Social Technology causes Disruptive Change

Keith Harrison-Broninski has a new post today called “Social BPM and the new IT stack” where he considers each of his 5 principles of Human Interaction Management,and how each relates to Social BPM, leading to the conclusion that:

If you need to fuse the structural benefits of BPM with the collaborative potential of social technology, you won’t find it in the products currently being marketed as “social BPM”.

The five principles of Human Interaction Management are:

  1. Build effective teams
  2. Communicate in a structured way
  3. Create, share and maintain knowledge
  4. Align your time with strategic goals
  5. Negotiate next steps as you work

How refreshing to see someone worrying about the actual fundamental things that really matter when running a business or a team.  This industry focuses far too much on the technology, protocols, architectures, etc. to the point where people seem to forget the real reason for such technology.  Anyone who runs a business, or a team, knows that the above principles are fundamental.  The technology then exists only to support these things, whether that technology is activity streams, email, or smoke signals.

There is a particularly good illustration of the difference between a typical BPM approach of working through a list of tasks, and what a knowledge worker needs:

Peter Drucker observed that an effective executive manages their time, not their task list. In other words, they decide at the beginning of each day how best to use the time they have available in the interests of their organizations, rather than starting with the list of tasks they have been assigned and working through them in order.

A lot more is needed than simply adding social capabilities to a system that distributes and monitors tasks.  He argues that a radical redesign is needed.  Like most disruptive technologies, social networking will favor newcomers with a fresh approach, over the entrenched leaders adopting an incremental approach.  An earlier post outlines an IT stack where a HIMS layer (roughly the same capabilities needed for Adaptive Case Management) forms the uppermost layer.

Interestingly, this definition of social technology (from Paul Mathiesen’s Blog) further illustrates the divide between it and a predetermined BPM approach:

Social technology has been defined as “software that supports the interaction of human beings and production of artefacts by combining the input from independent contributors without predetermining the way to do this”, Schmidt and Nurcan (2009)

Social technology is going to change everything.  The shift we are seeing today is as big as the shift when World Wide Web entered the public consciousness in 1996.  Many articles posted currently about Social CRM, Social ERP, Social Media, Social CMS, Social BPM, and even Social BI.  What is happening is more than simply an attempt to incorporate the latest buzzword (although there is plenty of that going on as well).

It is a new year, and time for a fresh approach.

2 thoughts on “Social Technology causes Disruptive Change

  1. Pingback: links for 2011-01-07 « steinarcarlsen

  2. Pingback: Dynamic, complex processes are projects « IT Directions

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