Appian World 2013 Keynote Presentation — A Strategic Approach to Social BPM

Welcome to Appian World 2013! I’m reporting from the Ronald Reagan Building, where Appian customers, partners, prospects, analysts, and the media have gathered to learn about BPM and the power of worksocial. There are over 750 attendees, including 225 unique organizations from 15 countries! Attendees include Appian customers, partners, prospects, analysts, and the media.

I’ll be liveblogging presentations today and tomorrow, so stay tuned to this blog. Presenters today will include Appian CEO Matt Calkins, Forrester analyst Derek Miers, and GSA CIO Phil Klokis, in addition to customer case studies and in-depth Appian product sessions. You can also follow along with the conference on Twitter, and view pictures and video at Facebook.

The opening keynote was delivered by Nick Gall, VP & Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. His topic was “A Strategic Approach to Social BPM.”

According to a 2012 survey by Gartner, the top business process improvement challenges are organizational conflicts/politics and constantly changing business conditions. How can organizations overcome these obstacles?

Beyond simple efficiency, BPM raises the bar for operational excellence. It treats processes as assets that directly contribute to enterprise performance results by driving operational excellence and agility. It empowers the right people with the right decision-making information. “Social” shifts the BPM focus from efficiency to adaptability. If traditional BPM is “doing by design,” Social BPM is “design by doing.”

Social + BPM combine to enable people to change their behavior. With social BPM, adaptability is becoming the most critical principle. The primary focus is shifting from process modeling to purpose modeling; process execution to people engagement.

“You can’t install innovation.” It’s clear that social BPM is the future. However, Gall stressed the importance of having a social strategy. Just simply providing social tools doesn’t lead to adoption; a “provide and pray” approach has about a 90% failure rate. Radical benefits result from delivering social solutions. A social strategy is the right tools for the right community rallying around the right purpose.

Gall went on to discuss the “nexus of forces” disrupting business: social, mobile, cloud, and information. The convergence of these forces is on a different order of “disruption magnitude.” He used Enterprise Rent-A-Car as an example of harnessing the nexus of forces. With their Rideshare offering (which we’ll hear more about later in Appian World 2013), Enterprise is able to migrate data from 25 different markets into one standardized system. It runs entirely on mobile and social BPM with collaboration and action on all processes for both multi-role and occasional users.

Next, Gall talked about styles of social collaboration, which range from collective intelligence (wikis) to interest cultivation (forums) to flash coordination. He referenced Crawford & Company as an example of flash coordination. Their Crawford Community social application streamlines all catastrophe-related resources management, and their Catastrophe Personnel Tracker allows for mobile claims assignment.

The Community Collaboration Cycle

  • All phases are required for healthy collaborative communities
  • Jumpstarting the cycle is harder than sustaining it
  • It all starts with purpose

According to Gall, finding the right purpose, the cause around which a community will rally, is key to community collaboration. It needs to be centered on what matters to the people, specific enough to resonate with the target audience, meaningful enough to motivate desired participation, and important enough to attract significant attention.

Gall also touched briefly on using “gamification” to improve the magnetism of social business. Gamification, a hot trend right now, is the use of game mechanics in non-entertainment environments to motivate a change in participant behavior. An example of this is Appian’s own “kudos” system, which recognizes achievement, promotes teamwork, and fosters a culture of collaboration and meritocracy.

Gall finished his presentation with the Keys to Social BPM Success.

  • Target productive social collaboration (Make, not just Monitor & Market)
  • Harness the Nexus of Forces
  • Become an expert at recognizing and nurturing purpose
  • Make the organization conducive to social BPM

Alena Callaghan

Web Marketing Manager