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Is Low-Code/No-Code BPM Too Disruptive?


There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

Is Low-Code/No-Code BPM Too Disruptive?

My Thoughts:

Low-Code or No-Code primarily creates a herd of “citizen developers” or “tool jockeys“.

It shadows the pro-developer mode of working – by getting dirty with code, tailing through never-ending log files on a command prompt, debugging and troubleshooting itch-scratching error or exception.
There are pros & cons to the low-code / no-code adoption by an enterprise:
Pros:

  • The complexity of the implementation is masked and encapsulated by the fancy looking visualization tools with drag-n-drop features, pre-built components and configuration palette made available as out-of-the-box offerings
  • Business gets a feel-good-factor, with some confidence to incorporate the change
  • One-Stack Development Platform providing ease of maintenance / single pool of likely skilled team / one touch deployment (fast & quick with improved TimeToMarket – if all the needs are fulfilled by the platform)

Cons:

  • Adopting a low-code / no-code platform creates a single point of dependency on the part of enterprise to live forever with the product
  • Flexibility is less compared to bespoke ways of implementation (low-code platforms primarily demand living within the defined boundaries created by the platform)
  • At times, creating custom plugins or custom code adhering to the configurations/features/limitations provided by the platform – demand for additional effort

In summary, low-code or no-code platforms are like “Lego Building Blocks“. If all the model/shapes are available to meet your business functionality – that’s great. Else, additional effort needs to be considered to crafting and creating a block to fit with other building blocks in terms of design/shape/polish/color.

lego-blocks-2458575_640In a way, Low Code / No Code platforms reduce the bridge between the IT & Business stakeholder (which is also the same goal/objective BPM as a principle has been advocating & rattling for more than a decade).
So, it is not too disruptive with regards to BPM. But YES as a terminology it is catchy! And going by the buzz in the wild of disruption, it becomes important for enterprises, to innovate and differentiate addressing the C-P-Q (cost-pace-quality) factor and building solutions (faster, better & cheaper) enriching the customer experience.

Finally, whether to use or not to use a low-code/no code BPM as a launchpad for the enterprise depends on multiple factors and key ones being – vision, future architectural/functional roadmap, maintenance, cost, enterprise landscape, customer experience, customization effort (if any) etc. It’s unfair to consider Low-Code / No-Code as “one-taste-suits-all” kind of an offering for Enterprises (some may like it a bit tangy and spicy – customizations are inevitable) 🙂

Is Low-Code/No-Code BPM Too Disruptive? What’s your take?

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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Nice Read Links:

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What Processes Should Never Go Fully Digital?


There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

What Processes Should Never Go Fully Digital?

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 My Thoughts:
If we literally consider “Digital” – paper form to digital data. Yes, every process should ideally go digital to increase the outreach and improve maintainability reducing Operational Expenditure.

But, if we limit “Digital to the Disruptive Technologies and the market buzz in recent times”, the following scenarios can be considered (referring to broadcasting data over Digital Channels)

  • Regulatory & Compliance related Processes
  • Healthcare specific processes dealing with Patient Health Data (breaching the privacy of an individual)
  • PII (Personal Identity Information) processes
  • Processes dealing with biometric and Customer specific Data (Typically KYC processes in On-Boarding scenarios)
  • Most of the proprietary processes in a financial institution (eg: KYC, Customer Due Diligence, Fraud Check, Blacklist Info etc.)
  • Strategy & Legal Processes in an enterprise
  • Defence and Military Processes

In a nutshell, the Processes that should Go/NeverGo Digital also depends on the Digital boundaries set by the enterprise. It is usually tailored and customized based on business operation / geo / region /regulatory /compliance / law etc.

Mostly, it boils down to dependency on “Data Privacy
Another scenario, we also have some Processes like Pensions in Insurance Companies still leveraging Paper Forms and OCR. Its, not that, they do not want to enhance and adopt Digital Technologies to Enhance Customer Experience. But the audience, in this case, is usually of the age group 60-65+, and mostly prefer visiting branch filling a form, standing in a queue and getting a postal mail. It’s more of a regular routine followed, and can’t be changed overnight with everyone adopting new ways of working as expected.
So, it also depends on your “targeted audience” – that defines the process should be Digital/Not Digital.

What Processes Should Never Go Fully Digital? What’s your take?

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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Are Bots the Second Coming of BPM?


There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

Are Bots the Second Coming of BPM? What do YOU think?

My Thoughts:

Bot adoption is definitely growing exponentially (if not on implementation in many places, in discussions for real). Sometimes it is a bit chaotic too – as everyone leverages the buzz words like bots, chatbots, ML, NLP, AI, RPA and many more to reach the nirvana state instantly in their enterprise. It’s a good thought – appreciate it, but not all enterprises need a bot for their specific business scenario and it is a journey. It is important to do a reality check if Bots is what you need or just automation.

Bots do complement the processes and provide some breathing space in scenarios like:

  • Developing “Self-Healing processes“, where the system understands and learns to resolve an exception or issue (based on predictive Analytics and historical data)
  • Chatbots – for enhancing customer experience and round the clock support
    • Overcoming the mundane tasks of a customer on boarding process (monotonous & manual intensive)
  • Contact Center applications – avoiding hand-offs, tabbing multiple applications and tedious data entry
  • ..many more

Bot adoption in an enterprise is not a mandate, instead, it’s a trade-off between Customer Experience (if the business really needs it) vs Maintainability (with investment + supporting yet another set of robotic process). It should be adopted judiciously.

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Bots can be considered as a Segway for Business Processes. If the nuts & bolts of the Segway are set-perfectly-right complementing the Business Process riding it, it can help you cover a great distance swiftly – enriching the customer experience; else you never know where you will finally end up, it could even be the bumpy roads of the enterprise or customer sentiment dismantling it”

Happy Learning!! 🙂

Image Source: link1;  link2

What’s your take?? Any thoughts!

Does Digital Transformation Begin with Process Transformation?


There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

Does Digital Transformation Begin with Process Transformation?

My Thoughts:

Digital Transformation Journey begins with the “Wake-Up Call” for Business:

• The current system has too many challenges to deal with

• The Legacy systems are getting next to impossible from  a maintenance front

• Tough to get the specific skillset of developers in the market – for age-old technologies

• Our revenues are getting Hit YoY – time to rejuvenate our platform

• Our peers and competitors are making us run after money – need to do a complete fish-bone analysis of the system

• Are our systems future-ready & well equipped to adopt the nextGen technologies?

       •……..and many more!!

Next, follows the :

  • Envisaging the Business Model & Target Architecture (vision)
  • Defining New Operating Model
  • Process Optimization or Re-engineering Techniques (Process Transformation)
  • Fitment Analysis (Wrap-&-Renew or Rip-&-Replace Model)
  • Digital Technology Relevance/Mapping (strategy, compliance & regulatory) 
  • Implementation of the Changes
  • Realizing the Re-Incarnated System (claiming Digitally Enlightened or Digitally Transformed)

At each and every stage mentioned above the C-P-Q factor (Cost-Pace-Quality) is validated to take appropriate decisions.


Nice Read:

A detailed & insightful article on the transformation journey (by Dr Alexander S):

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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Where Do You See Robotic Process Automation Having the Biggest Impact?


Where Do You See Robotic Process Automation Having the Biggest Impact? #BPM

There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

My Thoughts:

Every Organization has two types of workforce – Head-Down Workers and Knowledge Workers
• Head-Down Workers, perform their duty based on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – this gets monotonous and routine job over time.
○ Example: If we consider a Customer On Boarding Process, it will be a performed, by opening the same form over and again, filling in the details, validating and verifying the IDs and submitting it for approval. The Reviewer, on the other hand, will go through the form details and approve or reject. There is NO EXTRA INTELLIGENCE required for dealing with such a scenario. It is a defined and a streamlined process A-B-C or A-B-D.
• Knowledge Workers, on the other hand, apply intelligence for their judgment and actions. It may or may not be a standard procedure.
○ Example: If we consider an Underwriting or Healthcare Claims Fraud kind of a scenario.  Even though there are standard procedures defined, but still a Person has to validate it based on the customer’s past history, transactions, relationship, health conditions etc etc, before taking a judgment for approving/rejecting a request.

If we map it to automation techniques/terminologies for enabling Workforce Productivity. It will be something like

[Head-Down Workers] : [Robotic Process Automation] : : [Knowledge Workers] : [Cognitive Intelligence or AI]

The journey to AI (“Nirvana State” which every enterprise strives to achieve) can be broadly classified as:
→ BASIC COMPUTING [scripts + repetitive steps in a single application]
→ ENHANCED COMPUTING [rpa + monotonous repetitive job across applications]
→ COGNITIVE COMPUTING [machine learning + analytics]

Detailing it further:

  • Basic Automation :
    • Human with tools | structured data sets | Goal: Labour Efficiency
  • Robotic Process Automation [RPA] :
    • Human augmented with Robots | unstructured + patterned data sets | No Decisioning (targeted for Head Down Workers) | Goal: Labour Efficiency
  • Autonomics :
    • Robots augmented with humans | unstructured + patterned data sets | Goal: Labour Elimination
  • Cognitive Computing :
    • End to end robots with human oversight | unstructured + NO patterned data sets (targeted for Knowledge Workers) | Goal: Labour Elimination
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI :
    • Fully automated with NO human involvement | unstructured + NO patterned data sets  (targeted for Knowledge Workers) | Goal: Labour Elimination

To precisely answer the question:
Robotic Process Automation has a great impact to business in scenarios where manual/mundane and routine activities are being performed. The task force allocated for mundane activities can be utilized for more intelligent activities.
Some of the typical use cases to cite Customer Onboarding (AML, Credit Check, KYC etc); Loan Processing; Payment Processing; Financial Reporting (periodic); Reconciliation checking process; Multiple sources of data extraction & reformatting etc.

Simply put – Robotic Process Automation is primarily targeted for “Keyboard Warriors!!” – showing vengeance with every keystroke for form data entry

In addition, most of the RPA tools have a concept of “Control Room” – a dashboard similar to a helicopter cockpit with all the levers for the Robotic Process Automation defined for all business scenarios. This helps the Business have control and have a hawk eye on the system, than presuming that control & automation has completely slipped from their hands. Control Room also helps Business to have an incremental approach to enable RPA processes in a staged manner by capturing the ground info than going with a big bang approach [which may be risky – as in some cases emotional/sentimental things are involved]

Interesting point by Siva in the discussion thread:

“Applying RPA to a broken process just makes a bad process run faster”

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With recent news on Introduction of “Robot Tax” [link]. The next impact area for Robotics will be the Financial space and enterprises will hunt for Financial Advisors 🙂

The ROBOT TAX is primarily to compensate the unemployment in the market as a result of automation and meet demands for public/Govt initiatives/programs like bridge/healthcare/road development etc.

 

What’s your take?? Any thoughts!

Similar Topic:  How Do You See the Relationship and Interplay Between AI and BPM in the next Few Years?

Happy Reading:-)

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What’s the Worst Advice You Can Give a Company That Wants to Go Digital?


What’s the Worst Advice You Can Give a Company That Wants to Go Digital? #BPM

There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com

My Thoughts:

On a lighter note;

Worst Advice: “I think you should either prefix or suffix your company name with ‘Digital‘. It works in most cases, and you won’t be left out in Digital Enlightenment followers lot “

+1 Patrick. Agreed.

The Digital Transformations Journies are more like human disease treatment. The medicine which worked for Person A, for a Disease D, to get cured may not necessarily work AS-IS for Person B. It depends on a lot of internal [DNA/past health history/allergic/any other disease etc] and external [climatic conditions, location, weather etc.] factors.

If we map it to an Enterprise, attaining digital enlightenment depends on multiple factors. To name a few: the history of transformation journies the company had undertaken; alignment and adherence to specific tools stacks in the enterprise; trends in the market; domain specific trend affinity [eg: some trends may not make sense for a particular industry domain]; employee strength; capability; leadership; timelines; vision etc..

Importantly and rightly stated by Emiel, the W5H questions on Digital Transformation [What Where Why When Who How] definitely makes a difference in giving a personal touch to the transformation and tailoring it for a specific Customer, specific Problem Statement and defining a personalized Digital Roadmap.

 

What’s your take?? Any thoughts!

Image Source: link

Happy Reading:-)

Digital Process Automation


Forrester Research has released its first Report on Digital Process Automation [DPA] Software, Q3 2017. This new category, DPA replaces BPM.  Forrester has primarily rebranded the BPM Wave as DPA [Digital Process Automation] Wave, keeping pace with the digital disruption in and around the BPM space. It marks a significant evolution from traditional BPM.

Detailed Report Available at:

My PoV :

  • DPA is the terminology coined by Forrester for nextGenBPM Platforms that sets more emphasis on low-code development, consumer-grade user experiences, robotic process automation, future investment, IoT support, and AI-based innovation.
  • Over the years, every BPM product vendor has been focussing and harnessing disruptive technologies [by cherry picking features based on customers asks and market trends]
    • on a lighter note making the Product stack Bulkier too [day-by-day the size of the BPM Product Installation kit is getting increased]
    • the following graphic depicts the way BPM Product Vendors are slicing & dicing the digital tech trends for creating a BRUNCH Meal for the Customer/Enterprise than just restricting it to a Healthy Salad of Business Process & Rules as it used to be
  • More or less the key features of the BPM that were there a decade earlier [during its inception] are getting shadowed by the competitive chaos and disruptive tech. trends/demand.
  • In addition, all the latest version of the BPM products are giving due importance to Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Chatbots/Virtual Assistants, DevOps, IoT, Open Source collaboration/adoption, Cloud and many more. Every Vendor is packaging it as an “Enterprise-wide Platform” – not just a workflow engine for a LoB/group

In summary, the DPA Forrester Wave is an evolution from traditional BPM Wave, by aligning it with the Digital Trends. As the next Gen BPM Platform sets more focus/emphasis on AI/Robotics/LowCode and many other digital trends – the evaluation criteria for the Product Vendor assessment has also been revamped. The items that were earlier considered Future Investment/Strategy has been explicitly called out in the Evaluation Criteria with a weightage value.

Note: The intent of this article is to just present my point of view on the Digital Process Automation for learning & sharing. The views and thoughts presented in this Report are my OWN and not my Employer’s. Kindly let me know your thoughts /suggestion and any correction required [if any]. Happy to address and incorporate the changes 🙂 

Happy Learning!! 🙂

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