What is BPM

As I work to prepare the agendas for the fall schedule of the Denver chapter of the Association of BPM Professionals (ABPMP), I thought it would be timely to step back and define BPM. First, let’s get the acronym expanded correctly. I still hear some say BPM is Business Process Modeling or Business Performance Management. No, to me at least, BPM is Business Process Management. Perhaps this is the simplest definition we will all agree to. As I went searching for more definition, I found that there is less agreement … Continue Reading >


Lean BPM

According to a recent Forrester presentation, Lean is the way to promote BPM. One statistic that surprised me from that is that Agile, while the most common method for delivering BPM initiatives, still comprises only 34% of the approaches. Also surprising is that 20% still rely on Waterfall. Forrester suggests all should use agile. I would say they should at least start with pilots, mockups and trial implementations on a limited scope and deliver value quickly. This seems obvious given the BPM tool set, yet many organizations still work with … Continue Reading >


Lean Presentations

As I prepare today to create a training course that I will be presenting on how to demonstrate ROI on BPM projects, I found Tom Perry’s post timely. In it, he applies lean concepts to creating presentations. Among his suggestions: Splitting large things up into small batches for focus Applying the “5 Whys” to drill down to the important details requiring the attention of the audience. Applying 5S: Shine, Sort, Standardize, Systematize, Sustain (go read his explanations.) Thanks Tom. Now off to my presentation.


Lean, Agile – Kanban, Scrum

David Anderson at Agile Management has two new blog posts that got me thinking. The first is How to Start with Kanban which lays out how to implement  Kanban for software development in 10 easy steps (I like its simplicity.) The second is Blogosphere Buzz about Lean & Kanban which is a comprehensive review of blog articles coming out of the Florida Lean & Kanban conference. All this Lean Kanban talk got me thinking about what really is the difference between all these terms. My conclusion in summary is: Lean … Continue Reading >


The Process Center of Excellence

It is time for lean six sigma to grow beyond its focus on process improvement and deliver the reality of an agile enterprise. Capping a series of articles, I explore the organizational need for a Process Center of Excellence, how it would work and the agile results it would deliver. Continue Reading >


When Lean Six Sigma Works

While titled So What is Lean Six Sigma, I think this article does one of the better jobs of pointing out the strengths and limitations of the practice.


How to Survive the Downturn

Is a downturn inevitable? Given all the talk in the past couple months, it seems that a downturn can no longer help but to become a self-fulfilling prophecy if it has not already set in. The only question is how long and how deep? How should companies approach these uncertain times? Most of the companies I am talking to seem to be continuing much with business as usual. Granted, I am not currently working with investment banks nor home builders, but even a company I am working with that is … Continue Reading >


Agile Development is so Old Fashioned

The functioning principles of Agile (and process improvement more broadly) can be found in lean manufacturing and six sigma. These concepts date back to just after World War II and include error proofing, eliminating waste, creating flow, adding customer value, and empowering workers. If you are interested in deeper understanding I suggest reading the above links and: 14 principles of the Toyota Way 2 pillars of the Toyota Production System (Just-in-time and smart automation) 5S methodology Total Quality Management Deming’s 14 points While more comprehensive, notice how similar these ideas are to … Continue Reading >


Development Kanban

I was recently reviewing a presentation from David Anderson on Kanban from Agile 2007. I love some of his ideas on sizing work, especially in separating work in process (WIP/story point) management from the release cycle. He summarizes his approach in 4 bullet points for success: Focus on Quality (fourth law of development) Reduce or Limit Work in Progress (what’s wrong with pushing) Balance Demand against Throughput (first law of development) Prioritize I think these simple statements help focus on how the principles of lean six sigma guide success. They … Continue Reading >


Cycle Time as a Primary Measure

Mishkin Berteig has a great post up at his blog titled Measuring Process Improvements – Cycle Time. In it, he eloquently details why development teams should care about and manage cycle time. It complements nicely my First Law of Development and I encourage giving it a deep read.