Bruce Williams joining webMethods

I don’t usually blog about someone getting a new job, but this one was interesting: webMethods has hired Bruce Williams (who, according to their press release, is a Renowned Process Improvement Expert, but I’d never heard of him prior to the Gartner conference) as VP and GM for BPM solutions:

Drawing upon all of the company’s global resources, including product engineering, marketing, industry solutions, professional services, and business development, Williams will direct webMethods’ go-to-market strategies, solution development and customer evangelism for the BPM market.

I saw Williams speak at the recent Gartner conference, and I didn’t find that he had much to say about BPM: he seems to be a Six Sigma expert rather than having any direct experience in BPM, which makes him (in my opinion) an odd choice for what is essentially a BPM product marketing leadership role.

2 thoughts on “Bruce Williams joining webMethods”

  1. Recently, I read an article at by Richard Douglass who was once a director at webMethods. His thesis was about how BPM can improve “Order To Cash” (another new “buzz” word these days).

    He states “business process management (BPM) is a key component of SOA [service oriented architecture] that drives continuous improvement.” I couldn’t disagree more. At the very least it should be the other way around. After all, technology is only a tool for implementing process automation…. it isn’t the process, itself. Have we let the technologist hijack BPM and, in the process, allow BPM to be turned upside down?

    Recently, Steve Towers at asked whether we should re-engineer BPM. His concern is that BPM, as a practice, has been complicated by the mass of technology, standards, principles and theories about BPM, which abound everywhere. Reminds me of the old adage “I’ll start coding… you go get the requirements”.

    So what does webMethods new VP have to do with all of this chatter? Well, in my own consulting practice, I have to re-wire potential clients as to what BPM should be (customer-centric focus on strategy, as well as process) from this notion that BPM is some fancy, wonderful workflow engine that, miraculously, makes process happen.

    Somehow, we need to find a way to take BPM back from the technologists and return to what the whole intent of BPM was supposed to about….. returning the customer to the center stage of an organization’s purpose.

    David Novick
    Novick Consulting LLC

  2. David, obviously there are others of a same mind as you: consider that Gartner’s definition of BPM has changed from being about the technology a few years ago, to their current definition of BPM as a “management practice”. Although technology will likely be an important part of how you’re eventually going to help businesses improve their process, I agree that you really have to start with the business and work towards the technology, rather than vice versa.

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