This submission courtesy of BPM-C member David Broadbent Business Process Consultant from Parity Solutions.
Gartner Executive Programme – Meeting the Challenge – the 2009 CIO Agenda (published February 2009).
‘1,526 CIO’s responded to this years CIO survey, representing more than $ 138 billion (£84.81 Billion) in the corporate and public sector IT spending. Business priorities where CIO’s selected their top five priorities showed that ‘Improving Business Processes’ was top of the list, as it has been since 2006.’
They were asked two questions:
And then asked to put down their top five. For 2009, “improving business processes” ranked number one.
In these current economic times this is not a surprise. Business Process Management is no longer a ‘nice to have’. Cut backs in spending in both the public and private sectors will mean improving business processes is now a ‘must have’.
Organisations will need to look at their past implementations and ask if they have closed their perceived ‘performance gaps’. If not, then as they start a new cycle of ‘change’ they will need to ask some of the following questions:
· What are you trying to improve?
· Are you serious about change?
· Do you really know what you need to change?
· Have all the cultural issues been addressed?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions then you may be storing up problems.
What are you trying to improve?
Too much BPR work is currently re-active rather than pro-active. As a result of operating in this ‘Panic Environment’ proper planning goes out of the window. I always ask clients “what metric are you trying to improve?” Because how you re-engineer the process will depend on what metric you’re trying to improve. Think of Fast – Good – Cheap [you can have any two but not all three]
Are you serious about change?
Just getting people out of their day jobs long enough to re-engineer their day jobs is a major reason for failure of change programmes. A lack of sustained Senor Management buy-in is also one of the reasons. Change programmes take commitment from the top down or day-to-day business will swamp them.
Do you really know what you need to change?
If the application you implemented three years ago is not being used to above 90% of its capability, then why did you buy it in the first place? Was it a slick Salesman, something you saw at a conference, a budget you had to spend or it would be taken off you what? If you don’t fully understand where you are and where you are trying to get to, how can you possibly fully understand what you need to get you from A to B?
Have all the cultural issues been addressed?
If your organisation suffers from any of the following, then a new application is not going to solve your problems:
1 No Cross Functional Communication
a They didn’t know each other
b Didn’t care about the rest of the company
2 No understanding of the end-2-end process
a Focused only on their own silo
b Key Performance Indicators only within silo not end-2-end
3 No ‘Ownership’ of end-2-end process
4 Blame culture – ‘Who’s Fault’ when customers complained
5 Resistance to change
These are cultural issues and only a cultural approach to solving these issues will resolve them.
For more information on Parity Solutions please check out their website at http://www.parity.net/pages/default.aspx
Join us in San Antonio to discuss further in person with David Broadbent and other members of BPM-C. Find out more information at http://www.omg.org/news/meetings/tc/tx/special-events/SOA-BPM.htm
This contribution is courtesy of BPM-C member Robert Lario from VisumPoint.
I recently attended the OMG’s working group meeting in Costa Rica and found it interesting that there seemed to be an underlying theme to many of the conversations: healthcare. Don’t get me wrong, I was very pleased with all the questions and side conversations because my company, visumpoint, LLC, is focused on the healthcare industry. There was a lot of talk about the Obama Administration’s Recovery Act (www.recovery.gov) and the reform of healthcare that is a result of the HITECH Act (www.hitechanswers.net/about). Moreover when you throw hundreds of billions of dollars at a problem you’re bound to get a lot of attention. So now, everyone is trying to figure out how to get a piece of the pie; how to become part of this new world order of healthcare.
When you look at the problems within healthcare, you find fragmented information and processes across the country as well as within the Care Delivery Organizations (CDO) themselves. Everyone is interested in healthcare at a national level, but we need to understand that the problems must be addressed at a micro level within the CDO. CDOs have numerous disparate systems with different data representation, different applications running on them, managed by different departments. The quality of patient care is significantly impacted by this convoluted environment when physicians do not have an accurate, timely and complete view of a patient’s record. In an attempt to unify patient records, improve quality of care and reduce costs, the government is mandating that CDOs implement (EMRs) or (EHR) by 2014. This has left many providers scratching their heads given their patient information is fragmented across multiple systems, organizations, and care delivery systems.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is also a strong movement a foot to replace the traditional fee-for-service approach. In the this approach you go to the doctor, they provide service and the physician is reimbursed regardless of the outcome or quality of care. But medical issues are not generally episodes that occur momentarily but by their very nature span a period of time. As such, CDOs need to be emboldened to manage care across a longer period of time; viewing the episode as continuous care. Within a continuous care solution, CDOs are reimbursed based upon the outcome and quality of their services. If there is a favorable outcome they will receive full reimbursement, if there is a substandard outcome or a readmission the hospital will receive a reduced payment.
To support the continuous care model, the patient data concerning the specific incident must be managed over a longer time horizon, perhaps 90 days after the initial visit. To operate within this new payment model, CDOs will have to manage the treatment process and patient data over a longer time interval and across multiple CDOs. Remember that patient information is spread across systems, across departments, across organizations, and across the country. And the success of the continuous model is entirely dependent upon accurate and complete information about the patient. Therein lies the problem – there is no consolidated, complete, accurate picture of the patient at a hospital level let alone at a national level.
So why write about this in this blog? Any guesses? These problems scream BPM and SOA. These are the exact kinds of problems that BPM and SOA solve. While BPM and SOA won’t solve all the problems in healthcare, it can address many of the ones facing us today. Data fragmentation, disconnected processes – these healthcare issues are practically begging for BPM and SOA!
With a BPM and SOA strategy, enterprises can begin to inventory their existing systems, expose data from the siloed systems and create atomic services. These services can be orchestrated with workflow creating richer enterprise services. This alone creates tremendous value within the CDO and ultimately results in improved care for the patient. In addition, these services can be shared across multiple CDOs, creating a rich tapestry of choreographed services addressing the complexity of issues around the continuous care model. By exposing this information through services and exposing data, we can use a common vocabulary that can map data from different systems. Through the use of open standards like C32 and X12 that play a role in the process, they can create and support interoperability both on a data level and a process level.
The Recovery Act is creating the momentum and the push to change; it provides the mega fuel to drive healthcare to modernize their systems to address these issues. If you are skeptical about the amount of money being pumped into healthcare consider this: By 2030, about 25 percent of the G.D.P. will be spent on healthcare, it will be “the driving force in the economy,” just as railroads drove the economy at the start of the 20th century, predicts Robert W. Fogel, a Nobel laureate at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, And this is just what we spend to keep ourselves healthy. It doesn’t take into account for the hundreds of billions of dollars that are being pumped in to the healthcare industry to incentivize them to modernize. I know I am certainly incented. In a paper published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Dr. Hall and Charles I. Jones of the University of California, Berkeley, write: “As we get older and richer, which is more valuable: a third car, yet another television, more clothing — or an extra year of life?” And what’s going to make all this possible? BPM and SOA!. The only way to address the disparate disconnected heterogeneous environments within healthcare is with the flexibility and extendibility that is offered through a BPM strategy!
You can find more information about VisumPoint at their website: http://www.visumpoint.com/
For more discussion on BPM and SOA - please join us at our upcoming meeting in San Antonio, TX on September 15 and 16. You can find the agenda here: http://www.omg.org/news/meetings/tc/tx/special-events/SOA-BPM.htm
This week's contribution is courtesy of BPM-C member Paul Vincent from Tibco Software.
In mid-June, Freie Universitat Berlin hosted a Semantic BPM (SBPM) day to cover how semantic technologies (varying from rules and events through to ontologies and logics) can be used to enhance BPM. The 4 outside speakers showed some interesting variations in tackling SBPM...
First off was Dr Hartmut Strauss from the German standard body DIN, covering a business process end-user perspective. This was followed by Dr Frauke Weichhardt of Semtation, a business-level process modeling company covering OWL and BPMN type models via MS Visio extensions: of interest here was the move into MS Sharepoint as a knowledge repository for process and ontology components. The exploitation of non-semantic technology (Sharepoint) for semantic-enhanced models is an interesting crossover. Then we presented the a BPM vendor’s view of enhanced BPM (what TIBCO call “BPM+” – exploiting other technologies like CEP, decision management, SOA, visual BI and analytics). Some of the interesting BPM extensions in use today at customers include goal-driven BPM (directly relating, for example, to goals that may be defined in a Business Motivation Model), and event-driven processes using alternative technologies like state models and inference rules.
The finale was Duane Nickull from Adobe on the crossover between and the OASIS SOA Reference Architecture – where it was proposed that the main difference between business processes and services was that the latter are not cognisant of the caller’s context, whereas business processes are very much aware of the “bigger picture” (or should be!).
Overall, and this is a personal view, there are signs of definite “semantic creep” affecting BPM. Whether this is W3C OWL / OMG ODM providing high-level logical guidance for process and task definitions, the use of OMG SBVR for business governance and compliance of processes, or real-time event processing rule to provide information to and monitor the results of processes, and W3C RIF / OMG PRR and inferencing for dynamic processes – there is a lot going on!
During our last BPM-C meeting we had a great deal of opening discussion regarding the meaning of Business Process Management (BPM) from an IT perspective and how there remains a great disconnect between the way IT views BPM and way business views BPM.
In discussions, participants noted that if we take a sales view and see “business as the prospect” we can greater understand the need to learn to speak the same language. There was input that the BPM market fosters better IT to business communication by providing a higher language that business people use directly – while other “IT” approaches tends to focus on underlying architectures. (This is not to imply that BPM is technology-based, we understand BPM may or may not use technology… this was just the way the conversation segued.)
One idea from the group promoted the use of a BP Management Consulting firm as the means to help tie-in business and IT. This outside source could provide a perspective devoid of internal politics and motivations and help the company in understanding where the communication issues lie.
Be sure to check out Appian’s blog posting from March 27th which includes some amusing cartoons that could be used when presenting / discussing this IT / Business communication issue:
Next week in Costa Rica, at the OMG’s Twentieth Anniversary Meeting, we have a great line-up of speakers that will provide information on both BPM and SOA in a combined BPM-SOA agenda. That agenda is posted here: