Integration World Day 2: Continuous Process Improvement, Continuous Business Transformation

Bruce Williams, SVP and GM of BPM Solutions for Software AG/webMethods talked about BPM and how it enables business transformation. Bruce, who I had a chance for an in-depth chat with yesterday, comes from a solid Six Sigma background — including writing books on Six Sigma and Lean — which makes his focus on process improvement a natural. He started with a timeline of quality management from the 1950’s PDCA through TQM, BPR and other trends to the current focus on Lean Six Sigma. There are a lot of tools and techniques that can be used to improve processes, including BPMS’ that can be used to handle the automation, monitoring and governance side of things.

He outlined three steps to process performance happiness:

  1. The “B” in BPM – this is about your business. Considering that I give a course called “Making BPM Mean Business”, I’m totally on board with this. Bruce’s points included knowing where value is created, measuring what’s happening in the business processes throughout all stages of improvement, ensuring that the voice of the customer is heard, and allowing the business to determine the goals and drive the agenda of process improvement.
  2. Build to an architecture. In addition to models, methodologies and leveraging existing systems and assets, this also includes developing expertise in process and integration. I find that the process improvement centre of excellence approach works well in a lot of organizations, which typically includes both architecture and the expertise around it.
  3. Implement incrementally, improve continuously. Incremental implementation is something that I always recommend: not only do you get benefits earlier, but the vision of what needs to be implemented will change as soon as your first project goes into production.

This was a pretty short presentation, and they moved on quickly to the customer innovation awards. The winners were Corporate Express in the productivity category, Motorola in the business agility category, Lenders First Choice in the innovation category, DSM in the ROI category, and Satyam in the partner innovation award.

Karl-Heinz Streibich gave a brief closing address; the remainder of the day is breakout sessions and the conference finishes at the end of today, so this was the last general session.

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