While Salesforce provides a variety of tools to automate structured business processes, it does not provide the same level of functionality for “unstructured” processes (better referred to as “situational” processes – an unstructured process is an oxymoron). Thus, Salesforce tools must be augmented by tools that better support the increasingly complex, dynamic, and fragmented nature of work.
Anyone who is working on projects and is concerned about on-time delivery should care about CCPM. Therefore, those who should care include CIO’s, PMO leaders, portfolio managers, program managers and project managers.” – Gartner, April 2016
What if you could …
- dramatically shorten overall project duration (without adding resources);
- significantly improve project delivery date reliability;
- provide highly effective “early warning” of threats to project delivery; and
- enable earlier, less drastic, more focused responses to potential problems?
These are some of the benefits offered by Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM). CCPM is a method of planning and managing projects that significantly increases the speed at which processes can be completed, by reducing the impact of negative behavior, uncertainty, and limited resource availability.
And yet …
The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little cog in a complex machine. – Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPalProcesses involving knowledge workers are fluid and adaptable. The people involved interact in a world of fuzzy decisions, work in the gray area of abstract concepts, and tend to be highly unpredictable, often changing things and tinkering with the process rules.
A typical dysfunctional business process
The Business Operations Platform externalizes the control of processes away from individual applications. It makes them equal peers, subjugated to the Business Operations Platform layer that controls the execution of the processes, the provision of services, and the delegation of tasks or activities to the individual applications according to their specific uses and needs.
– Peter Fingar, The Business Process Platform in the Sky
You could create your own business operations platform by cobbling together disparate social, mobile, process and cloud products. Or you could simply use the comprehensive, integrated, extensible, and ready-to-go Salesforce platform.
It is dawning on many of our clients that there are many advantages to leveraging the Salesforce platform as much as possible, other than the obvious of getting more value from their licenses.
It tends to follow a progression something like this:
The benefits of using a single platform like Salesforce for your organizations business operations include:
- Decreased time to market by eliminating the decision-making process regarding what technology to use and what software to install and maintain, thereby allowing users to start building solutions immediately.
- Easily deployed solutions quickly, globally, and inexpensively.
- Long-distance collaboration and support by giving users, developers, and specialists the ability to work from anywhere at any time in one place.
- Reduced training and support costs, by making community support more effective with a greater number of participants.
- A consistent approach to applications, allowing the organization to benefit from reuse across multiple solutions—reuse of processes, technology, and people and their skills.
- Consistent use of the same security profiles and authentication methods across all solutions.
- A single place for data and information sharing through a common repository that everyone is connected to.
- A holistic view of the organization across applications, departments and information silos.
- Access to an extensive ecosystem of developers, applications and services that can simply “plug into” the platform, thereby reducing the need to reinvent the wheel.
- A single place for interaction with customers, vendors and partners.
Something to consider: Having a single core platform is generally more important than the bells and whistles it may or may not have. If a car doesn’t have all the essential elements that make it run smoothly and make it easy to operate, it doesn’t matter if the car has 12 speakers instead of 1, or 1 cup holder instead of 10.
However, the beauty of a platform like Salesforce is that if you need the equivalent of those 12 speakers, you can get them from the Appexchange or have them custom built. All you need to do is plug them in – much like you can add luxury packages to a car.
Jim Sinur is an independent thought leader in applying business process management (BPM) to innovative and intelligent business operations. Until recently, he was Research Vice President at Gartner Inc., covering the business process management sector.
This blog is an interview with Jonathan Sapir, the founder and CEO of SilverTree Systems. Jonathan is committed to bringing these worlds together with his technology Xpeditor. Let’s dig into the premise and find out the logic behind bringing these forces together.
Jim: How is the nature of work changing?
Jonathan: The virtualization of the workforce – where employee can work from anywhere – and the virtualization of work – where work may be done by anyone, inside or outside the organization – significantly increases the everyday problems all organizations experience: things falling through the cracks, lag time between tasks, and the lack of visibility over who is doing what when.