Category Archives: interview

“BPM is only a milestone in the journey of process excellence”

With Ovum’s 6th Annual Business Process Management Forum taking place in November 2014, we gathered the thoughts of Deepa Tambe, Business Process Management and Improvement Manager at Lloyd’s Register, on her experience, her hopes from the event and her thoughts on enterprise BPM.

Firstly, something that we are always interested to find out is whether BPM experts have a mantra that they would recommend BPM practitioners to recite when undertaking their projects. Deepa has, and it is an excellent one: ‘BPM is only a milestone in the journey of process excellence’.

Our thoughts move on to BPM Forum; Deepa is discussing Organising BPM at the event, believing that an organisation’s culture plays a major role in the success or failure of the BPM project. When thinking about other case studies on the day, she is particularly looking forward to hearing from Alistair Watters from B&Q, on ‘Culture eats Strategy’, as she wants to hear his view on “transformation in the retail market, as it is changing very fast”.

With many years’ experience under her belt (or should that be under her Black Belt?), and with extensive experience of implementing business process management and improvement projects within various sectors including IT, Telecom, Education, Manufacturing and Engineering, we talk about some of the challenges of her job. Straight away, the main one is “encouraging people to use any system”. In an organisation where there is a mixture of experienced (30 years plus) colleagues, and a younger generation who are more intuitive with new technology, it is challenging to keep a right balance to enthuse all people. While younger colleagues easily take in, and almost demand, technology automation and updates, it can be sometimes seen as a complexity for the senior members of staff, who are the pillars of the organisation. So what is the best way to deal with this? “The only way to manage is through communication – at all levels and types”.

Going from the actual to the conceptual, we ask Deepa what one thing she would implement tomorrow if she knew success was guaranteed. Her answer is straightforward (and in fact echoes a recent Future of Work interview with Walsall Council): “Green Power!”. Specifically in terms of the volume of chargers and power leads, which accumulate with each new gadget that is launched. “If only we could have all gadgets on solar or wireless power, it would make life so much simpler”.

Finally, and still looking to the future, we ask what Deepa sees as the coming trends in BPM, and how to prepare for this. She replies that “social media, collaboration and mobility in terms of processes, people and technology are the trends impacting ways of working. The only way to prepare for this is by listening and engaging with people”.

Wise words, for sure. You can view all of the topics to be discussed at BPM Forum on the event agenda, and you can discuss these topics and more with Jacqui, and all our speakers, by registering today (enterprise end-users can claim a complimentary pass).

New BPM Ovum Live

The challenge of BPM: “Do more, better, as efficiently as possible”.

Ahead of Ovum’s 6th Annual Business Process Management Forum, we gathered the thoughts of James G Smith, Head of Process & Systems Improvement, Birkbeck, University of London and Tomasz Jasinkiewicz, Account Director, Bizagi. In an insightful overview, James talks about his view of BPM in the context of the Higher Education sector, and Tomasz gives some excellent best practice advice for enterprises that are embarking on BPM projects. James and Bizagi will be delivering a joint case study at the event, entitled Achieve Operational Excellence through BPM: Accelerate administration processes and improve student services. Enterprises can claim a complimentary pass for the event, and solution providers/consultants can register here. Make sure you’re there to join the biggest hitters in the BPM industry!

Ovum: BPM Mantras – please share with us with your favourite BPM or work adage?

James Smith: There’s no such thing as an IT project!

What is your job function with regard to BPM, and what are you most looking forward to at the event?

James Smith: My role at Birkbeck entails both the day to day management of our Corporate Information Systems, and the developmental improvements to those systems, and crucially the business processes that rely on them.

At BPM Forum, I am most looking forward to hearing from professionals in other industries who are facing the same primary challenge – translating business requirements from process owning departments into executable processes – because the difficulties are usually the same, but the creative solutions are often not – which is exciting as it means we can learn from each other.

Ovum: What do you see as some of the key challenges facing higher education, and how can BPM assist in meeting these?

James Smith: The challenges are almost certainly not unique to HE! Do more, better, as efficiently as possible. This is particularly true for our support services – our students are now consumers paying significant fee for their education. We aim to make their experience with us as slick as possible, minimising the impact of non-value-add processes – both in terms of how our students experience them, and the proportion of what our students pay us that we spend on them. Streamlining our processes is critical to this effort.

Ovum: Business and IT often have completely different understanding and expectations about BPM, where do you feel this difference lies, and how do you align these?

Tomasz Jasinkiewicz: There’s often a miscommunication and distrust between the two communities that impedes alignment of strategy and execution which in turn undermines the true value of BPM.

Business stakeholders come with a lot of potentially conflicting requests from BPM – strictly enforcing procedures to increase productivity; quickly and flexibly adapting those procedures which don’t deliver; measuring and analysing the KPIs with all the data in the world – but all immediately and on a single plate. A lot of “what-ifs”, “maybes” and moving targets.

On the other hand, IT quite often sees BPM as yet another integration layer. And they want everything written in stone.

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