What is social BPM and why should you care?
Let’s say there is a 20/80 rule between structured and unstructured dimensions in any work environment.
This has perhaps always been the case. What’s changed? Well technology has caught up, providing coverage 80/20.
Technology now makes the outside world very tangible and external influences are now so pervasive and interwoven with our minute by minute existence both in the work place and outside it. What’s more, events can now catapult from one side of the globe to the other and the speed of ‘influence to impact’ is significant enough to alter business outcomes, and if understood, can be the difference between business success and failure.
Technology, including social media, now captures the previously untapped resources of this social aspect of our working lives. Much of the ‘unstructured’ aspect of the work environment is the social dynamic that provides context, influences, and can even determine outcomes in some cases. If I am able to accommodate all these social, structured and dynamic elements then I can start to develop a true understanding of what works.
In a practical example, such as a lease renewal process, by incorporating the social element in the audit trail, we see how an unrecognised stakeholder informally passes on tacit information and significantly influences the success of renewal. Am I more capable of improving this process armed with this information?
So I suppose Social BPM, from a technical integration perspective, must mean a convergence of social media with and within BPMS.
Another significant opportunity is the possibilities of social media adding value to business process. These possibilities are endlessly mind blowing; almost an inexhaustible pool of opportunity which we see unfolding in the mainstream as we go about our lives.
One example, discussed at the recent Gartner BPM Summit in Sydney, was the travelling executive who tweeted his lost luggage and change of flight requirements to Air New Zealand only to have them respond promptly with an answer to his problems. Now you may say that was a coincidence of events, not a pattern, but I say not. What we see here is a change in buyer behaviour and expectations plus a systemic change in process from a corporate mainstream business seeking to exploit growth and loyalty in the very competitive business traveller market.
This executive is now an avid fan, but the example also highlights how businesses must use these mediums to listen and exploit.
Now if I take these concepts to businesses I deal with I start to run amok with ideas. For example, a services business that maintains parks and reserves for councils (already a very savy organisation), incentivises its staff to spot issues before the public notices. This business already runs an incident and helpline service for the public to use, but why not set up a corporate twitter account and ‘listen in’ on public comments about the facilities and use? What about a social media site where the public can upload comments, photos, likes, dislikes, meet and greet, book and share. Link this social media element to its business processes and it can leverage this to improve service, and ultimately improve contract renewal and growth.
So let’s get with it!
How would you do this? Well with XMPro identified as a key solution provider at the Gartner Business Process Management Summit in Sydney 2011