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Adaptive Workforces with BPM

An article by Roy Bruhn

Do you sometimes feel like change is just happening to you, rather than you taking an active part in it? And it is not about things like finding a new place for lunch, because your favourite coffee shop just burnt down. (A recent example from my life – thank you very much). It is about the future of work, which means of your company and your career. Forrester just released a report that shows that there is much uncertainty about how to play an active part in it, even among C-level leaders in technology and businesses.

The do’s and want’s of customers and markets are changing faster than ever and it is about enabling businesses not only to react to that but to be proactive. That is not really earth-shattering news. The more surprising it is when we see how few can agree with the following statement: “My career path in the world of automation is clear to me.” According to Forrester’s research, there are only 18% of the global information workers who can agree to that, even though we all know it’s going to happen, and the age of AI and robots is dawning.

But why is that relevant? Well, to be proactive you would need to become an adaptive organisation and you do that best by building an adaptive workforce. Forrester sees three significant areas of investment that should help here:

  • Technology transformation
  • Culture building
  • Setting up structure and processes

Investments in technology and culture shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. But Structure and processes? Is it not all about Agile and, um – being agile? Apparently not. To become an adaptive enterprise means more: Gaining insights and, yes, acting on them! Or using technology in a way that it helps to enable change – not the opposite. And last but not least, nurturing an adaptive workforce, which is the backbone of every adaptive organisation. The way how we do Business Process Management can make all the difference, because setting up structure and processes is not in itself rigid and restraining. Only if I set up rigid, restraining and non-responsive structures and processes.

In this context, the benefits of an easy to use, collaborative and intelligent BPM Platform like FireStart become clear: Instead of doing process documentation in countless static files and hide them in cryptic filing structures, you put them all on an intranet portal, for everyone to see and to interact with. Instead of following rigid silo structures you form and document swarm teams, cross-functional groups and dynamically match roles and tasks where it is required, all without compromising the governance and audit trail. In a world of automation, you need to help the business and technical staff to speak the same language. So why not use the same principles and tools that help the one team to document also for the process automation team to do their miracles, while documenting everything on the fly? And gain instant insight, data, and feedback on what works and what doesn’t?

To say structures and processes are stopping us from getting things done is like saying giving a painter canvas and colours will just restrict him or her. It is more a question of how good the tools are that an organisation provides to their workforce. Another key ingredient in nurturing an adaptive workforce is to help them optimising the structures for AI and automation. A BPM Platform like FireStart can bridge all the gaps between all the exciting things that are out there: process mining, RPA, machine learning.

However, according to Forrester our “people, leaders, and organizations aren’t ready for this revolution”, which brings us back to the finding we started with: Only to a minority their career path in the world automation is clear. Let’s change that. Let’s do BPM like we mean it.



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