean, these guys say they've got all the pieces.

Well, you know, in the case of ..., of course, peccary is still predominantly focused on applications and anything that they're building, even though they had a modal centric approach, is still about building Peggy systems. So, whilst they kind of that I don't see that they're in the same way, IBM certainly have all the pieces.

But as we all know, is still largely leading with their automation and adding on the other pieces around the edge. The model isn't the center of the universe, in my opinion with IBM, You know, they can tell me they've got the products like Blue Works, et cetera, but it's not the center of the universe, and actually, the parts are far more loosely coupled.

So I think they're worth a mention, but I don't see them as being in the modeling based IB PMS.

The insects as sponsors today in the chalk had earlier.

I've got some interesting pieces there. Certainly.

What did some modeling through the acquisition that they made some years ago a pro map So they got definitely, you know, there in terms of some semi-professional modeling.

They've got a slight weakness in my mind in that they're not really covering the process mighty, but certainly wanted to watch, So, not to be ignored.

But those are the four that I see.

So another way of visualizing it, and some of you have seen, I've used this graphic before, in a slightly different way, is that the ...

form, in terms of that connecting people, and systems, needs to be something that gets the collaboration leverages, the wisdom of the crowd.

So, yeah, we've got some manual discovery to do there which can inform the modeling, which can then produce documentation, mobile devices, whatever is we need.

So, the, for the manual procedures were underway We can capture from customer systems and operational systems through the automated discovery to inform, enrich the modeling to get that greater picture.

Those bottles of caution then be used to drive the automation, scripting for the automation.

Either injury operation systems or out through the duties, all within the platform from a workflow perspective.

The automation, of course, connexin with the monitoring, so that we can undertake simulation.

And that's really an area of weakness for many products. And certainly not so much, so, for the, for modeling, based ones I mentioned, because, when we started to do those predictive analytics, and predicting what's going on, we want to be feeding that, monitoring data into a really rich and capable discrete event simulation. It's too often, too easy to put it into simple simulation.

So, we can pay the simulation which can inform models, and we can take the monitoring, which, you know, the lines should be the other way around, so that the monitoring is actually uniform in the modeling.

And now, one of the things that I love is watching, monitoring data, being used in traditional BPM and install models.

I'm bringing those models to life, I'm turning some of those dust, the static maps that everyone says are not worth doing into living, breathing, decision making, vehicles that everyone's using, massive potential there.

So, that combination of people, process, systems.

So, a few points I would suggest that you might want to consider when you're selecting the IEP masterworks.

As I've mentioned, please make sure that your models all and can be decoupled from the information implementation technology.

I know it sounds strange, but often the processes will outlive the technology that we're using to implement the mindset. And I use the example of RPA is almost certainly be the case.


I don't know whether you guys have come across it.

But I've had a number of people over the last few weeks talk to you about the fact that they're having to, is up.

I'm going to say in their instance, they said they cut back or stopped using opioids, OK, which seemed a little drastic.

But what they're saying is they can no longer run some of the package application upgrades that they wanted to, because when they put in the new interface, it breaks the LTI.

And then back at Square one and again, having to re run the recording, rerun all the details, reprogram the ball.

And they started all the way of descriptions of some people and our questioning, whether actually time taken to do that was actually worthwhile, not the case for everyone. And I'm not suggesting that everyone's having that problem, but certainly an increasing number of people are telling me that actually it's not a one-off cost as a constant cost.

3-Jun-30-2020-08-31-08-88-AMSome of that decoupling can help some of those things.

I talked about the fact that you've chosen IB. PMS should support and address all types of the automation that you're looking to do, all likely to do, will want to do in the future.

Don't get sucked into the, We can do it all.

Rarely, you're going to get that from an automation vendor.

Modeling vendors have been agnostic to this point for many, many years, and even when they're shipping with their own automation capability, he knows that it's only for some use cases, So even when they're shipping with that, they're providing the connectivity and the ability to feed that data into other systems.

Just again, to remind ourselves, that process monitoring is actually more valuable to the process mining.

And even if you don't necessarily agree with that, just remember that when you're applying process mining in isolation, that you're mining a process.

But that process doesn't exist in isolation. I was thinking about it only yesterday.

We talk about mining order to cash or procure to pay, but they're not separate processes if I'm a wholesaler in the in the retail type trade because I probably buy on a sign or return.

So there's a very deep coupling between my procure to pay and my order to cash.

But I can't see that when I'm only mining order to cash or procure to pay, it's only when I take those models and store them externally in a process centric repository that I can start to see how those things are going on.

Which leads onto my point for, you know, processes don't exist in isolation.

So, you know, your chosen solution needs to store, and have the ability to connect all the different types of process, that are running within your organization.

And the last point, the ability to generate, communicate, and manage work instructions is still as important as the ability to automate.

Now those work instructions are indeed, also, not just for human workers, but often now for our digital workers.

So hopefully that's given you.

some things to think about in terms of no, IB PMS is absolutely not going away.

It's absolutely a crucial piece of technology.

but actually the way that you've been thinking about and the way that some vendors or repositioning themselves in terms of being an ... player.

And I'm going to suggest that actually in today's world, ...

is not the people that they thought they were.

And with that, I'm going to say, because I, whether we have any questions. So I'm going to stop sharing that.

I'm bringing you back, Mark, We do have questions here for you. And the very first question is coming from met him.

And mats, asking If you could please expand on your thoughts on separating RPA modeling instructions from implementation.

Yeah, so the first thing to say is, do you know, they're already separated?

It's just that most people that are paying the money, you don't realize the separating. Because if we think about it.

When I buy most traditional RPA tools, they're going to give me a desktop recorder, which is going to go and record the interactions and let us not get into the tangents of well, what can they capture and not capture?

Because any of you, any of you that use Macs, will notice that, Oh, the desktop recorded. It doesn't work. I'm letting only that, as a whole bunch of caveats, so great, I've run the desktop recorder, so now I can use that to program that actually know what we generate from the recorder is, something we call a PDD. great. So that's a standard document. Well, actually, it's not a standard document. Every vendor is implemented.

The different, OK, well, what is it, Always just a structured Word document that you give to the developer who, then goes into the RPA development environment.

And uses that to tell him what to program?

I want a minute.

So that package that you told me, was there, It was already totally separated.

But while I'm driving at here as well, if that's the case, then you know what?

I might as well say, hey, I don't want to be limited to your desktop recorder, mister RPA vendor.

There's only working in generating your paydays, I may as well.

Look at a third party ...

mining tool that can work, shall we say, either from the cloud or on, and work in all the environments.

Oh, I can generate the PDF, is going to do that, that's capable of being used by all of the different vendors, Rather than just one.

And, uh, Mark on the discussions related to Intelligent Business Process Management, Intelligent Automation, in general.

one of the questions that came up, that I thought was quite interesting was about your perspective with we have been kind of liking in pandemic modes of where everything has accelerated for now a couple of years. And, if you look back, what do you see happening in the industry that they're ahead. What kind of trains have emerged in the last couple of years that you have noticed, and not only really related to RPA, process mining, intelligent automation, in general, what do you see?

So, I think that would say I mean, the whole thing is fascinating and exciting.

So somebody says that, whoops, we've obviously seen a lot more of the the increase of shall we say, digital the application of digital workers.

Now, this is one that you know I've followed for many years, and I'm just totally PPM next few years ago.

Because I think that I love the fact that we need to think about human resources for digital workers.

You know, if I'm going to interview you, I have my interview questions. I asked you, what your skills are, we tell you what the job description is. I provide you with training.

Well, she did that for digital workers to That's right. But let's carry it all. But I don't, I'm sorry, but you could have a performance appraisal every year. We get to check back whether you're delivering what you thought you were doing on, you know, I'm really sorry, but you're not delivering as I So we need to let you go.

So I'm now going to bring someone, new owner, retrain them, or you were coming, you know, you and I are of a certain age and who knows how long before we say you're not wearing for retirement?

Do you know what that hire to retire approach? Is. everyone talks about, we need the same for our digital workers. Now, whether that's an RPA based system or any honest. We need the same things. And we've not put those in place.

I think one of the biggest challenges that I've seen around digital workers in the pandemic world and it's, I think is becoming a bigger issue for Millennials and I think that in this instance is one where big thumbs up is the issue of trust.

Oh, right, you're going to put all these systems in Because you don't trust me. Well, if you don't trust me, you know, I don't trust it.

And I think that it's great to see some of these debates that. We've got going on about trust and reminding people that trust is a two-way street.

Screenshot (4)And when you and I were talking in Amsterdam, and we were both chuckling, and many of the people on this call are going to be falling into the trap, that so much of the money that they have spent on the automation systems, the rules.

It's because somebody didn't trust somebody.

And that's actually with better education, better trust and better communication.

They can solve many of the process problems. They can eliminate waste because they're creating work for the sake of it.

And they don't even need to do the automation, but no longer are we actually willing to have the adult discussions.

And I think that's where I'm going to give credit to the millennials because I think with the great resignation and such like going on, we're going to see that there are going to be a local leadership teams that are going to have to come back and say, you know, these systems to monitor this, these systems to dictate that.

Maybe that's what's causing us to lose people.

And so, the great opportunity.

But I think great to be having some intelligent debate over what's going on.

And the second point that I would make, no, I made this point in Amsterdam, is, I get a little tired about hearing about intelligent automation.

Cause very few people of show me any intelligence in their automation.

Know, I build expert systems in the 19 nineties, and I haven't seen anything that anyone is showing me that isn't similar, that expert system.

And that someone may end up this, we had to sit down and write down all of the things that might go on.

Yes. I agree. The system worked out and said, Oh, this happens. It means that, Someone had to give me all the conditions. It didn't think for itself. It wasn't overly intelligent.

This is such a terrific point, Mark, because we have been around for awhile, and we have seen a lot of different waves of automation come through, and intelligent automation come through.

But, if we look at, and if we believe some of the numbers on digital transformation failures, and Brent Kirsch, he asked from Shell just before your talk was discussing around 84% fader.

But, you know, the failure rates are high, but if you and I look at those failures, they are most often driven by bye by some missing component on the human connection, right?

And it's not alike because the Intel, the AI system, the SEP hana, ERP with advanced artificial intelligence fail, it is because people have a hard time, you know, trusting, collaborating, effectively, understanding what their current process even is. I mean, some really basic stuff that has nothing to do with technology. I mean, why? Why have we been so stuck, Can you be it? Because we're focusing too much on technology, and we're missing some of this fundamental things that we keep? Like, say, technology is going to take care of those fundamental things, and it doesn't. I'm curious about your perspective on that.

Yeah. I mean, well, I'll be interested. So I'll give you a perspective would be interesting to see whether it mirrors what you're seeing yourselves.

So if we go back 20 years, we both did a lot of the operational excellence, Lean six Sigma, all of those conferences, where we did for a long time.

And it was like, um, a deathmatch, right, for a software vendor, to go an exhibit.

Because most of Black Belt is actually where I got the automation stuff. I was like, no, no, no, no.

It was it was heresy.

Need, I can do it all on the back of a cigarette packet. We don't, we don't document anything.

OK, that's interesting.

And then we go to the technology conferences. Process, solid states, just, analysis, design, no, no, we don't need to. Let me show you how to build system.

So, we've got one group of people that are so focused on building the system.

Now, in fairness, that's probably, you know, we go back to that communication thing is because they can't figure out how to be trusted by the process.

people who can't actually give them the information in the way that they want. When they do give them the information from the IT perspective.

Then we're going to show them a BPM end model.

This is, this is how it's done.

And, you know, we've been around long enough, and I always use the data modeling analogy because I think it really drives it home.

I've never met CEO that can't draw a conceptual data model.

Our customers, they give me orders, I get cash, box, line, box line, and he can explain the data model of his business.

Then someone said, well, that's not a real, denouement yesterday's. Yeah, well, what about the 1 to 1 1? He doesn't care.

For him to explain his business, He doesn't need more detail.

So it gives it to a data model. So the data model that says, right, well, OK, you know, we're going to have a primary key here.

There's a 1 to 1 management draws out the logical data model, which can share widely with application changes or other data models. And I've always just, that's great, we can agree that that's our Logical Data model.

The DVA says, well, there's no way, I'm going to go and implement that.

It's great.

But I need a more detailed model that's properly tuned because we're going to implement and Oracle.

So, he goes the add some extra keys here, or moves things around that to optimize that model physical model for Oracle.

Now, someone says, well, that's OK, but I'm implemented. And in Brazil, we use SQL Server. So I'm going to take that same logical model and I'm going to create a new physical model.

With all the detail to implement it. And it works well, and they all connect together. We tell the story.

Why is it in process that we have to make the CEO understand how to read a physical data model, that we're using to implement the system?

And, we say that anyone in process, you know, the six Sigma, I believe was, was that don't understand that just being stupid, and you can make me understand, I need to you have given me a model that no longer represents what I do.

Why don't we separate the concerns if we separated the concerns?

Everyone could talk at a level that each of them understood, everyone can then create a more detailed view.

I like some language, though.

You know, years ago when I was at mega, they use language made a lot of sense and said, Look, we shouldn't be using the method of inheritance we should be using the language of described by.

So, this conceptual model with blue lines and green boxes is described by this logical model.

Which, for argument's sake is going to use an ELD notation which is described by this BPM and mobile.

Oh, right, so they don't even need to be the same notation, because it's a described by relationship, but we get so hung opposite, but I'm clever than I've done my PHD, I've read all the books, I can make it different.

And then we say, Well, if you can do that, you do that. We're doing that over there.

What's changing today is that now, people are saying, Well, actually, yeah, we're doing the Lean and six Sigma, and we should look at how to bring, and we started to bring in that automation, so the low code, no code.

And the lights and more collaborative process modeling solutions, I see are finally causing the traditional process improvement community to recognize that all usable valuable tools, which they can use to address the problems that they perceive and not be forced to use.

The overweight, overly heavy, prescriptive technology tooling they were told to use, and they could work to their own roadmap and timeframe. Not somebody else's.

Mark, you got a great coverage there. Appreciate that. I mean, we, it's always amazing how time flies when I'm talking to you, it's always a masterclass and I really very much appreciate your insights and you as a leader. So thank you so much on, behalf of our Global Community Today. Grateful, to have you share your wisdom and expertise.

My pleasure.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mark MacGregor always a masterclass on the history on the, on the people and the processes and technology and systems that are required for true Intelligent Business Process Management. We're going to be taking a break now. And we're gonna come we're going to be back at the top of the hour with a wrap up on great enduring organizations and how do they leverage ideas, methods, technologists, and people for outstanding performance. So, I'll see you back at the top of the hour for our final wrap up session.


About the Author

more-Apr-20-2022-04-16-43-02-PMMark McGregor,
Author, Performance & Business Coach


A former Research Director at leading IT industry analysis firm Gartner, Mark has an extensive background in enterprise architecture, business process management, and change management, having held executive positions with a number of technology companies.

Mark has authored or co-authored four books on business and process management, including “Thrive! How to Succeed in the Age of the Customer” and “In Search of BPM Excellence” and  “People-Centric Process Management.  Widely respected for his knowledge and views on business change, he is the creator of “Next Practice” and has variously been described as a ”BPM Guru”, a “Thought Leader” and a “Master of Mindset”. 

Mark is passionate about the people aspects of change, he has spent much of the last ten years traveling the world, learning, teaching, and researching the cultural aspects of change and how executives perceive business and process improvement In this capacity he has literally taught hundreds of people and been fortunate to interview and interact with many CEO’s.


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