Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Social Media and Business Process Management Make Strange Bedfellows

Or do they? Just look at who is using and who is producing each one. On the one hand, we have the BPM industry, BPM Software is all about following rules, improving efficiency, and getting large, bureaucratic organizations to operate the same way every time for a given process. Social Media on the other hand is cool.  There is no other way to put it.  It isn’t worried about being efficient; it is led by 20 somethings that are out to change the world.  While Business Process Management and Business Process Management Software is about modelling business processes and simulating them until we can make them more efficient. Using social media to engage and grow a community you certainly wouldn’t want to design out the processes by which participants would interact and “code” them into the collaborative environment. People don’t socialize and collaborate that way. With social media you focus on purpose and outcomes often letting the means to the end emerge naturally as people engage one another.

Ok, I'm generalizing, but you get the picture. Most BPM companies are going to have a hard time innovating around Social Media because they really don't understand it or the culture it comes from. Nonetheless, the two exist in the enterprise together so of course it begs the question of how the two fit together. As an open source BPM provider, we tend to have a deeper understanding of social media than most BPM companies. After all, Social Media has long been an integral part of open source software culture.

So, now that I’ve just explained why Social Media and Social Media Software is incompatible with BPM – let me tell you how despite the differences the two can and should co-exist intimately. But what ties the two together is that business needs both.  And when we talk about software residing in an enterprise, then we’ve got to talk about how they can and should interact. 

Think about it this way - what if bpm users were empowered to improve their process performance by harnessing an interlaced, interactive, and living knowledge base and that is where a key point of interaction between BPM and Social Media resides.

Thank You for reading!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

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