After the fantastic response from our live workshops at Dreamforce we are getting questions for Salesforce Admins who want to get going. It is really simple – you don’t need to install anything inside Salesforce to get started. And everything I am describing here is Free. For Ever. For Everyone. Elements Business Analysis App Register for Elements. This gives you access to the business analysis app which is standalone running on AWS. It is where […]

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Interview: Why is Elements free?

Richard Parker, Chief Customer Officer at Elements talks through the thinking behind the freemium pricing model and the scope of the free capabilities.

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Happier teams are more productive. Fact.

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Happy teams get more done. That’s a fact. There’s a great deal of research that supports the hunch that happier teams and individuals are more productive. CEO of iOpener and author of Happiness at Work,Jessica Pryce-Jones tells Forbes, “Happiness at work is closely correlated with greater performance and productivity as well as greater energy, better reviews, faster promotion, higher income, better health, and increased happiness with life. So it’s good for […]

Hot Vendor in BPM

[READ TIME: 2 mins] Aragon Research is an industry analyst focusing on Work and People, so the intersection of technology and business. Jim Sinur, who was a VP & Distinguished Analyst at Gartner for 20 years covering the BPM space, is a VP & Research Fellow at Aragon Research. He is covering Digital Transformation, BPM, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Each year, Aragon Research selects Hot Vendors across multiple markets that are doing something […]

MWD puts Elements on their radar

[READ TIME: 10 minutes] MWD Advisors is an industry research and advisory services firm and their core focus is how digital technologies are changing the ways that organizations and people get work done. MWD have covered the BPM space for a number of years and are therefore seen as the industry experts. Q9 Elements is essentially a reboot of Nimbus Partners, but with a more modern technology approach and a business model designed to encourage viral adoption. […]

How to do corporate #pride

Pride parades are a big corporate deal. An estimated 150,000 took part in the SF event in 2016.  So it is an opportunity to really enhance your brand. Or it could be just a way to waste money by throwing swag at people who will put it straight in the trash.  As usual planning ahead and being creative dramatically improves your bang for the buck. This blog gives you some ideas and thoughts – our way […]

The process implications of #Brexit

There are many huge implications; financial, political but I woke up thinking about the practical. There are huge number of cross-border processes that need to be reengineered – or even reinvented. Remember that it was 1973 when the UK joined the EU, so no-one except Iceland who left in 1992 understands what it is like to leave. And these processes that need to be reengineered are not just in the UK, but in the other […]

Blind men, an elephant and staggering results

[READ TIME: 2 mins] Why is it so hard to get corporations to deliver consistent operational processes?  Maybe this parable will help. Four blind men surround an elephant. Each is grabbing the elephant in a different place. Someone asks each of the blind men in turn “What’s an elephant like?” The blind man holding the elephant’s tail says, “An elephant is like a rope.” The man holding one of the elephant’s ears replies, “An elephant is flat, like […]

Survival guide for Dreamforce virgins

[READ TIME 10 mins] I consider myself a Dreamforce veteran – a repeat offender. I was founder and CEO of Nimbus who were a Salesforce customer in 2000 when Salesforce had just 2 people in their London office and there were Leads, Accounts and Contact objects. We were one of the 3 featured customers at the London event where there  were 120 delegates with Marc beating the “no software” drum. We were early evangelists. Since then I have […]

#CXfail You couldn’t make this up

[READ TIME: 1 min] A genuine post from a friend on Facebook. It’s a sad reflection of business nowadays is that my major accomplishment today was getting to speak to someone at VirginMedia that was able to use a telephone and find out the problem with our order. He also managed to retain my number and call me back. Mind this took 3 calls yesterday speaking to 5 people and 2 calls today, one of which was […]

SaaS’s dirty little secret

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Gartner research by Christian Hestermann titled SaaS ERP Only Reduces Part of the Effort Needed to Implement and Operate Your ERP spells out what many of us involved in SaaS implementations have known for a long time. Just because the application (ERP, CRM or other line of business app) is cloud or SaaS doesn’t mean that it can be implemented in days.  As the report says “Do not believe the hype about […]

Universal Process Notation

[READ TIME: 2 mins] I find myself writing articles where each time I have to explain the power of a simple modeling notation.  No swimlanes. No flowchart symbols. No palette of 300 BPMN shapes to interpret. Just a simple building block (When, What, Why, Who, How) The principles behind UPN were first published in back in 2004 in a book called Common Approach UnCommon Results. Nimbus released this as an open standard in 2008 called […]

Business is slowing down

[TIME TO READ: 2 mins] Picture: Illustration by Andras Baranyai for Fortune I am sitting under an umbrella outside a Peets Coffee shop on my super-light Macbook connected to free wifi with access to all my apps and content through a browser – on a public holiday. I am at work whilst waiting for my son to finish his flute lesson. Now, “at work” is an activity and no longer a location or time in the day. […]

Daddy, are you still at work

[READ TIME 2 mins] A simple enough question.  My children understand that if I am in my office, or I walk into the house after a business trip and am on the phone that I may still be at work. Have you noticed that the term “I am at work” has become a meaningless term for a huge swathe of the workforce? For those who are self-employed, road warriors (sales and consultants), mobile workers and senior […]

3 simple questions

[READ TIME: 5 mins] The starting point  A client asked me to work with them to review their process for Customer Success. They sent me their 6 page Powerpoint deck with their process documented and it was pretty good. For client confidentiality I have “sanitized” the BEFORE and AFTER process diagrams. BEFORE: Below is the sanitized process that I was sent.  I am sure many of you recognize processes like this. But what was really good […]

Simple mistake x social media = PR nightmare.

[READ TIME 5 mins] Simple mistake x social media = PR nightmare You have probably heard about “the Sainsburys 50p challenge poster”. If not you can read about it here. In summary, a poster intended to encourage staff to get customers to spend just 50p more, was put up in a store window. Another recent example was Salesforce’s recent #NA14 5 hour outage.  As well as the outage, customers lost five hours of data (according to their […]

Small businesses deserve great processes

[READ TIME: 2 mins] The issue for small businesses is: at what point do you move from heroic actions by staff to get the job done, to more formalized processes that enable effective, consistent Customer & Employee Experience. Which in turn enables growth.  The answer is always “too late”. This is because process/BPM is never a priority.  What tips companies over the edge and forces them to get serious about process?  If could be any […]

Why internal BPM projects fail?

[READ TIME: 5 mins] We have just completed a 12 week project where I have been the Program Manager for a critical business transformation project for a multi-national company that delivers major ($1-10 billion) construction projects. The first phase, which has just finished, was a proof of concept. The objective was to develop a hierarchical process map for their Deliver Construction Project process. But as it is so huge – 90% of the employees are engaged in delivering […]

Make the CIO look like a rockstar

CIOs have lost the confidence of the business because they are seen to be unresponsive in delivering the infrastructure and applications that the business feels they must have to be competitive.  In the last 5-10 years, the business users’ experience of what a great technology UX feels like, and what applications are capable of doing is shaped by their experiences as consumers.  And that colors the business user’s expectations.   Over the last 2-3 years, […]

Insiders Guide to SF

We have crowdsourced from the San Francisco locals all the “inside knowledge” in 80 pages packed full of critical insights. It is a useful resource for any of you traveling to SF for one of the many conferences or just socially. Getting around SF and the Bay Area; did you know the Richmond Bridge ONLY takes cash? Where to stay in the coolest boutique hotels; avoiding the standard Hiltons and Hyatts Where the locals eat; we’ve […]

Laugh and learn: Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots – a great “educational” film Written in 2005 it has some great messages that are even more relevant today in a time of turmoil: You history won’t guarantee your future Change is uncomfortable, but not impossible Find a niche and get REALLy good at satisfying it

What is your change strategy?

[READ TIME: 10 mins] For many, change is frightening, threatening and therefore it is resisted at all costs. It is that old pain versus pleasure thing. People act to eliminate pain and bring pleasure. Therefore you need to make the new world look more pleasurable than the perceived pain of change. Or you need to make the pain of not changing greater than the pain of the change itself. Either way, make change the path […]

10x improvement. What’s yours?

READ TIME: 2 mins The change is remarkable. Better technology. Better coordinated team. Better result. So have your processes improved this much?  What could you learn from Formula1 teams about their attention to process detail?

Strategic. Simple. Universal. UPN

The debate around the value of BPMN continues. Clearly it is the critical modeling notation for those in the business of “process execution” i.e. workflow automation. But its huge range of symbols often makes it impenetrable by end users who need a view of the end to end process for training, support or compliance reasons; the operations manual. Also it does not lend itself to strategic operational design for executives. Enter UPN (Universal Process Notation). It […]


“The Process” movie: could be a blockbuster

[READ TIME 5 mins] Stage plays entertained kings and queens throughout the ages – and anyone else wealthy enough. Think about the film “Shakespeare in Love.” Playwrights were impoverished artists who did it for the love and recognition. They were the ultimate story tellers. So where does the story go? Films were online theatre Then came the film, with the first-ever public screening of a film in 1895. The early films were no more than capturing […]

“The Process” movie: could be a blockbuster

[READ TIME 5 mins] Stage plays entertained kings and queens throughout the ages – and anyone else wealthy enough. Think about the film “Shakespeare in Love.” Playwrights were impoverished artists who did it for the love and recognition. They were the ultimate story tellers. So where does the story go? Films were online theatre Then came the film, with the first-ever public screening of a film in 1895. The early films were no more than capturing […]

It just gets better and better: first update

The benefit of cloud software is we can respond to feedback with sprints delivering updates every 14 days. So here is the first release. NEW FUNCTIONALITY Onboarding:  We heard you. New users arrive at the Home Page and go “Hmmm”. And we know there was too much pop up help – because 54% of you didn’t get to the end!!!  It will continue to improve. So here are the changes, so far: Drastically reduced pop-up help. Help is […]

Think rocket, not bullet

Think rocket, not bullet Rockets start slowly and keep accelerating. Bullets come out fast and slow down. We had over 100 invited clients and partners register. While organic growth is fine, we will only start proactive marketing efforts when you tell us we’re ready. We expect to improve the onboarding, usability and core capability significantly with sprints delivering updates every 14 days. Word-of-mouth will fuel this rocket as we get it right. 
What we have […]

2 weeks to go to Beta

We can’t wait. It is really great to see all the pieces coming together after all the months of planning and development. The Elements software will be available as beta at 12 noon PCT on 29th February. Webinar Overview We will run two webinars to demo the software and talk about the roadmap for March and beyond on Thurs 25th Feb. (8am PCT – 16:00 UK time) and (12noon PCT – 20:00 UK time) Timing […]


Next week is the annual SaaStr conference – THE event for startup and growing companies. The tag line is “THE FIRST $100M ARR IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST”. It is going to be an overwhelming week. All 5,000 seats are sold and a huge line up of sponsors, so great networking opportunities and 150 speakers so a chance to learn from those who have already done it (or funded those who have done it). And for […]

Processes make you more creative

[READ TIME: 5 mins] A great article by  Wade Foster from Zavier on the Hubspot blog called Why the Best Marketing Teams Embrace Process talked about the importance of process to marketing. The heart of the discussion is that marketing is more science than art. But the best marketing organisations combine both. The worst teams hope that their art will pull them through. But process sounds boring, is limiting, adds inertia, kills creativity and is just not sexy. […]

Process is at the heart of disruption

Process is at the heart of disruption [READ TIME: 5 mins] Over the last five years, industry after industry has seen disruption due to the combined forces of cloud, social, mobile, and big data. Each of these forces on their own is a powerful agent for change, but in combination, they’re deadly. As far back as 2011, Mark Andreessen summarized the current phenomenon with a simple phrase, “Software is eating the world.” Andreessen argued that […]

50 days and counting

Launch date: Feb 29th “Are we on track for beta on Feb 29th?”  YES.  This is the question that all of you wanted to ask. And then. “Is the ‘Elements Process Knowledge’ application still going to be free?”   YES. So firstly, thank you for your patience and the wide ranging support and input. Delivering a functional, beautiful, scalable, enterprise cloud app using the latest technologies requires solid foundations. Really solid. It just takes time…and […]

The Intern – great film, strong business messages

[READ and WATCH time 5 mins] There have been several films about the tech scene plus the sitcom series, Silicon Valley.  But many of these are simply lampooning the Silicon Valley excesses. They are funny, but ultimately empty. The Intern has a different and interesting take. Plus the chemistry between Anne Hathaway (young start-upCEO) and Robert DeNiro (her 70 year old intern) is beautiful. However behind this entertaining film there are some very important messages for all start-up […]

10 reasons why COO hates Xmas

[READ TIME – 5 mins] The COO or Operations Director is the one who keeps the wheels turning, no matter how much grit is thrown into the innermost workings. He is Chief Elf to Santa the CEO. So why do COOs hate Christmas?  It all revolves around two things – more work and fewer people – with an artificial, yet unmovable deadline set some 2000 years ago in a stable. Here are 10 reasons that the COO hates Christmas. Reason […]

Customer Experience = Customer Expectations

[WATCH TIME: 16 mins] Sometimes delivering a better customer experience is all about changing the customer’s expectations about what they really want. In this fantastic TED video, Rory Sutherland describes it in his own inimitable style.

Change annual staff reviews to monthly for $500

[READ TIME: 2 mins] I am a non-exec director of a rapidly growing startup called Zuant – iPad lead capture.  One of the challenges of a growing company is keeping the culture and brand values as you scale up the team. They have a young and committed team which responds well to rewards. At the end of each year the team votes on the MVP (most valuable player) and they get a check for $2500.  One […]

Do your clients treat you like this?

Do you recognise any of these discussions in your dealings with customer or vendors.  See how they make you squirm when applied to ‘real life’. Or to put it another way “I only negotiate UPWARDS.  You start”.

Select 1 for Confusion. Press 4 for Frustration.

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Self service fail Self service “kiosks“ are now appearing in airports, supermarkets and banks, and we’ve had automated call answering services for decades. Good ideas in principle, but too many companies get it seriously wrong. As a customer, I’ve never been clear about why companies choose to provide self-service.  And based on my user experiences I am not sure that they are clear. Most companies are schizophrenic, oscillating between the two options: Reducing […]

Your customers hate it, your staff hate it

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Non value demand You make your customers do something that has no real value for them. Your call center staff have to deal with unhappy customers and they also know that their time is being wasted and that makes them more hacked off which then filters through to the customers.   Here are some examples of Non Value Demand (work created because we failed to do something) vs Value Demand. Non Value […]

Social media hero (SF) & social media zero (NY)

New York – Broadway I was recently in New York on holiday and took a very excited family to see the Lion King. The production itself is absolutely fantastic:  the drama, the costumes, the scenery, the lighting, the music. Theatrically, it was an onslaught on the senses and exceeded expectation in so many ways. But especially in the abhorrent customer experience that we had there. While the product itself was fantastic, it is a shame that […]

Just take my money – PUHLEEZE!

READ TIME : 2 mins, watch time 2 mins How difficult can it be? How can companies get online payment systems so wrong when taking payment is not exactly rocket science…. But many websites make it difficult for the customer to do just 3 simple steps: Find item, add item to their cart, and pay. There are lots of mistakes that are made around the layout and operation of ecommerce websites.  Here is the harsh reality of […]

No BPMN diagrams. No swimlanes. No software.

[READ TIME: 2 MINS] We don’t hate BPMN. We just think it has a time and place. And that time is NOT when business users are trying to map high level end to end processes. Using a simplified notation means that everyone, across the different departments and at every level, is talking the same language.  BPMN is a great notation when you are down in the detail thinking about how to automate a task. We […]

Silicon-based life forms & customer service

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Recently my iMod – an iPod with internal electronics replaced with Hi-Fi components – stopped working. (Yes I am a Hi-Fi nerd but the sound quality is fantastic). As it was expensive and had been modified in the US I wasn’t too comfortable giving it to just anybody to fix. So I asked around and the iPod Surgery was recommended. I went to their site which seemed pretty self-explanatory. I found […]

Start-up. The world’s slowest roller-coaster.

[READ TIME: 5 mins] The image is of the slowest roller-coast in the world. You literally walk around it. It still gives you that scary feeling of being miles up in the air, but in slow-time. It is rather like a software start-up. Sadly great software, despite the claims you hear from some platform companies, cannot be built in minutes. Building beautiful, enterprise scale software takes months just to get the MVP (minimum viable product) […]

Improv is a serious business skill

[READ TIME: 2 mins & book] Sadly, improv is not seen by most business people as anything more than an art form, a interesting past time, or a great night out. They miss the fundamental relevance to the world of work. Every day we are thrust into situations where a knowledge of the simple principles of improv would massively raise a persons game; an interview, a promotion or redundancy conversation, a conflict over meeting room […]

CX in 2015. 33 minutes vs 47 seconds

[READ TIME: 2 mins] A simple task: I needed to update my credit card for my wife’s health insurance with Assurant Health, who are number 285 on the Fortune500 with the revenues of $10.3 billion. So it is 2015, so I naturally went to their website. Fail #1: The website is an unintelligible mess i.e. it doesn’t match the now standardized layout we all expect Fail #2: I needed to registered online. All I needed […]

Attending #DF15? Free insiders guide to SF.

[READ TIME: 1 min] One thing I can guarantee: it will be more expensive to do ANYTHING than you ever believed.  Hotels, restaurants, taxis…  But if this is the first time you have been to San Francisco, you will also be amazed by what a cool place this is. Seeing the sunrise from the Golden Gate Bridge.  Watching the fog blow across the Bay.  Wandering through Chinatown. And so much more. A while ago in […]

Customer Service is either black or white

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Are your customers and staff fighting poorly thought through processes and systems?  It is time to define successful outcomes from the customer’s perspective and the good news is that their expectations are incredibly low. Social media is consumer power Many experiences we have with companies is utterly appalling. It leaves us feeling empty, frustrated and bitter. But now we have the mechanism to vent our anger which has real impact: social media. […]

Software’s eating the world. Are you next?

Software’s eating the world. Are you next? [READ TIME:  10 mins] Industries are being reshaped at a frightening pace making it difficult for the established players to respond. The power is with the new entrants. They get to develop new business models without the baggage – people, premises and processes – collected over the years. They are able to innovate and then iterate rapidly. It is a scary time to be a “major player”. Every industry […]

@Dreamforce is one massive singles party

[READ TIME: 3 mins] It’s like singles dating Dreamforce, like most conferences now is geared up to be presentations and a series of “business networking” events. With talk of mixing business with pleasure made me consider the real similarities between networking events and singles dating clubs. Location: Networking events are often held in a bar. Guess what? Singles mingle in bars all the time, and the booze is a flowing in both types of events. Attendance: Much […]

Best complaints letter…..ever

[READ TIME: 3 mins] This is a complaints letter to Ryan Air, a low cost, no-frills carrier in Ireland. It surfaced on the net back in May and we can’t believe we’ve only just chanced upon it, posted by DJ Lockley to Facebook. Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing for the attention of your customer experience team. I am definitely a customer, and believe me, you didn’t fail providing us with an experience. My wife and […]

Surviving @Dreamforce for the last 10 years

[READ TIME 10 mins] I consider myself a Dreamforce veteran – a repeat offender. I was founder and CEO of Nimbus who were a Salesforce customer in 2000 when Salesforce had just 2 people in their London office and there were Leads, Accounts and Contact objects. We were one of the 3 featured customers at the London event where there  were 100 delegates with Marc beating the “no software” drum. We were early evangelists. Since then I have […]

Making pizza is a simple as 2, 3, 1, ...

[READ TIME: 1 min] are Italians on a mission to give everyone the opportunity to make great pizza at home.  Just DON’T follow their simple instructions on the packaging (which I have summarized) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F Remove dough from the bag and let it thaw for 4-5 hours and roll dough into a 10″ circle Add toppings Bake for 8-10 mins. Enjoy I kid you not. These are the instructions. […]

Free #df15 ticket so can’t see FooFighters?

[READ & WATCH TIME 5 mins] If you have registered for a free pass (registration link) to Dreamforce15 you will not be able to get into the Gala where the Foo Fighters are playing…. or any of the 100’s of sessions. But back to the Foo Fighters. You could pay between $300,000 and $500,000 to book them for your private party. Suddenly makes the Dreamforce ticket price of $1,599 seem a bargain. But there is […]

Loyalty101 – a master class from Ferrari

[READ TIME: 5 mins] For years I have collected miles with a few different airlines but managed to fly only twice using my miles. And it is in that one sentence that you have the problem with airline loyalty program and my loyalty strategy. Airlines want to you to fly with them and collect miles. But they really don’t want you to use the miles to fly – or so it would seem from the […]

Cheaters website hacked. 37m worried.

[READ TIME : 2 mins] Every company at some point is likely to be hacked, have an employee make a PR mistake (Sainsburys 5op challenge poster, or have the CEO say something they bitterly regret (Microsoft’s Satya Nadell women’s raise). Some hacking incident’s are worse than others. Sony’s hack was dubbed “the hack of the century” by Fortune magazine who ran a headline piece on it. In the case of Ashley Madison, the damage of their […]

Why Slack is so successful

[READ TIME: 15 mins] The memo linked below was sent to the team at Tiny Speck, the makers of Slack, on July 31st, 2013. It had been a little under seven months since development began and was two weeks before the launch of Slack’s ‘Preview Release’. It is worth reading in its entirety. It beautifully sets out what the team should be focusing on and sets a very high bar for them to achieve. It […]

CRM = Customer Rejection Management

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Every major organization has some form of customer call center. You may have renamed yours “contact center.” They are manned by staff that are trained, tooled-up with technology and incentivized to support customers. The center is critical because it drives long term sales and protects repeat revenue. It may even be considered a “profit center.” Customer Strategy But your customers are calling you less, and only when they really have to. […]

Car recalls. Bad process or great business?

[READ TIME: 1 min] The numbers around recalls are staggering.There were a record 74.2 million recalls in 2014 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The most recent in the US is 433,000 2015 Focus, C-MAX and Escape cars are being recalled to dealerships for a software update. But the largest recall to date is the 36 millions cars being recalled because of potentially dangerous airbags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata. This may seem to […]

Distraction kills focus. Focus kills startups.

Distraction kills focus. And as a start-up you have the opportunity to do anything and everything. You see a million possibilities. Your vision is dominating a market worth billions. But to execute that long term strategy you need a short term survival plan. And that means focusing on a market with laser precision. Which is probably the greatest challenge for an entrepreneur, especially when the doubts set in, customer deals fail to close and money […]

43 sec business case for process mapping

When we started Nimbus we were evangelists. Every sale was a triumph. Not beating the competition, but finding a like-minded client who “got it”. Clients that understood: The audience for the process maps is everyone in the company, so it needed to be simple The process content was the “operations manual” and “single source of truth”, so it needed to be managed That you could get benefits without automating every single activity, so it needed to be […]

36 years ago….

It was 35 years ago today when The Blues Brothers first hit theaters in 1980. It was 19 years ago today that Nimbus was formed in 1997.  And now the band is back together again,

US IRS – where 1% makes a BIG difference

John Oliver normally fights for the under-dog. But today he gives us a fascinating – and funny – insight into the lives of those who work at the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The article has some fascinating stats: you could wait all day outside an IRS office to talk to someone IRS, because there are so few staff working 4 in 10 get through on the phone, with 5 million having “courtesy disconnects” […]

Top factors in the success of startup

They say that everything in life is timing. Certainly for the punchline of a good joke. But now it seems that timing is the most important factor for any startup. In this short, but fascinating, TED talk Bill Gross reveals his research on over 200 startups. He discovered the most important factor in the success of a startup is TIMING, more important than the other 4 factors; idea, team, business model or funding. Too early […]

The future explained. John Chambers @Cisco

In this fantastic keynote he describes what is happening with digital disruption. He sets out the challenges for leaders in a future that is changing increasingly quickly. A must watch (for the first 15 mins).

What’s your favorite Element?

John Stewart from The Daily Show interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson at 15min.  Jon’s favorite element is Carbon, for some great reasons.–2015—neil-degrasse-tyson

Is BPM dead or alive? Sobering advice.

Neil Ward-Dutton, co-founder and research Director of the analyst firm MWD Advisors gave an excellent and thought provoking keynote at the BPM Next conference in Santa Barbara. In fact his presentation title suggested the conference should probably have been called “BPM Last”. He very generously shared his presentation and made it publicly available to a broader audience than just the BPM Next delegates. The presentation is worth reading in full (below), but here are the […]

The future is already here. Let’s celebrate it.

Today’s technology challenge: I bought something and I hope I can get home before it is obsolete. Comedian, Robin Ince reflects on why we should spend more time appreciating what we have rather than wanting more.

Making toast process – remarkable insights

Something as simple as making toast should be easy to describe as a process. Boring even. Everybody will draw the same simple process. Or will they? Watch this TED video and you will be amazed at the results of the research by Tom Wujec. He then draws some conclusions about the way to get people to describe processes that solve wicked problems. Sadly, he hasn’t discovered the power of hierarchical mapping applications, but his discoveries […]

BPM vs enterprise app vendors

You can build everything with BPM platforms Any client COULD use a BPM platform to develop their corporate apps. But they would be mad. Salesforce has huge team that think about nothing else but building customer success apps (CRM, support, marketing), WorkDay have a huge team that think about nothing else but building HR apps etc etc. And whilst these off the shelf (off the cloud?) applications are not a perfect fit for clients, the […]

Going green and going bananas

[READ TIME: 3 mins] To go “Green” requires changes to how people work, interact and use technology. Having just launched Q9Elements in San Francisco it is pretty difficult to miss the ‘greening’ trend.  Northern California is the green heartland.  Yesterday I cycled past a Toyota Prius Hybrid with a bumper sticker “Tree hugging dirt worshipper.” Everything and anything is recycled. But there is a rising consciousness driven by companies wishing to be seen to be green. Oil companies […]

The future still seems a long way off

[READ TIME: 8 mins inc video] Back in 2010 I wrote a blog about the the transformational shift caused by cloud, social, mobile and big data.  That was over 4 years ago. It is still very relevant, and worth a read. But in that blog I put a link to a Microsoft video which portrayed the future. The notes to the video said that most of the technology shown was already in existence, just not […]

Mobile transformation; the impact

[READ TIME: 4 mins] Everyone recognizes the critical importance of “mobile” in a company’s approach to CX (customer experience), employee engagement and in their partner programs. But it is not that straightforward to pivot the company’s entire IT strategy. New companies can adopt a “mobile-first” strategy, but it is not “mobile-only”. Which means every app that is developed needs to be able to support web and the myriad of mobile devices; the combination of screen […]

4% of Boardrooms have psychopaths

Psychopaths lack empathy, are pathological liars, have an enormous sense of self-worth, are impulsive, irresponsible and won’t accept responsibility for their own actions. They make up 1% of the total population, 25% of the criminal population. But do you recognize the traits.  Perhaps in the upper reaches of your corporation or our Governments? The Psy-Fi Blog in their blog Is your CEO a Psychopath? puts a strong case for as high as 4% of corporate […]

Happy staff!!! Why should I care?

[READ TIME: 4 mins] Do the math. We all spend a significant percentage of our lives at work. And based on this poster by Charles Schwab and the state of the Government’s finances, we are all going to be working even longer.  So as leaders it is our role to make sure that the lives of our staff is valuable and rewarding, if not fun. People have incredible levels of drive, ability and enthusiasm as […]

RBI, not ROI. Searching for unicorns.

[READ TIME: 3 mins] Rethinking ROI Everyone has heard of ROI – Return on Investment. Every business case has some calculation that shows that the project will have a positive ROI. Once the project has been signed off and the software purchased, then the ROI is often forgotten.  No one is there monitoring the return from the project to ensure that the benefits are realized. But with low cost cloud-based applications and particularly the low-code […]

The business-IT divide: don’t fix it

[READ TIME: 3 mins] Business-IT gap getting bigger We have talked about bridging the business-IT gap for years.  When IT was all-powerful it was important for the business to maintain a decent relationship. But now the power has reversed, paradoxically at a time when ITs importance has never been higher and their credibility is at an all time low. In another blog I have talked about the “App Gap” which is the huge backlog of […]

Your change strategy: 4 options

[READ TIME: 5 mins] Change is frightening, but a critically important competency For many, change is frightening, threatening and therefore it is resisted at all costs. It is that old pain versus pleasure thing. People act to eliminate pain and bring pleasure. Therefore, to drive effective change, you need to make the new world look more pleasurable than the perceived pain of change. Or you need to make the pain of not changing greater than […]

Analytics – leading or lagging metrics?

[READ TIME: 3 mins] Another driving analogy Think about driving alongside a pavement crowded with shoppers. A pedestrian steps out and thanks to your lightning reactions and the ABS on your car you manage to avoid hitting them. So ‘agility’ is whether you are able to respond if something jumps out in front of you. The measure is “did you hit them”. You could have been just as ‘agile’, but required a far less violent reaction […]

CX is still the Wild West : interview

[READ TIME: 5 mins] More and more companies are recognizing the value of creating a unique and exceptional customer experience. New roles like the “Chief Customer Officer” and  “Chief Digital Officer,” are emerging as companies invest in aligning processes, technology and communications to better serve the customer. But it is all the hoopla about customer experience (CX) just a fad? Kia Puhm, Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of Blueprint Software, a Requirements Definition Management software company. […]

BPM should focus on the money

[READ TIME: 2 minutes] BPM focus BPM is normally associated with streamlining back office functions and cost reduction. But this is the wrong focus.  BPM activities should be focused on driving business growth if it wants to be seen as a valuable part of business strategy. Business growth is about gaining new customers and keeping existing ones. One of the few competitive differentiators left is Customer Experience (CX). Product innovation is short lived and no […]

Citizen Developers vs IT Dept

[READ TIME: 3 mins] True story: our IT department sucks I recently got a speeding ticket in California doing 80 mph. I was told I could do “traffic school” which is an online test and avoid a fine. The officer said I would get a letter in the post.  That was 13 December and still no letter. So I rang up the local country court number which was on the bottom of the speeding ticket. […]

Abercrombie & Fitch: too much detail

In a great article in Bloomberg Business Week they catalogue the demise of Abercrombie and Fitch, in the cover feature called The Aging of Abercrombie and Fitch. Whilst the article shows the challenges that every company has of “staying relevant” in a rapidly changing world there was a very interesting insight into the unnecessary level of detail that the CEO Jefferies demanded of his private jet staff. This came to light when Michael Bustin, a […]

Conference calls in real life: timesuck

We all know the value of remote working. Many of the benefits you know, plus some that you may not have considered are in a blog called “Daddy are you still at work?”. But a necessary evil of remote working is the conference call.  And with it there are 3 major issues 1. Protocol: Surely by now we should all be able to make conference calls a seamless experience.  But how many calls go like […]

“Daddy are you at work?”

“Daddy, are you still at work?” A simple enough question. My children understand that if I am in my office, or I walk into the house after a business trip and am on the phone that I may still be at work. Have you noticed that the term “I am at work” has become a meaningless term for a huge swathe of the workforce? For those who are self-employed, road warriors (sales and consultants), mobile […]

Social media can’t fix business problems

Social media amplifies the good and bad Social media is a great vehicle for reaching more people. So instead of fixing problems, it in fact it AMPLIFIES them. So if you have a customer experience issue, then using social media to fix it is like putting lipstick on a pig. It may work for a short while, but pretty quickly it will get out of control and work against you. Laura Click from Blue Kite […]

PEXWeek “the future is fast” video

The recent PEXNetwork conference in Orlando brought together process professionals to think about the future and the role process has to play.  This was the opening video… which does a great job of setting the scene.  The future is difficult to predict, and the video highlights the benefits of Google Glass, just as Google announce they are suspending sales. But don’t let this detract from the very important message. “The future is fast and agile […]

Define your process or outcome first?

Should you be designing processes first or focus on the outcomes? This is a critically important question when thinking about redesigning your business processes. You have one chance to get this right and a room full of senior people with high expectations of the process workshop. When running live process mapping workshops, when we define the top level of the map (which could be Quote to Cash or Recruit to Retire or even the entire […]