Twitter and BPM (notes from Paul Mathieson’s lecture at QUT)

Last week we had a lecture from Paul Mathieson who is doing his PHD on social media and BPM. He started with a definition of BPM:

The “goal of BPM is to create a process-centric, customer focused
organisation that integrates management, people, process and technology for both operational and strategic improvement”  (Goeke & Antonucci 2011).

People everywhere are using social networks to gain value through collaboration. Organisations need to be able to also get value by collaborating through social media. In fact, social media is the ideal way to get inputs into business process management. How better to get a customer focused organisation that through business process management that gathers value from the wisdom of the crowds.

An example is KLM’s “Meet and Seat” via Linked In where passengers can view other passenters’ Facebook or LinkedIn profile details and see where they’ll be sitting. There is intrinsic value to the passenger; for a traveller from a large corporate they may find they can sit next to colleagues, and for a leisure traveller they may find they can sit next to someone with similar interests, and for the more anti-social traveller they may choose to sit next to someone who doesn’t speak the same language!

While this process is delivering value to the customer it’s also delivering valuable information to the organisation. By signing up to this facility, you are providing KLM with your information that is available through these social networks, that is your personal details as well as your network. Imagine the power of a message delivered from a personal friend as opposed to a message delivered from KLM.

For me, listening to Paul’s lecture it made me think more deeply about the business processes that can be enabled through social media. This isn’t about putting lipstick on a pig, that is, dressing up old ways of engaging with customers using web 2.0 applications. I know I’ve filled in contact webforms on organisation web pages and can see that this is less effective than a phone call enquiry, this is not quite the compelling shift to a new paradigm.

What is striking about the examples Paul used is that these are key business processes that are built within social networking platforms. While these are customer facing processes, there are enterprise 2.0 applications available that suggests to me that there is huge opportunities to improve internal processes by using the same principles.

Twitter screenshot following 3 processes

There are further examples of tweeting process models. Personally I love the idea of following the security checkin at the airport just before flying – I could spend even less time hanging around departure gates!

Another example is companies monitoring all tweets addressed to a twitter address has an automated system that searches through older service requests for similar records. This allows a customer service agent to quickly reply back with the necessary links and information.

Did anyone else attending pick up on other parts of Pauls talk?