BPM skills in 2022 (part 2)

Do you want to learn more about BPM skills? Part 2 of the post is waiting for you!

Below you can find the answers from the following experts:
BJ Biernatowski
Sandeep Johal
Harald Kühn
Michal Rosik
Steve Towers

Now, let’s dive into the answers.

BJ Biernatowski

BJ Biernatowski is an advanced BPM Practitioner with 21 years of IT experience. He has practical experience with Microsoft Power Platform, K2, Appian, Pega, and Tibco AMX BPM, including large-scale business transformations.
He is currently employed by Microsoft as a Process and Execution Manager on the Business Operations Team.
BJ’s work has been featured by KW World, and he has presented internationally on workplace transformation. He has also served as an advisor to Fortune 500 companies.

WWW: LI profile
Twitter: @bjbiernatowski

What are the skills, techniques, behaviors, and attitudes that can help BPM practitioners create value for their organizations in 2022?

Understanding the issues driving transformation strategies can offer practitioners a substantial competitive advantage. Some problems are too difficult to solve by outside experts. Business process owners who can take on the role of a Citizen Developer will be able to provide immediate value to their organizations.

As a discipline of many pillars, BPM requires cultivating a wide range of skills. To become truly blue, or to achieve that perfect balance between business and technology knowledge, one needs to spend a lot of time building up the practical, hands-on experience. The way I approach my practitioner journey is by continuously learning about different aspects of the profession, even if that means changing teams, jobs, or companies.

Practitioners should follow ecosystems that allow them to continually reinvent themselves every few years, as many technical skills have an expiration date. For example, if someone is asked to invest two years into a specialized DPA skills development program, they may want to question it. However, a 30-minute self-learning course on RPA may not give them the breadth of knowledge they need to succeed either.

What are the best resources to learn those skills? (e.g. books, articles, courses)

For generic BPM knowledge, the BPMinstitute.org portfolio of training courses offers comprehensive coverage of all major pillars of the discipline. In 2021, I was fortunate enough to participate in BPMInstitute’s training. The depth and the historical background behind work automation was incredible. Compared to a similar course I took from Boston University over ten years ago it was difficult not to notice how the discipline grew over the last decade. Being a practitioner in 2022 requires a lot more focus on studying!

If you want to learn how to implement DPA & Low Code solutions, almost every software vendor offers courses aligned with job roles, and the amount of high-quality training is practically infinite. Microsoft Academy offers 400 courses on the Power Platform and most of the training is available for free. Practitioners beware: if you are interested in becoming an expert in BPM and DPA, don’t start your learning journey with the implementation training. If you do, you will be introduced to the discipline through the back door, skipping many business fundamentals and concepts.
If you are looking for unbiased, balanced, and global perspectives – check out publications by Future Strategies, O’Reilly and Springer. For process modeling, UDEMY’s best-seller course ‘BPMN for business analysts’ has been my favorite recommendation for many aspiring process architects. Learning from true experts in the field leads to better results.

Which skills are no longer relevant or not practically applicable yet (hype)?

I’ve seen many presentations hyping up the impact of Virtual Reality on DPA. In my view, the affordability dimension still limits the applicability of VR solutions to a limited subset of the market. On the other hand, we should be seeing more traction in the overlap of AI, data science, and process mining fields. Therefore, traditional Business Rule and Process Architects should be paying close attention to how these ongoing developments impact their careers.

What is the role of process-related skills in the “new normal”?

The ‘new normal’ continues to surprise us each day. However, the demand for strategic adaptability remains constant. A few years ago, I was trying to benchmark the time to drive a change through a large-scale BPM application in a highly regulated healthcare environment. In that environment, deploying a process change to production in 2-3 days was considered a world record. In today’s business realities, some use cases require redesigning and deploying process changes in a day, if not hours. Unless you have a thorough understanding of your existing process landscape, even just as a starting point, it may be challenging to accelerate the digitization of your organization. Thus, process skills also need to keep up with the constantly increasing pace of adoption of low-code solutions. Look for innovative ways to accelerate your process discovery by supplementing your discovery sessions with Process Advisor, Microsoft’s most recent capability of Power Automate.

How did covid-related changes in the business environment impact the work of BPM people?

The Covid pandemic
– Introduced even more business uncertainty
– Created additional work siloes by enabling hybrid working models
– Put a greater focus on leadership skills

Companies not planning and preparing for digital transformations found themselves responding to business model changes almost overnight. While you can launch a low-code app in a few hours, other facets of process digitization don’t move at the same pace. So, if speed is everything in today’s business environment, how do we justify the weeks and months required to lay the right conceptual frameworks for Business and Process Architectures? That’s where leadership, communication, and strategic planning skills can help.

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Sandeep Johal

johalWith over 13 years of Business Process Management and Digital Transformation experience, specifically in enterprise wide system implementation process design, process improvement, strategic sourcing, capability uplift, strategy alignment, thought leadership in energy, utilities & resources; finance; and government bodies across Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, and North America

Sandeep’s consulting takes him to both national and international destinations including the Americas, Middle East, New Zealand and the UK. He is often invited to speak at national and international conferences and is regarded as a contributor to the Business Process Management body of knowledge. He holds a Masters in Information Technology (BPM), an honours in Business Management and a diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

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WWW:Nano Community Tech podcast
Twitter: @deepology

What are the skills, techniques, behaviors, and attitudes that can help BPM practitioners create value for their organizations in 2022?

Rapidly (and consistently) delivering results – should be mindset of BPM practitioners today. Being comfortable that the role of process professional will change significantly when Process Mining, RPA, AI (machine learning), NLP etc. continually become mainstream.

Technical skills: deep understanding of digital transformation where business analysis will still be important. However, it needs to be reimagined. Much of the painstaking work of trawling through documents and workshops should be in systems in most modern businesses. Focus should be placed on asking the right questions just ask much as facilitating the target state.

Soft skills: I don’t believe we will be applauded for having great frameworks or methods anymore. The business world has ‘been there and done that’, most of the time walking away with minimum value. Which leads me to think there will continually be a rise in ability to facilitate, to convince and to influence. Particularly in business readiness and change management disciplines. BPM practitioners need to be involved across the transformation lifecycle.

What are the best resources to learn those skills? (e.g. books, articles, courses)

The usual sites which others here have mentioned are mine too. Also worth mentioning diverse podcasts which challenge conventional thinking: Ted Talks Daily, How I made it (Australian Financial Review), and Impact Theory.

Which skills are no longer relevant or not practically applicable yet (hype)?

I believe being skilled at collecting requirements will be less relevant in the future. Instead, there’ll be a pivot to co-creating a valuable outcome that may be obscure at first and will only be solid with collaboration. Basically, more emphasis will be placed on clever discovery aligned to objectives and targets.

How did covid-related changes in the business environment impact the work of BPM people?

People are more open to improving remotely. They bring diverse perspectives now that they have been exposed to another side of business (remote working). However, I improvement may take a little longer mainly due to stakeholder engagement time constrains and challenges.
Another thing to note is the gradual rise of the metaverse. It presents opportunities for businesses and BPM practitioners to explore fresh ways to connect, facilitate, influence and change.

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Harald Kühn

Dr. Harald Kühn is a member of the management board of the BOC AG. He is responsible for the product management and the related strategic aspects of BOC’s ADONIS and ADOIT product portfolio. Dr. Harald Kühn works in the areas of BPM, EA, their integration and the usage of innovative technologies in these domains.
He is an author of over 20 publications about various aspects of BPM.

WWW: boc-group.com
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Twitter: @BOC_Group

What are the skills, techniques, behaviors, and attitudes that can help BPM practitioners create value for their organizations in 2022?

1. Revival of Conceptual Modelling
Modern BPM approaches take into account a variety of different perspectives and views. This starts with the value proposition of the product and service portfolio, takes into account the user touchpoints in the customer journey, considers both the process architecture and the digital service ecosystem for the technical process execution as well as data-science oriented techniques such as mining and machine learning (ML). The result is a revival of multi-perspective and domain-oriented conceptual modelling (“Conceptual Modeling 2.0”), using a mix of different design, analysis and data-science techniques as part of a consistent BPM methodology. For instance, the modern BPM practitioner uses AI-based approaches such as pattern recognition, irregularity detection, predictive alerts, user guidance etc. as part of his/her conceptual modelling for digital process design and analysis.

2. Design Thinking as part of the Digital Process Innovation
Design Thinking methods and innovation labs provide great tools and creative environments to capture ideas, improvements and new approaches. As no-code/low-code approaches provide means for fast and efficient process implementations, design thinking provides means to approach process change in much more efficient ways. This is backed by a steadily increasing number of simple and collaborative design thinking tools. For example, Scene2Model bridges in real-time the world of haptic on-site workshops with fully digitized design sketches. Experimental environments for digital process innovation are provided by light-weight innovation labs and Open Innovation Communities such as OMiLAB.

3. Digital Process Ecosystems and On-the-Fly Computing
Business process designs are highly influenced by digitization. Modern, digital process designs use a plethora of internal and external digital services, online services, micro-services, pre-fabricated components, cloud infrastructure, legacy infrastructure etc. Such processes use and run in one or more digital ecosystems. DevOps brings already development and deployment tasks together. But only partially addresses the underlying complexity. On-the-Fly Computing provides largely automated configuration and execution services for complex digitized business processes, related digital ecosystems and their combination.

What are the best resources to learn those skills? (e.g. books, articles, courses)

There is a huge amount of online resources to learn and train the relevant skills. Below is a small selection.
Books on Conceptual Modelling:
Domain-Specific Conceptual Modeling (Part 1): Concepts, Methods and Tools, Domain-Specific Conceptual Modeling (Part 2): Concepts, Methods and ADOxx Tools

Free Modelling Tools:
Library of various OMiLAB Modelling Tools, ADONIS Community Edition, ADOIT Community Edition, BOC Academy Programme

Free Learning Materials for Digital Ecosystems:
Microsoft Learn, Google Learning, AWS Training

Which skills are no longer relevant or not practically applicable yet (hype)?

Any knowledge and experiences gathered in the past will influence decisions for the future. Therefore, even if specific skills, techniques or technologies are not really relevant any more, they are important to evaluate, decide on and apply new upcoming approaches.

How did covid-related changes in the business environment impact the work of BPM people?

The COVID-19 pandemic made immediately obvious what an insufficiently digitized process means. A major impact on the work of BPM people has dependency analysis. This means, the analysis of any touchpoint a customer has with the company’s processes, its related organization as well the digitized services. Important techniques for BPM people and touchpoint analysis are customer journey analysis, business impact analysis as well as value proposition analysis.

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Michal Rosik

Product Visionary & CPO, Minit

As Product Visionary for Minit, Michal defines the Research & Development direction for this process mining solution, develops close ties to the academic community in this area and evangelizes process mining benefits to enterprises worldwide. Michal previously lead Microsoft Consulting department in Siemens and was involved in several large enterprise projects as a consultant and project manager. In his free time, he is a passionate trail runner.

WWW: http://www.minit.io
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Twitter: @rosik
Twitter: @minit_io

What are the skills, techniques, behaviors, and attitudes that can help BPM practitioners create value for their organizations in 2022?

Art skills.

No, I am not insane. I believe it is about time to change the way BPM practitioners are perceived by decision-makers, budget holders, executioners, and – well – by BPM practitioners themselves. Instead of a nerd crowd, they should be thought of as artistic minds.

We can distill it down to 2 foundational skills:

1) CREATIVITY. Technology and software tools are here to make your life easier and help you; they don’t automatically solve the problems of your enterprise. They give you the tools and techniques, but without creative problem solving and a creative approach to process management, which is in your hands, they are useless.

2) MASTERY OF CRAFT. Technology and software tools are shortcuts to your creative goals, but without knowing/having experience with the longer and more difficult way, the goal can hardly be achieved. You will not create beautiful illustrations just by learning how to work with Adobe Illustrator.

What are the best resources to learn those skills? (e.g. books, articles, courses)

There has always been a gap between academia and praxis. But that is no longer the case. Scientists and professors – people behind the initial research and theories – are joining forces with companies overflowing with strong engineering skills, starting their own startups, or becoming scientific advisors that impact technological improvements in software products.

Lectures, courses, and books created as a result of these “joint ventures” are some of the best sources of knowledge. Instead of mentioning specific curricula, I’ll just mention a few names: Wil van der Aalst, Marlon Dumas, Jan Mendling, Josep Carmona.

Which skills are no longer relevant or not practically applicable yet (hype)?

Graph technologies.

Complex enterprises do not only have complex business processes, but they are complicated social ecosystems with relationships, dependencies, and structures where everything is interconnected, and each connection has its specific properties. Only once we master the graph technologies and their complexity and performance will we be able to build a true digital twin of an organization.

How did covid-related changes in the business environment impact the work of BPM people?

In the before-covid times, we have already been evangelizing the market on proper and efficient use of technologies and software instead of the tedious way of interviewing, workshop organizing, and manual process mapping. Covid is showing us that almost everything that was considered impossible (home office for the whole enterprise, contract signing without pen and paper aka paperless office, etc.) is suddenly possible. With a bit of exaggeration, revolutionary changes in the enterprise world are taking place almost daily. As a result, using technology has become inevitable and vital as opposed to “just” useful and efficient.

A poet would say: there is no other option than continuous adoption.

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Steve Towers

Steve is passionate about helping people and businesses transform to better ways, with happier lives. Whether that is individuals, teams or companies I apply proven and tested ways from the very best individual and corporate achievers to help you codify your own success, happiness and future.

Named one of the 30 most influential Global Customer Experience Experts in 2022. An experienced business transformation leader with over 40 years of success in driving and achieving organizational goals in both the private and public sectors in a variety of key ‘C’ leadership and top-level consulting positions. Recognized across industries including Business Process Management, Enterprise Architecture, Customer Experience and Lean Six Sigma

WWW: https://www.bpgroup.org
WWW: http://www.stevetowers.com/
Latest bestseller: Dare!
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Twitter: @stowers

What are the skills, techniques, behaviors, and attitudes that can help BPM practitioners create value for their organizations in 2022?

BPM practitioners have always needed a blended skillset, including the appropriate tools, techniques, technology, and people understanding. For 2022 there is an imperative need to broaden the knowledge of related disciplines (including outside-in thinking, customer experience, low code modeling techniques, and AI approaches).
Flexibility (rather than rigidity) is the watchword as organizations innovate to deliver improved business and customer outcomes. With this in mind, an adaptable and quick to apply approach is essential. Being the go-to facilitator as someone not locked into a functional silo will let the successful practitioner deliver immediate results and benefits for the company, its employees, customers, and shareholders.
Approaches like the CEMMethod (now in version14) are a great example of the modern toolkit that produces results ‘the business’ values in double-quick time.
In summary, the 2022 BPM practitioner is a multi-skilled, people-oriented, success-minded, and flexible, professional able to work across their company and partners. Contrast this with the nerdy technical and often introverted counterparts of ten years ago!

What are the best resources to learn those skills? (e.g. books, articles, courses)

A portfolio of resources ranging from books, social media contributors, supporting networks, and professional colleagues is a prerequisite for success. Additionally, the need for practical (rather than the overly theoretical and academic) resources are the ones to go for.
A great starting point is the thinking around ‘OutsIde-In’ and working backwards (as Jeff Bezos calls it). My book, initially written in 2010 and completely updated for 2021, is free (see below).
Likewise, there are books and resources from BPM Giants like Jim Sinur, who keeps his finger on the pulse of the rapidly evolving BPM universe. His blog is always very insightful and entertaining.
Extending resource exposure to areas like Customer Experience and Business Transformation is also a great use of limited time.

As a starting point, I would recommend the following resources:
Outside-In The Secret (2021 version) – (free): https://bit.ly/OIbook2022
Dare! The story of the worlds best transformation project: https://bit.ly/DARE_2022
Jim Sinur blog: Jim Sinur
CEMMethod®: https://cemmethod.com
The qualifications that use the CEMMethod® include The Certified Process Professional Master® (CPP Master®): https://experienceprofessional.com/cppm_preview

Which skills are no longer relevant or not practically applicable yet (hype)?

Twenty-five years ago, Steve Jobs encouraged us to ‘start with the customer and work backwards’ (video here). Early adopters of this approach have proven time and again that starting any project with a clear understanding of customer needs. (Don’t be fooled by the voice of customer advocates as that is more about learning ‘wants’).

The implication of Steve Jobs sentiment has been a shift away from detailed current state process assessments towards techniques that provide a laser-like focus on the customer. Combined with this steady evolution of thinking spreading its ways into our methods and technologies, the pandemic has now put on steroids the need for accelerated innovation. A recent research survey amongst European leaders concluded that leaders must put ten years of innovation into six months.
Net: Net, the top BPM Practitioners, has moved away from a reliance on technical aptitudes towards broader strategic thinking coupled with a ‘connecting the dots’ mindset that links everything and everyone to the purpose of processes, i.e., the delivery of successful customer outcomes.
Avoiding the hype and snake oil merchants is essential now, encouraging those practitioners with political where with all. You could hide in the shadows in the past, not so for 2022!

How did covid-related changes in the business environment impact the work of BPM people?

Process-related skills, including the expanded portfolio mentioned earlier, are less linear, left to right, and top to bottom. The new normal with work-life themes like the ‘Great Resignation’ place greater opportunity for the able practitioner to become a pivotal force within their organizations utilizing multiple tools and techniques. As a BPM advocate for more than thirty years, I would call this new opportunity to coin the phrase ‘The Great Renaissance’ for BPM Practitioners.
Bring forward the Art and the Science, execute quickly and build a reputation beyond the confines of traditional process thinking and practice.

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