APQC Process Conference

This week, I started in Vegas with huge SAP TechEd conference, then moved on to Houston for the much more intimate APQC Process Conference, attended by 150 of so quality practitioners who are focused on process. I arrived too late for the first day’s sessions, but caught up with people at the reception, then gave the keynote this morning on how we need to change incentives for knowledge workers within the social enterprise:

This is an area that I’ve been pondering over for quite a while, but the first presentation that I’ve done explicitly on this topic. I’m going to do a separate post on this including all of the research pointers to open it up for more discussion; for a technology geek like me, looking at HR issues such as employee incentives makes me feel a bit out of my depth, but it’s been tapping away at my hindbrain since I first started talking about social BPM more than seven years ago, and I’m intensely interested in some of the research that can start to make its way into enterprise process software.

We had a full 25-30 minutes of Q&A after the keynote; there is a huge amount of interest amongst this audience, and a lot of related experiences to share.

I had the huge pleasure of hearing Jack Grayson, founder of APQC and productivity guru, speak about his ongoing work as well as his skydiving experience at the age of 90 (!), and he graciously gave me a tour of the Houstontonian conference center and the adjacent APQC offices that he has helped to build over the years. Impressive and inspirational, although a bit intimidating to follow onto stage.

Keeping focus long enough to blog right after doing a presentation can be a bit challenging, but I sat in on the joint APQC/ASQ breakout session that I attended just after the keynote, discussing their research linking quality practices to quality performance and presented by Travis Colton. Quality measurement systems tend to be related pretty strongly to process improvement and BPM initiatives, and this was a much more detailed view of the process of quality management (as opposed to quality within the enterprise processes) than I usually see, and some interesting points. He finished up, quite by coincidence, with a bit on employee incentives for quality; interesting how much my message from earlier seemed to resonate with a lot of people who I talked to as well as showing up in other presentations. You can see more about their research and results here.

The final session of the day (and the conference) was a wrap-up led by Elisabeth Swan, a process improvement consultant. She applied her background in improvisational comedy to tease out the main themes from the breakout sessions based on post-it notes that people had created during each session, and give an opportunity for people who attended the sessions to speak up about what they heard there. Good interactive wrap-up, and an opportunity to hear about all of the sessions that I missed.

APQC holds a knowledge management conference each year as well as this process conference, plus a number of webinars related to productivity and quality improvement.

Fall 2013 Conferences: Where I’ll Be

I’ve had a summer of tending to my enterprise customers, but October and November are when I kiss the hubby (and cat) goodbye and head for the vendor conferences. In some cases, I’m giving a presentation; in others, just checking things out and possibly blogging about what I see and hear there.

Here’s where I’ll be this fall:

If you’re going to be at one of these events, ping me so that we can meet up, or drop by my presentation.

That looks a bit crazy (especially the part about three trips to Vegas in a month), but there are others that I’ll be missing out due to conflicts: iBPMS Expo and IBM’s IOD, to name two. Also, a couple of local Toronto events that I’ll miss because I’m travelling, including AIIM’s Information Governance seminar and IBM’s Smarter Content Summit.

Disclosure: As I discuss on my Legal page, if I attend a vendor conference to watch and blog, I am not paid but my travel expenses are covered by the vendor unless it’s in the Toronto area; if I give a presentation, it’s a pretty safe bet that I’m being paid a fee to do so. In either case, I am not compensated for anything that I write here on my blog (which the exception of the publication of my presentation slides), although it’s fair to say that vendors who host me at their conferences get more coverage simply because I have greater exposure to their products and customers. If you’re interesting in having me attend or present at one of your events in the future, drop me a line.