Hello, my name is Rachel, and I am a process-oholic. Last year, I came to the realization that I’m like a chocoholic, but for processes. (I also happen to be a chocoholic, but that’s another story.) I love everything about process and just can’t get enough. So much so, Santa Claus brought me wine glasses etched with a diagram of the (white and red) wine making process for being good this year. What can I say? Santa knows me well.

I have been supporting, implementing, architecting, selling, evangelizing, and marketing BPM software and process solutions for the past 15 years. I view this as a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Did I find my way to the process world because I was a genetically prone process-oholic? Or have I become a process-oholic because I do this for a living? After meeting my parents, you may lean towards genetic disposition like I do. No matter which is right, I count myself lucky that I get to do what I love.

I came out as a process-oholic at the 2015 Gartner North American BPM Summit last September. Since then, I have been wondering: now that I am a self-admitted process-oholic, what am I going to do about it? Decide on some outcomes, define a process, and make some resolutions for 2016 of course!

I am claiming 2016 as the year of process, and am ringing it in with the following resolutions:

1. Use my process powers only for good

To quote a great philosopher, Uncle Ben (who borrowed it from Voltaire), “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”

Process has great power, thus, it also comes with great responsibilities. With this in mind, I vow in 2016 that I will use my process powers responsibly and only for good. This is the overarching goal I set for 2016, the year of process.

2. Bring process to the people

By responsibly and only for good, I mean that I will only spread the word about the power of process in a consumable and meaningful fashion. One of the pitfalls of being a process-oholic is that I spend quite a bit of time in the process ivory tower, and I need to remove myself from it when trying to talk to everyone else about process.

In 2015, to make process more consumable, I introduced how to explain BPM in 5 words: Process, People, Context, Actions, and Outcomes.

In 2016, I will take this concept further and expand on how to communicate the benefits of process, in its many forms, and the digital business transformation in a consumable and meaningful fashion, and not in an esoteric or academic manner.

3. Introduce the next generation of process to the next generation

I guess this is a nicer way of saying, “This ain’t your daddy’s process.” Let’s keep the black belts in karate (and manufacturing). Process needs to shed the (Lean) Six Sigma Stigma and step into the spotlight for the next generation.

Process has long been associated only with standardization, operational efficiency, and extensive process improvement exercises, all in an effort to avoid change and variance (this is what I mean by the Six Sigma Stigma). Process needs a rebranding, or even better, a complete, head-to-toe makeover. It needs to start being associated with change, innovation, and unpredictable or opportunistic business situations, or it will be left behind.

In 2016, I will strive to explain that process isn’t a dirty word, and how it is good, not a constraint, for up and coming businesses and their younger business leaders.

4. Explore process for the digital business transformation

This is probably a variation of the above resolutions, though targeted at newer business models instead of newer business leaders. As I have stated before, the shift in focus from physical assets and supply chains to intellectual property and information as a business’ most valuable resource is the seed that started the digital business transformation. Becoming a digital business doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process in and of itself. As a result, for the next few years many businesses are going to be implementing both types of processes: those that are meant to standardize, and those that are meant to adapt.

In 2016, I will be exploring the digital business transformation, its effects and benefits on an organization, and how the next generation of process will see you through it.

Nothing like starting the New Year with a few humble goals. Now this process-oholic is going to run away and start working on a few of those tactical overviews to make these resolutions a reality. Stay tuned to the TIBCO Blog or my Twitter feed, @RBrennanBPM, for updates in these areas throughout 2016, the year of process!

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