Most BPM practitioners already know that social networks and analytics play an important role in today’s BPM suites. Here’s how:

  • Social BPM provides an effective way to bring more workers into process discovery. This is true both for the “as-is” phase and, more importantly, for the “to-be” effort. The result? More voices are heard and more knowledge gets captured, providing better insights into process improvement and transformation. This leads to more buy-in from workers. Plus, companies can go to social BPM sites, like IBM Blueworks Live, and share process best practices, frameworks, and code with others outside their company. In short, social BPM helps expand the inputs during process discovery.
  • Analytics provide performance metrics and KPIs during the optimization phase. This gives business and IT leaders more insight into operations. For example, the business can quickly spot bottlenecks and take action, monitor customer service levels, track how top-tier customers are served, and determine if SLAs are met. Using analytics to monitor performance greatly enhances the value of BPMS from the executive perspective.

But BPMS vendors and practitioners also miss the boat.  Yes, they use social for discovery and analytics for optimization, but they are leaving both out of the execution phase. For example, what if organizations also did this:

  • Expand processes to monitor social sentiment to catch issues with the work itself and drive better outcomes. Organizations can then take specific steps to remediate issues when, for example, customer dissatisfaction surfaces or product defects arise. By adding social analysis to processes when they execute, companies can be much smarter about what customers, partners, suppliers, and competitors are saying and how the process should respond given these new inputs.
  • Add analytics to process execution to become smarter about the work. For example, by adding analytics to the execution engine, companies could support next best action and next best offer for customer service and call center operations. In this scenario, analytics don’t simply provide metrics about process performance, but instead drive how the process unfolds.

This vision is great, but here’s the problem: Very few BPM practitioners understand how to use analytical tools like next best action, and very few data pros understand business processes. The biggest challenge isn’t to extend social and analytics for process execution; that can be done. The challenge is to find people who know how to put data and process together.

Once you tackle the skills and add social and analytics to process automation, the insights you gain about your customers, products, and competitors and factor into your processes could expand exponentially.