BPM and Lean: Enabling the Adaptive Enterprise – Software for Change

I have been writing for BPtrends for quite some years, sharing my ideas on Process Thinking; Process improvement and Business change. As a BPM/ Lean consultant I have always had the privilege to work with a large variety of customers, supporting them in their business challenges. A great source for inspiration!

Recently I did an interesting career move. Driven by the ambition of BiZZdesign, the company that I work for, I picked up the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). I was asked quite some questions about me in this new role. What is exciting about developing ‘modelling software’? I made this move, because I believe we are at the beginning of very exciting developments regarding ‘Software for Change’.

We all know about the increasing pressure that organizations face. Many markets are disrupted by new entrants, often using new digital technologies to outsmart traditional players. Organizations struggle to deal with these developments. In my previous Columns I introduced ‘The Adaptive Enterprise’; to become better at change, organizations need to develop key capabilities (see also my free e-book: The Adaptive Enterprise – Thriving in an Era of Change). From first-hand experience, I know that many organizations still have a long road ahead of improving their change capabilities.

How do organizations deal with change today? I see a lot of traditional change instruments, often applied in a reactive way. So, when the need for change is there (new competitor; new legislation; new technology; …), what do we do? We set up meetings, mobilize people that ‘might have valuable input’, set up projects, write reports, create great PowerPoints, set a roadmap and schedule some more meetings. All to, hopefully, construct a great, waterproof plan, to move the organization to new success. Of course, tools are used (BPM, Architecture, BI) to create insights and support decisions. But my main point is: the way that organizations handle change today (meetings, reports, roadmaps, projects) is not that different from the way they changed 10, 20, 30 years ago… Does this make sense in today’s digital world?

Most disruptions are driven by digital technologies. Isn’t it therefore logical to also utilize the power of digitization to support business change? I believe this is very logical. The right technology can provide instant insights, using a wide range of models, algorithms and analytics. I am not talking about an architecture suite, BPM software, a strategy platform or a decision management tool. Software for Change is about bridging disciplines, bringing strategy, data, processes, IT, structure, logic,…and people, together. All to support fast, pro-active, consolidated decision-making and change across the organization.

It is not a question if this kind of Software for Change can be made; in principle, it is already available (and at BiZZdesign we work hard to stay a frontrunner). However, the adoption of Software for Change requires a cultural shift. For some (traditional) managers the idea of delegating the execution of strategy and change might be scary. To them I would like to say: It will still be people that make change happen. But let’s equip our people with the best insights, tools and support, so they can do their best job. In today’s challenging environment this is needed more than ever.

So, I strongly believe that the importance of Software for Change will grow rapidly in the upcoming months and years. This puts great pressure on the functionality and performance of this kind of software. In my role as CTO in BiZZdesign I am devoted to drive innovation for our platform, and evangelize the potential of Software for Change. In this column, I will continue to share ideas, observations and developments.

Good luck driving change in your organization!

Peter Matthijssen

Peter Matthijssen

Peter Matthijssen, MSc, CMC, LSS Black belt, has 15+ years of experience with Business Process Management, Architecture and Business Transformations. As a consultant, trainer, presenter, author and leader, Peter supported and inspired numerous organisations and people around the world to work smarter and cope with the change challenges they face. Currently Peter is responsible for driving innovation in BiZZdesign, in the role of Chief Technology Officer. Peter is the author of numerous books and publications on BPM, Lean management, Architecture and Business Transformations, for example ‘Thinking in processes’ [2011], ‘Working with Lean’ [2013] and ‘The Adaptive Enterprise’ [2016]. He speaks on a regular basis at international conferences on business design and change like IRM-UK and Building Business Capability.

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