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BBC Conference 2011 Day 3: Networking and helping attendees avoid Roger

Can’t report too much from the third day as this was networking day. From Monday onwards there were so many people I needed to sit down with, I decided to do most of the meetings on one day. So today was a global discussion journey from South Africa to Norway to Canada to India to England to Ukraine.

Other than that, I still found time to listen to Kathleen Barret ‘On the future of business analytics’. Just one quick observation as I’ll be doing a separate piece on this later. There seems to be a fundamental difference in the role of business analysts between the US and Europe. What IIBA does with regards to qualification of business analysts but also role ‘marketing’ is not something I’ve encountered before on this level. Cultural? Maybe. On the other hand there seems to be a broader gap between what BAs could do and the willingness and capabilities of senior management to actually let them do their stuff than there is in Europe.

Oh yes … I also did the first formal presentation of the Process TestLab in the US. I was fortunate enough that Roger Burlton had the slot following me where he wanted to tell ‘Horror stories from business processes’. Being customer- or in this case attendee-focused I changed my presentation in a way that would help attendees avoid appearing on Rogers list next year. Accordingly I also changed the title of my presentation to ‘The Process TestLab: How to avoid being mentioned by Roger’. This may have caused some initial confusion for attendees but at least this way the Process TestLab has already provided some valuable help Smiley

I’ll point you to Column2 as Sandy has done an excellent write-up of the presentation itself on her blog and just mention that next week I’ll be posting about a couple of the slides and topics I had to skip over due to time pressures.

BBCCon11 in short: Great event, good speakers, good opportunity to swap and share experiences … glad I attended. And who knows, maybe I’ll even make it down to the beach next year.

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2 Comments

  1. Brian D. Martin says:

    Hi Thomas,

    I am one of your biggest fans, because I love simulation, and I love the idea of role playing processes before we give them to IT. I live in the Hartford, Conn. (yea, the area hit by the storm), so if you are going to Boston or NYC, drop me a line.

    Now, can you expand on the role of BA in Europe and USA. I am a Business process architect, only because we use Pega BPM and I am on the business side. The problem internally in most companies is that the IT BA in the US writes up software requirements for IT and often blows off customer needs such as usability and flexibility. They can also be tone deaf on analytics which is needed to find root causes of problems. My back ground is in engineering, love analytics, love simulation, but still trying to influence the business to come back to owning the processes and testing them. A big barrier is companies push to offshore not only business processes but also the BPM delivery which gets clouded by mis communication, oversight on basic prioritization, SLA and quality. …different note…Don’t stop what you are doing. Most BPMs maybe except for Saviion don’t have good simulation tools. …Most companies are just now beginning to put process management in place in service industries…Have a safe trip. By the way, I am in London from 11/19 – 11/20, then Paris from 11/21 – 11/22, then back to London. Will you be in London or Paris at all?

  2. Thomas J. Olbrich says:

    Brian,
    thanks for the comment. I’ll answer in more detail via personal mail but here’s my general perception of things:
    BA’s for all their methodologies and tools always have difficulty in convincing others i.e. non-tool and non-methodology experts that something ‘drawn’ in a tool will actually work the same way in real life. I’d even go so far as to say that most BA’s aren’t even that certain of success themselves. As I mentioned in the intro to my presentation, even the most seasoned BPM experts almost always experience a feeling of relief when they’ve successfully guided a process from the design stage to operations – it’s by no means an everyday occurance.
    The particular problem for BAs is that they are caught between a rock and a hard place:
    a) they have to convince management and stakeholders that their design would benefit the business (whilst secretly hoping that it can actually be implemented),
    b) they have to deal with an often enough insufficient input from the business itself – and btw undefined process and business strategy
    c) they have to get IT to understand content, context and objectives.

    This is really where the Process TestLab kicks in:
    - Using our live validation, BA’s can experience their own design before handover to IT,
    - They can involve the businss people to sign off on the design
    - They demonstrate to management how the design translate into a live setting
    And the same goes for IT:
    - IT can use live validation to ’sell’ the IT vision of processes to the business people BEFORE implementation.

    That will get you an allround buy-in from all involved parties – or at least make process deficiencies visible to everyone.

    The simulation then takes you to the next level as it will not only tell you that the process works at all and how it works, it will also tell you how it will behave under real-life conditions.
    Btw: We don’t do model-based simulation such as you find in BPM suites. We actually run/execute the process and simulate the behaviour of employees and systems. That way the results don’t reflect the (simulation) model but the executable process.

    Hope that helps for starters. More via mail
    Thomas

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