Never lead with technology || Tony Benedict || Process Pioneers
That's problem number one: You don't lead with technology. You never lead with technology. That's probably one of the top three reasons for failure.
Welcome to the next episode of Process Pioneers. My name is Daniel Rayner. I'm the host of Process Pioneers. And in each of these episodes, I have the absolute privilege of sitting down with various industry practitioners, of process practitioners, those that are putting the power of process management into practice day in and day out across a wide range of organizations. I had the privilege of sitting down with those that are coming from an academic lens and talking about innovation in the future and trends that they're noticing.
I also get the privilege of sitting down with consultants that work with a wide range of organizations and really go deep in into solving their problems or helping them to solve their problems. So in today's episode of the absolute privilege of sitting down with Tony Benedict and Tony is the president and director of ABPMP. If you're part of the association and you may be familiar with Tony already, and he's also a management consultant, a leading major transformations, again, across a large range of organizations. I'm very excited about this conversation, Tony. Thanks for joining me.
Thanks for having me on your podcast, Daniel. So one question that the audience is eager to know is how did you get into this topic, into this world of business process management? Is that something that you were formerly trained in or qualified in, or did you somehow stumble into the industry? Yeah, that's a great question. And I would say it's probably more so of stumbling into it.
It started about 25 years ago, actually, when I started working for Intel Corporation and we were we were transitioning from one product to another, which happened at Intel usually every two months. And what was different from a market perspective, and this is important to put into context, many people are familiar with AMD, while AMD came out with a very low, low end, low priced microprocessor and our CEO at the time, Andy Grove, I would say he freaked out and said we have to do something. And so we ended up changing our form factor.
So what does that mean? Basically means that when you take a circuit board and a chip and attach it the chip to the circuit board with Gold Wire, that's a that's a processor. What we ended up doing was was creating a full cartridge. It was probably about maybe six inches long, maybe about a half inch deep and about three inches wide.
And it had 127 piece parts on the below material, which the previous microprocessors microprocessors had less than five. Wow. So in essence, what we ended up doing is we started a whole new group at Intel and I would I would call this a startup group, right? There was four people, there was two engineers and two commercial people, me being one of them. And the engineering folks were the liaison to the design engineers, and then we were the liaison to the suppliers who really needed to be certified to start manufacturing, essentially the circuit board that would go into the cartridge and then the cartridge itself, all the passives, all the heatsinks, you know, etc., etc.. And so I was in the substrate group, so we were the largest spend and we were the most complicated because we'd never done anything like this before. And so essentially we went from four people to about 150 people within six months.
And we, we didn't have what I would call any processes, let alone the standard processes for doing the supply chain planning, taking a production plan, and, and, and going from master production schedule to, you know, each production plan and six facilities, which was a lot of facilities at that time. And so that was my initial orientation to process because we had to really start with nothing and put something in place that was standard. Intel had and still does have a philosophy of what they call copy, exactly where every factory is a carbon copy of every other, whether it's assembly test or it's the fab environment. And so whatever we did, it was one process for six facilities.
So we had to hire buyers that were going to do inventory management locally, do kidding locally, etc.. And so when you're in a supply chain organization, I will say that by default you have to know a process is you have to be very oriented to it. You also learn project management very, very quickly and and that was what I would call my, my original schooling in, in business process. And it really just evolved from there. We went from we had to put in a old IBM mainframe system to do MRP, which was very interesting. We know if you've ever seen an old IBM mainframe there, black computer screens with green print, and it's almost like in their keystrokes it's not even there weren't even DOS commands.
And using a mouse is, you know, it hasn't it hasn't been invented yet. The mainframe world is now, but back then it wasn't. And then as as we you start out doing what's called low volume manufacturing, you'll do 50,000 units a week, then 100,000 units a week, then 150,000 units. And the engineering quality people are trying to make sure that all the manufacturing processes are stable so that there's basically zero defects or what Six Sigma people call six nines. Right.
You want to get to six nines in low-volume manufacturing, and then you transfer to what they call high volume. So you go from a small assembly test facility, which we had here in Arizona, and transferred to the six facilities in Costa Rica, Ireland, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc.. And then you go from 150,000 units a week, eventually to about 2 million units a week. So you're doing between 100 and 200 million units a year, and all those units are supplying the entire PC industry globally. Right. So that that's that's quite that's quite a a scaling that needs to happen from a process point of view. So we did that.
And then that led to moving to a different group and doing business process for all the other groups. And we did, we implemented SAP prior to me leaving and doing the business process side. And then I was asked to at that time and we were going through the year 2000, which probably is is a distant thought in a lot of people's minds. But everybody was paranoid that all the computer systems would, you know, shut down. Now, December 31st at 11:59 p.m.. So Andy Grove said, well, we need to document all of our processes of all the computer systems go down.
We did all that. We implemented SAP, we went live and then in the new millennium, millennium, if you will, and that led to doing more process work. And then I was asked to so there was eight of us that were asked to join a new group called the E, the E business group. And so we did all the supplier facing processes for the company and there was a customer facing sister group that did the same thing we did. And then as that progressed, we started developing enterprise architecture and I was the lead business architect and developed business architecture at Intel and really started getting more serious about it beyond just reading all the books that were out there at that time and went to a conference.
And that's how we met our prior president, Brett Champlin. And I said, Look, you know, I've got this group of eight people I know how to do business process. I may not be, you know, the leading expert in the world, but I said, I know how to do it.
And I'm wondering if there's a body of knowledge or certification where I could just kind of take that and train my staff. And he said, no, why don't you join? And we'll put one together. And that's how I got in the ABPMP in 2003. And so six years later we had our first version and we put it out for feedback. Got a lot of feedback globally from practitioners, academics, shamans, etc.
and we took all that feedback took took almost another year and consolidated all of it into version two and published officially in 2009. So from 2003 to 2009, it took that long to really drive consensus on what is BPM because I think, and you still have a lot of people that will debate this, but essentially there's a lot of definitions. Most of the definitions you see out there from software companies, they they give you the definition that puts puts it into the context of their software as opposed to what it really is, which is a very large umbrella, a management discipline.
And so we had a lot of people that said, well, my way is the best way. So everybody was focused on how in methodology and we sort of walked everybody back and said, Well, let's set what is it first? What are all the knowledge areas, what comprises business process management? And let's start there. Then we can get into common practices, methodologies, etc., etc. And once we were able to gain consensus on that approach, then then it went fairly quickly.
And so that that's how I was one of the founding board members of ABPMP. That's how the business process management, common body and knowledge was developed. After we launched that, we developed our first certification. We have two soon to be three now, and we're on our fourth version of the Body of Knowledge. That's sort of 25 years and about four or 5 minutes.
That's amazing. Thanks for sharing that, Tony. That's really interesting. I'm curious about that time between 2003 to 2009. So you're you're putting together this body of knowledge. You're as you're saying, you're catching up with all of these different industry professionals and practitioners and academicians, which is a new word for me. But like academics, yeah, I had a friend of mine turn me on to that word, so I try to use it to keep it fresh.
It's an academic. Yeah. And I like it. And so you would have seen a lot of examples of what a maybe good BPM adoption looks like and maybe what poor BPM adoption looks like. But what and you're saying there that, you know, a lot of people have different sort of opinions around what is BPM, but what is successful BPM look like? How do you know that you are doing it well and it is actually doing what you set out to achieve? Sure. I think that's a great question. And keep in mind that when we first started out, we had ideas about what what, what, what BPM was. And once, you know, the knowledge areas, you could start working on the common practices. And what we tried to do and it was very hard, that's why it took six years was focus on what works 70% or greater of the time you do it.
So I may say, Hey, I've got this methodology and you know, I've used it four times and it's work, you know, four times. Okay? Four times is not a lot. So when you get to practices for the knowledge areas, there's a process, modeling process analysis, process, design process, transformation process, organization.
That's what, what, what does an organization that does BPM do? There's a technology side which is, you know, very broad at this point. There's enterprise process management, which is the governance side. You kind of get the idea.
So you have all these knowledge areas and there's common practices in each and so in the body of knowledge, you have all those practices where we know from all the practitioners that have provided input into the body of knowledge that when you do these practices you're going to be successful 70% or more of the time you utilize. And so every year we revisit those practices and every 2 to 3 years, if there is something that needs to be revised, will come out with the revision to the body of knowledge. And so process modeling, not a lot of new stuff there, quite frankly.
I would say it's been very stable between, let's say, version three and version for process analysis a little bit, not a lot, very fairly stable process design has taken on a new meaning. And so we really tried to bring design principles into the process, design knowledge area and chapter and then, you know, you look at a process transformation and just defining what it is. So you have process transformation, which from our point of view, meaning ABPMP, that's business transformation.
And you hear a lot of people talk about digital transformation, which is really just business transformation with technology augmentation. But we have three clear definitions in the body of knowledge on what what we believe it as we took it from the Harvard Business Review. I can't remember what professor and we clearly state these are the three types and these are examples of what those types are. So we're very clear on that.
So we added a lot more in that section. And when you read that section, then you start understanding what the practices are because we start laying them out. And so when it comes to doing BPM, there's ten critical elements that need to be integrated into your overall approach. We can talk about them throughout the rest of the podcast if you want, but you can't you can't sit there and just say there's, you know, three things that constitute what makes BPM a successful.
Because there are I would say there's at least ten critical capability elements. And those capability elements have to be done together. They're strategy, there's location, there's organization, there's technology, there's process, there's data, there's human capability, which is sort of the h.r. Side of it. Skills, competencies. There is the organizational side, which is how do you structure organizations to be high performing and wrapped all either all around that or at the center of that is culture, which is probably the most complicated element that plays into the integration of the other ten.
Yeah. Now that's really interesting. So I'd imagine when adopting BPM and because I've seen organizations that will adopt this approach, but it'll be fleeting, it won't be sustainable. And it won't it doesn't have longevity, it maybe comes in and lasts for two or three years. Senior leadership changed them as a new approach.
So I'd imagine based on those critical elements, having that culture that is so important for creating that sustainable BPM Well, against all of that, all of those elements are critical for having that sustainable BPM. Why do you think some organizations do see it last between, you know, various changes in leadership and other organizations, as you know, and it never seems to quite penetrate the organization? Enterprisewide it's you know, it stays the approach of the management. The management approach stays in pockets of the organization but is never actually never fully realized the full potential that it could have.
That's a great question. And again, I don't think there's any one particular answer. There's several answers.
I will say this. The failure rate is still about 70%. So if you just take digital transformation and there's way too many definitions out there, as I mentioned earlier, most of them are our definitions from technology companies pushing their their software.
That's problem number one is you don't lead with technology. You never lead with technology. That's probably one of the top three reasons for failure. And part of that problem, if you can imagine, is leadership.
Right? They think, okay, what software do we need to solve this problem? Go find it and just let's put it in and let's get this thing solved like it's just some simple project, you know, that might be reconciled within 3 to 6 months. So there's a leadership problem there where they're not really oriented to the process itself or which process they may not even know what process the CEO may have a mental model that's different than, you know, chief commercial officer, for example, there. So there's that there's a leadership orientation, there's strategic alignment. What I found over the course of my career and it's it's it's shocking, actually very, very shocking is that many companies and I don't really, you know, point to any any particular size company. It could be you could be a family business, small business.
You could be a middle market, anywhere from 100 million to, let's say, 2 billion in revenue. Or you could be in the Fortune 2000, 1500, Fortune 50. I'm shocked at the number of companies that do not have well-thought out, well-documented strategic plans. If you don't have that, what are you aligning to? What are you aligning the whole organization to? What's the bar of performance if you don't know what that strategy of a strategic plan is? And from there, obviously, you have an operational plan that says this is what we have to do to realize this strategy. So that that to me is still shocking after all these years.
So leading with technology as a as a strategy, leadership just not being clued in on on what's really important around process. And and the third to me, as I mentioned, is strategic alignment. I think those are three big ones.
The the other is and this is this is probably tying to leadership as well. You can have a function area leader lead in effort that's cross-functional in nature without involving those other executives. For example, you can have the C CIO say, well, hey, we're going to do digital transformation and not talk to the, let's say, the supply chain executive or the chief sales executive or the chief marketing executive. You get the idea. It has to be and this is what was this is what I, I have to say.
I learned it very, very well at Intel. I've yet to see a company and not to say that Intel is still does it to the extent they did it when Andy Grove was CEO. I don't I don't think they do anymore. By the time I left there, I know they were we used to have ten year strategic plans. Imagine that. Ten years.
How many fabs are you going to build? You know, what's the product roadmap look like? How many times you're going to shrink the die down to how many nanometers? You know, they're down to five nanometers now, most companies, it's a five year plan is a stretch. A three year plan would be very welcome. If they even did a one year plan. It'd be amazing. So my point is that Andy Grove was very adamant about doing a strategic plan every year, and it cascaded down through all the layers of management, down to frontline staff. Everybody knew what and what the strategy was, and then operational plans were.
The major operational plan was pretty straightforward. And then your your department had to align to that operational plan. So that whole strategic alignment that came literally from a top down perspective is ideal. Does it happen a lot? Probably not. I would say I would be surprised if 50% of the companies on the planet do it that way. But but the other thing is not many companies like Intel started in 1971 or two and became a $70 billion a year company in a matter of 30, 40 years.
So, you know, the eyes of the world and Coca-Colas of the world and the Wal-Marts of the world. Well, Wal-Mart's probably a good example like Intel, but you get the idea your big companies like Exxon Mobil and General Electric, it took them 100 years to kind of be who they are. Hmm. So so my point and in elaborating on this is that leadership is very critical and leaders who get it, they have to understand the business side. They have to understand that there is technology and it should be tops down.
But but cross-functionally tops down, not just one functional department. And so that's that's another important thing. That's why those ten capability elements really touch every every functional organization in me in the enterprise. Yeah.
Now if we got a lot of people listening to this podcast that are working within an organization and some I guess are are in a position where their senior leadership is already on board. And not just an individual, but you know, across the team. And then there are many other organizations where there may be buy in from one of the executives, that there may be very little buy in at all.
But, you know, they're they've been bought into the organization, maybe on a project level or something like that. But how do you how do you I guess as as practitioners working internally at our organizations, how do we drive that buy in and adoption, what we've obviously been talking about, how important it is to bring the senior leadership on the journey. So let's start there because obviously process touch touches every area. So there are many people, many stakeholders we need to bring along for the journey. But how do we, I guess, make progress with bringing senior leadership along that journey? Or is it a is it too much of a battle to, you know, worth spending time on I think you mentioned one operative word there, it's it is a journey.
It's not a project that philosophically is something that takes time for for senior executives. Understand. However, the shortcut that I believe exists and you you you have to approach it a certain way to really make it an effective shortcut as you find out each executives and what they're measured on.
So senior executives whatever executive vice presidents, chief operating officers as senior vice, senior vice president, EVP, whatever, whatever that executive level is, they all get bonuses and and the people that work for them get bonuses. What are they measured on? You have to find that out. And once you and it doesn't take long, it really doesn't. And again, if there's an operational plan, it's all there, right? Salespeople, it's increases it's X increases in revenue on these products, etc., you know, supply chain people, it's
this amount of cost reduction and profit margin. You get the idea. So when you look at how people are measured, you can basically tie all of it together with one or two core measurements that will work at the whole enterprise level for the whole company. So it could be top line growth and profit, which is EBIDTA, if you're so inclined to use the financial terms.
And once, once you get that then hat and then knowing how to have those conversations with the other executives, getting them all in the same room, then, then they'll start connecting the dots and you'll help them connect the dots in that performance conversation, because at the end of the day, it's really about performance. It's it's individual performance, it's company performance. And in between the company and the individual is the process. And if you're a process person, you'll know how to connect the measurement from the company and the individual to the process. And that's the that's the key alignment.
And so a good practitioner knows how to do that. Mm Yeah. Now that's great. I was reading a book the other day. I can't actually think of who was born, but it was talking about how our senior executives deploy their strategic objectives across the organization. You know, a large bank may have anywhere from 50,000 employees, 100,000 employees plus. So how did they move this? Such a large based have so many moving parts in one cohesive, you know, in what's the word in unison with one another so that they're all working together towards that same goal.
And this, I believe, who is a consultant as well. But he's talking about how important processes from deploying that strategic objectives to actually get the COGS moving and the wheels turning all in the same direction. And I think that's so important. But you were saying at the start of our conversation, you're telling us about your time, intel and the need for understanding processes there. And yet a guy going from a certain number, I think it was 100,000, 150,000 chips every week being manufactured all the way to 2 million chips being produced.
Do you have some other wins? Are examples or case studies that you can share with us around how maybe you're working with an organization in adopting BPM and delivered significant value to what they were doing? Sure. This is when I, I moved out of sort of the pure supply chain and went into the e-business group. And so Andy Grove, again, this is back when the Internet was still kind of whiz bang and cool and it wasn't as ubiquitous as it is now where, you know, it's on your phone, etc.. Andy.
Andy basically said, we need to do all of our business over the Internet. So every time we sell chips, we should sell over the Internet to our customers. Every time we buy raw materials, we should do it over the Internet.
So I was spearheading the supplier facing side of it and there was another person doing the customer side. While the customer side was I don't want to say it was easier to do because well and even now you don't you have what, three major PC makers, you have HP, Dell, and probably IBM sold to the Chinese company. And there's there's probably maybe four, four or five companies globally. Right at that time, there was HP, Compaq, Dell, Acer. I mean, there was a bigger list. But you're really only dealing with, let's say, at maybe a dozen PC companies globally.
Mm hmm. So it's kind of easier to implement things with ten customers than it is to implement with, let's say, 10,000 suppliers. Hmm. Right. That was our dilemma. So we had the whole procure to pay write. I'm going to send you a requisition.
You're going to accept that? Yes. I can ship this product on this date, in this quantity. You you confirm it, right? That whole process and there was direct materials and there was indirect. So direct is what goes into the product you sell. Indirect is everything else.
Mm hmm. We used to we used to say it's toilet paper and everything else. We that he's those people. But it's, you know, it's spare parts for equipment and it's all the things that don't go into your final product. And so when you looked at all that we had, I think we had between ten and 15,000 suppliers.
And, you know, the first dilemma as you're doing procure to pay, the good news was as we had a direct system, SFP for direct and for indirect, we were working on a home. We still had a homegrown system. We didn't do SFP. So there's only two systems for procure to pay.
That was kind of the good news. The bad news was, what's the capability of your suppliers to transact with you over the Internet? And what does over the Internet really mean? MM So that time, you know, people were thinking, well, gee, we could just put up a web page. They go to the web page and do everything there.
Well, okay, that's part of it. But that web page has to connect to your back end system. Your essay. P Hmm. And in this case, the, the indirect system was called, I think it was called rapid.
So even though if you have a web front end, you have to connect to the back end system. So there was creating standard processes for the indirect people because they didn't have them. We did them direct materials because I was part of doing all that. But for indirect materials, we didn't have standard processes. We had to get them on a standard process that was job number one. Once you got them on a standard process, then we could start looking at capability level.
So we created three capability levels. We were doing the EDI faxing, we were faxing purchase orders all over the planet. Imagine what the phone bill is for that inter international fax numbers, right. Mhm. And that was it.
We were EDI, we were fax or we were email. Right. If you didn't. If you couldn't they didn't have a fax machine.
Some believe it or not, some did. We were emailing so then you know you, you go through that the level of capability you figure out well who can accept any electronic purchase order on the supplier side into their system. So if I send it to you electronically, can you accept it and download it right into your system, your ERP system, whatever you're using? And so we started segmenting our supply base by those capabilities. And you know, it's Pareto rules 8020. So 80% of our our high dollar volume business was worth 20% of the suppliers who actually had decent capability.
So we worked with them to end of life. EDI We went to business, to business using Rosetta at that time, which is an XML technology. This is keep in mind, this is 20 some years ago. Mm hmm. And that and we we got each transfer action. So purchase order an invoice, an advanced shipping notice.
They were transactions in SFP. We got the cost of that down to 100 bucks from like couple thousand. So we made it very inexpensive for our suppliers to do it.
And then for faxing, what we did is we created we, we ended up calling it web suite. We had purchase order invoice and advanced shipping notice. And every time we created a purchase order in SFP, it would go out, it would send them an email, they would click on the link, it would they would get to the website, they'd log in, they could get the p.O. And download it into their system directly or they could print it out whatever they were going to do on their end. Then if when they were ready to share, they could take that p.o. Click on it assigned button and everything on the p.o.
Would repopulate to the assign except the waybill number. They had to put the waybill number and that tell us the carrier, you know, basically to track your shipment. You guys probably have that. Mm. You know your carriers in Australia probably have that you know ups they use our postal service does it now here so so so there was that and then when we received the product they would again bring the power, they could click on invoice and the PR would populate. And if the quantity matched the quantity on the PO matched the quantity received, it was, it was a 1 to 1 and all they would do is submit the invoice.
If there was a quantity discrepancy, our, our buyers would intervene and change the quantity on the PEO so that when it came up, when they clicked on the PR, the invoice said the received quantity would reflect that. So I mean, it was that level of detail. So long story short, we did all this in a year and we put about $17 worth of direct and indirect materials either on at that time we called it Rosette. In that example or web suite, and we eliminated faxing, we eliminated VDI. We saved a couple of million dollars a year just getting rid of those things.
And we were 100% electronic for all of our supplier facing processes and the transactions that would reflect in your ERP system. So we were in a to buy, buy, pay, tract shipments, etc. The indirect side was a little bit more complicated, but once we got standard processes, the website we I think almost 99% of the supply base on the indirect side was on web suite. None of them had capability to do Rosetta or net XML or any of that, but it worked out and we did them fairly quickly, like I said, in a year and I mean, Andy Grove went out and like talked at conferences about it.
That's how excited he was about it. But here is the point. How did we get all these people coming from frontline staff all the way to executives to like buy into this? Well, it Intel, everybody gets a bonus. Everybody. So the bonus for the supplier facing people was contingent on us getting 100% of our purchases on the Internet. MM
And anything we did to save money was a bonus on top of that. So convincing people that we needed to do this wasn't very difficult because everybody wants their bonus at the end of the year and everybody got their bonus at the end of the year. We did it. We finished a month early. It took us 11 months to do all this. Yeah, right.
People were just like energized, excited, etc.. So again, I think that whole idea of performance, how are you measured, what even your performance review is, what do you measured, how you measured on your own performance? And if you're if you're bonus on that, then getting people to buy in is pretty straightforward. That's from my experience and I can say that in every company I either work for consulted with, that's that's I think a best practice for really getting people to buy in and aligned on BPM initiatives. Mm hmm. Now, again, the important thing to note here is even though we did that in less than a year, people viewed it as a project. So at Intel, we evolved the group to become more of a process oriented center of excellence, etc.
So there's more context that goes with what we did. But when you get wins like that, it's not difficult to convince executives what the next step is because they'll say, What are we supposed to do next? And you have to have the answer to that question. And so, as we were evolving BPM practice at Intel, it was kind of logical to move from what we were doing at a project level to what we really needed to do to be stewards of our own processes. And and again, it wasn't difficult to convince people at that point because executives at that point, they expected it. Yeah, yeah. No, that's that's really good. So that's I guess now now taking all of that history that you've been sharing with us and obviously the great wins that you've experienced and been a part of.
When we look towards the future of BPM now and there's a lot of I feel like there's a lot of exciting technology that's in this space at the moment that's popped up over the last and it hasn't popped up. It's been many, many years of sort of a work in progress. But we've got technologies like process mining, data mining, task mining, we've got robotic process automation, all of these different automation technologies. What what sort of trends are you noticing in the, I guess, the process management space? And what do you think the next two, three, five years will look like? Obviously, we're always going to have that diverse spread of process maturity, those organizations that are really leading, leading the way, and those organizations that maybe are resisting or falling behind. What would you say the next two, three, five years are going to look like? So I would say the first thing is that there's a huge resurgence and general interest and more importantly, focus on business process management as a management discipline.
There's a lot of organizations and even the technology companies are starting to realize that you can't lead with the technology. So there's a there's a resurgence in the focus on BPM as a management discipline, number one. Number two, the I don't like the word use case, but the the business cases for the technology are becoming clearer than they were, let's say, five years ago. And most companies of a certain size will have an ERP system because you need one, you need one to do your income statement on your balance sheet, log, all your transactions.
How's one data model for everything you do? However, when the competitive environment changes, going in and changing your P is not something anybody wants to do anymore. So the BPM plus BPM software has become more of a platform now. It started out as modeling simulation, then they got into analysis, they added rules, engines.
Now they have all the things you mentioned process mining, RPA, hyper automation. There's repositories with huge databases for very robust analytics, etc. And now those platforms can sit on top of ERP and you can essentially modify processes on the fly using the BPM platform without touching your back end ERP system.
That was unheard of ten years ago. Or I shouldn't say ten, I'd say definitely 15, ten years ago. The Companies that really had the vision started exploring that. Now it's it's a given.
I mean, that's what you can do. And so I think that's where you're going to see a lot of the technology side. And so all of the in the in the process world, the non value added task oriented work can be automated as long as you got a standard repeatable process, you can create bots galore and there's companies that are doing that very large companies that are doing that and they have 20, 30, 40 bots already implemented on the repeatable that are viewed as more mean menial work and it frees people up to do more value added where more intellectually stimulating type work. And so that that is a is a trend I think you'll see that that's going to really explode and it's going to go beyond just what I would consider the Fortune 105 hundred. It'll work its way down to the middle market companies that that's that's a process that's going to take five, ten years. So until it becomes ubiquitous, like the Internet, but it's that that's a that's a trend, I think, that will not go away.
I think the trend of BPM resurging as a management discipline won't go away because people realize now if you don't get process, the technology means nothing. You have to have people who understand it are stewards of their processes because it's all about the performance. It's the performance of the process that ties the individual to the process and ties the process to the organization and the process to the overall strategy. Yeah.
And so that part of it is a big part of it that and which is why we feel like we're developing an executive level certification for that reason as executives really need to be able to do that alignment between the process, the individual front line individuals, the organization, meaning the company as a whole, and then the whole strategic alignment to this corporate strategy. And so that that to me was lacking. That's why we're coming up with another certification specifically for senior executives for that reason. That's a trend. We're going to meet that trend with that with a another certification. So those are three big ones in my mind.
I do think you're you're going to see a lot more application of machine learning. And I am a little concerned about that because a lot of the pilots that are going on out there are pilots that the the organization isn't ready for the profession that they're doing in and isn't ready for. However, they've had some decent success in, for example, radiology, where they're showing that I can diagnose cancer cells faster than a radiologist.
For example. That doesn't make radiologists very happy. Those guys make big bucks. Mm hmm.
That that that's a whole other conversation. And my concern is that they're they're trying to do things in, let's say, the self-driving space where and I'm not going to I'm not this is just observation, not opinion. There's been a lot of accidents with self-driving vehicles because some people think, you know, the software can just drive the car. I've seen I've seen videos on YouTube of people sleeping in the back seat while the cars driving. And you've seen the accidents out there where people were asleep, asleep at the wheel, if you will, and they weren't able to react. I mean, you have to be very careful where you use machine learning and AI and things like that.
However, I do think there's a great future provided it's it's done in a practical manner for the good of, of whatever they're trying to accomplish, not not for, you know, using it for war and things like that. I don't want to give an opinion, but why is it even needed for that? How many different ways can you kill another person Do you need AI for that? Probably not anyway. Don't want to go there. So I think there's there's a room for that to really add a lot of value, that there's good focus and it's done in a way that makes it practical where you have good outcomes and you and you're not playing around with people's lives. Like the self-driving example to me is, is people are playing around with their own lives and people have died because of them. So
I would say it is a very exciting and interesting world that will we're heading into and I'm sure, you know, give it another 20 years time and we're going to be talking about things that we're not even can't even comprehend right now. So it's going to be an interesting future. I don't know. Yeah, we we may have you know, we may we have anti-gravity vehicles by that time and and being able to fly from point A to point B without a pilot, right? Yeah. Yeah. You know, 30, 30.
No, no, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So obviously in the over the last sort of 50, 55 minutes, we've were only able to sort of touch on a number of topics when it comes to business process management.
But I'm sure that you've picked a lot of interest in our audience, maybe for those that are learning about BPM for the first time or maybe it's it's it's a new newer or new ish concept to them or maybe they're in an organization where they don't have a very large process maturity. So these people in particular when they where would you advise they go to them to continue this learning, continue to understand what BPM can do for them, not only understand what it can do, but how to practically adopt it and embedded into their organization. Where would you recommend they go? Sure.
I obviously I have a particular bias to the ABPMP website, primarily because it's the only place you can go where there's actually a body of knowledge. And there's two soon to be three certifications that say these. These are the skills, competencies, knowledge areas you should know to be proficient as a practitioner.
There's no other place out there where you can find that. ABPMP. org that I would say do that. There's a lot of good books out there.
The the best book, in my humble opinion, the one I read that I still actually use as a reference today. It's called Improving Performance, How to manage the whitespace between organizations, as it was published in 1995 by Alan Grayson and Gary Rambler. I knew Gary Rambler. I brought him into Intel.
He is the guru as far as I'm concerned. He is the guy that told Mike Cameron how to do it. Everybody knows who Mike Cameron's was. He away a few years back and it's probably the best book that talks about three levels of performance the organization process, the individual organizations as as performance systems and human performance systems and measurement. There's other books out there that really get into it that at that level of detail, we cite him a lot in the body of knowledge or cite that book or the principles in that in our body of knowledge based on that, but that they did it before Gary passed away. They did an update on that version.
The Original was 95. There's another version that came out in the early 2000, like 2005, 2006 something like that. They have both versions.
I would highly recommend getting at least one of them. Preferably you can get the newest one because it should have all the stuff from the original. And then, you know, if this is going to be your your passion in life and what you want to do as a profession, then I would say get certified.
If you're just working on a project and you want to know everything about it so that you can be on a team and participate and understand the vernacular, be somewhat competent. You can by the body of knowledge and just read through it. If you're a member, it's free. You can download the PDF, but if you really want to be, you know, I started this way back when and made it a profession and I have no regrets in terms of doing that. And I've been a frontline person, I've been a project manager, I've worked in supply chain, I've worked in operations, I've worked in a high tech pharmaceutical medical device, health care, multiple industries. I've been an employee and I've been a consultant.
And the skill set works everywhere across the board. So it's good as a profession, it's worth investing in yourself to become a member and get certified and really go out, be passionate and do it. Yeah. Now that's fantastic. That's great. Well, if you are listening to this, please jump on the ABPMP dot org website and have a look at their certifications there.
And obviously, if you've got any follow up questions from this conversation, please reach out to Tony. I think probably best on LinkedIn. Tony, would you say? Or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fantastic. That's also on the website. I think under about us, you can see board of directors.
I think my emails up there drive straight - no spam, please. No spam, please. But yeah, if you do if you do any have any follow up questions for Tony, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm sure he'd love to dare to answer those for you. But Tony, I just want to thank you for sitting down with me today.
I gleaned a lot from our conversation. I'm, you know, furiously typing out notes here, trying to keep up. And I'm sure the audience as gleaned a lot from the conversation as well. So thank you very much.
It's been an absolute privilege. Thanks for having me. Dan. You'll be happy to come back anytime and discuss any kind of topics related to it. Thank you.