The second session of the day was an executive customer roundtable with John Wheeler of Business Processes in Motion (he was formerly with Nova Chemicals, an ARIS customer, but now seems to be offering consulting services that he gently flogged during parts of the discussion), Deb Boykin of Molson Coors, Steve Tieman of Estée Lauder and Todd Lohr of Zurich (whose breakout session I blogged about yesterday), moderated by Jason Mausberg of IDS Scheer.
Conversations ranged around people, executive committment, ERP systems, ARIS as process-enabling tool, data standards and other topics. Most of them seem to be saying that they’re “not yet into the technical layer”, which means that there’s a lot of modelling going on, but there’s still a gap to the executable part — a trend that I’ve been seeing not just over the past few days, but over a much longer period. An audience question at the end of the talk asked that explicitly; the answers were “we’re at the start of it”, “we’re in the early stages”, “not that far along at all” and “it depends on how you define SOA” (which was a bit of a nonsense answer that included BPM as part of SOA so stated that if you had implemented BPM, then you had done some SOA — another way of saying the same thing as the others, I think).
Random thoughts from the various speakers:
- using ARIS to link strategic to tactical goals, identify metrics and get a handle on costs (this was from Molson)
- business architect plays a key role in achieving agility; a dissenting opinion said that their management didn’t see the benefit of agility (which I found amazing)
- adherence to standards, both by customers and the software vendors who serve them, is critical
- BPM isn’t a fad, it’s part of a long-term push to process innovation
- use BPM to determine if people are behaving the way that we think that they’re behaving
There was an audience question about how the panel members got their senior management to embrace BPM. The consensus was to start at a tactical level, get some wins on smaller projects, then use those successes to engage the executives by showing them some real benefits. No surprises here: this is not a fundamentally different story from introducing any new concepts or technology within a company.