Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dawning of Digital Disappointment

We have been seeing one article after another about how organizations are getting frustrated with Digital. It boils down to setting expectations. If you fell for the "digital will change your business model overnight", then I can understand why. Not every industry can expect a wholesale business model change overnight at this point in time. If your organization took an incremental benefits and learn approach as you progress digitally, you probably are still pretty happy even though you are not quite sure what the actual end game will be with digital. It may not matter because your organization is growing skills and competencies that will bode well for better customer experiences while creating greater effectiveness.



Let's Look at Rocket Mortgage:

Did Quicken Loans expect their product name to become more popular than their organization? Do they mind laughing all the way to the bank as they drew in more business even though they didn't really transform the mortgage business model while legacy applications of old still churn away under the covers? They added a very customer compelling front end leverage the best that digital offered at that time and put their muscle behind it. Customers received speedier and more visible results, but Quicken still does loans baby. This is practical application of digital in a focused way.

Let's Look at Taxi Service:

Many of  the taxi companies inspected themselves after the dawn of Uber & Lyft. They couldn't understand why customers would take a chance with unlicensed drivers just because there was an easy and visible app that linked you with drivers where you were. Once the traditional organizations realized they were in the transportation business that needed to wrap themselves around a better customer service model, many launched successful car services. Will it be enough to survive the jump start lead that Uber and Lyft have gotten? Time will tell

Let's Look at Industry 4.0: 

While the appeal of dynamic and customer adaptable supply chains whose complexity is buffered from the customer is great, there are incremental steps for new kinds of automation that do not require redesigning it all at once. More humanity laced automation in any piece of the supply or value chain will deliver benefits. Imagine a production line that watches workers and coaches them to better performance even if they are deep in the linked Industry 4.0 adaptable supply chain. While an end to end flexible supply chain that delivers custom product to the customer in the best way possible is still the goal

Net; Net:

Let's still keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to disrupt with digital, but let's not forget that is not all "Turn Key". There is incremental value to mini-digital journeys that deliver benefit while making progress towards the ultimate digital destination. Maybe expectations need to be changed to match emerging reality.

Read more about incremental mini journeys and digital on ramps by clicking here



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Value of a Decision Management Framework


An organization’s ability to make excellent decisions will be a huge differentiator in today’s ever changing business environment. The days of leisurely decisions are numbered because of the speed and momentum of business. Also the amount of data, information that is available for any one decision is multiplying in an exponential fashion. More and more decisions will require the assistance from data science and combinations of algorithms with AI assistance. Aragon Research introduces it's Decision Management Framework(DMF). Click Here for the Research note. The basic dimensions are below. Click here for a free webinar on May 11th, 2018 with more details. 








While organizations will depend on people to leverage their experience and intuition in the best possible decisions, more and more decisions will be leveraging automated assists for human decision making. In the new digital world more decisions will be made in an automated fashion with significant consequences. In fact some decisions will be made at the edge without central control, so learning to manage these kinds of decisions that may be happening in an instant is essential.


Another factor being introduced in the much faster and smarter digital world is the ability to decide on making changes in the operational reaction. These changes could be implemented in procedures/processes, which in turn will help humans change. The ramifications of decisions and their downstream effects require a higher level of decision management.

Decision Management is an emerging discipline that needs a common base architecture, a shared methodology and a set of technologies. This research will seek to define a DMF that works for the large majority of decisions that will occur today and the foreseeable future. The resulting DMF will likely be used as a shared communication device for both business and IT professionals to describe the decision context, the decision components and the potential actions. The big reason is for better decisions consistently. 

Net; Net: 

Decision Management is an important emerging discipline so learning how to leverage a decision management framework will be well worth the effort. While decisions can’t always be purely methodological and scientific, having an organized approach is not only helpful in many situations and necessary in areas where there are lot of unknowns. This Decision Management Framework is important to keep in mind when making decisions and used as a communication device minimally. Technology markets are emerging to support these very frameworks and will be gain significant attention in the near future. 










Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Priority on AI Transparency?

Should we back off on AI to make sure it is transparent? Is there a way to balance exciting progress enabled by AI with the visibility necessary to make sure AI is not doing something wrong or immoral? AI is kind of a black box and what's happening inside is not only mystery to those using, but it is to the developers as it gets more sophisticated. Let's look at the some of the aspects of this issue.



The Case for More AI Visibility: 

How can we allow a black box to make important decisions? Can we really trust AI to make ethical decisions in a fair way? With programs, we can look at the coded logic and see the paths that can be chosen and watch the outcomes. With Decision Modeling Notation (DMN), we can see the decision and the results like programming. With AI we can't see the possible paths, reasoning and alternatives chosen from. Who can make sense of the inner workings of AI? Who do we hold responsible for the outcomes and ethics of AI? Would you trust AI with your life? AI is not flawless, so let's watch it closely.

The Case for Full Speed Ahead on AI:

Why should we slow down the benefits of AI while we wait for complete transparency? By a long shot AI algorithms are more accurate, by far, than human counter parts. AI can detect illnesses faster and can assist doctors with treatment plans. While some decisions are life impacting, there are a goodly number of decisions that are not life critical. Many AI investigations and actions can be logged and leveraged. AI should be tested like any other computer programming for a large number of possibilities. While the test beds for AI are difficult and sometimes near impossible, over time near perfection can be approached.

Net; Net:

Since AI will be involved with many decisions going forward, transparency will grow as an issue. If you want to hear more about decision management, AI driven or not, please sign up for a free webinar by clicking here  I believe that we can strike the balance by using AI to mine the audit the logs and actions generated AI activity. Let AI watch AI.

Monday, April 23, 2018

bpmNEXT 2018 Demonstrates Next Gen Processes

bpmNEXT aims to the definitive showcase of next generation processes (BPM) and it certainly did that this year. There were some interesting and intense demos of how process would change over time. We all saw process linking with decision management, customer journeys, IoT, process mining, advanced analytics, AI, RPA, Robots, Blockchain, voice and image recognition. There were many dimensions of process evolution practically demonstrated in 30 minute segments.



It was clear that process will be involved with significant innovation in the evolving digital world and that transformation is doable in increments. While most of the participants were vendors, there were notable visionary end users like Quicken Loans (the designers of customer journey called "Rocket Mortgage"). The hot topics were around decision management with DMN, linking with emerging technologies and automation of various kinds including AI, RPA, Mining and Robots. While one would expect a collegial environment surrounding the love of process, there was significant controversy with the powerful audience that bpmNEXT attracts. One was around DMN versus AI around transparency. Another was around Digital Business Platforms DBP being a market versus an architectural construct. I will take the blame for the later and will be creating a post for both controversies down the line.

The Digital Business Platform is a Destination for Digital Transformation:










Highlights:

The highlight demonstrations, for me, were the demos that showed the promise of voice and video based digital assistants tied to BPM. The best one in this category was given by Francois Bonnet of ITESOFT where he demonstrated the interaction of a Robot, BPM, Voice and Video Recognition working together somewhat seamlessly.

Another significant highlight came from Denis Gagne, from Trisotech, who not only demonstrated Decision Model and Notation (DMN) in modeling mode, but showed decisions in action with their associated test beds. This demo showed the full range of DMN in action. For a free webinar on Decision Management and DMN on May 11th, click here

The last, but not least, of my top three demos came from Pieter Van Schalkwyk of XMPRO where Pieter showed us process at work at the edge of an IoT network in place today. The demo focused on finding that important event or pattern at the edge with a critical part of a critical piece of safety equipment. The piece of equipment was crying out that it was at the end of it's life and needed an intervention. This involved looking through tremendous volume of events, most noise events, to find the key action trigger.

Bottom Line:

If you want to see the latest and greatest that process has to offer as it plays a key role as a digital choreographer, bpmNEXT is the place. bpmNEXT is not for beginners, but maybe it should open it's offer to show process as the true collaborator for digital transformation.









Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mounting Pressure for Better Decisons

We are in a perfect storm for making great decisions and nothing less. There are converging forces that put a premium on better decisions in that organizations are being asked for more in a changing world. At the same time the number of assists that are available to boost better decision making are also emerging quickly. What are these forces and boosts to increase an organization's ability to make better at the minimum and great decisions at a maximum? The coming decision wars will be at the forefront of success going forward for organizations and individuals.

For a FREE WEBINAR on DECISION MANAGEMENT CLICK HERE





Forces Affecting Decisions:

Business Contexts Shifting Faster

Organizations are being swamped by the increasing number of factors that can affect them. While operational pressure persist and are intensifying, other factors such as governance, shortages, political storms and economic shifts are increasing simultaneously. This puts a premium on scenario planning like never before.

More Data Available Than Ever

The amount of data available for organizations to leverage is mind boggling and increasing by the second. All organizations are now information dependent and the amount of  data/information swamping them is larger than ever. This puts a premium on data mining and matching productive decision journeys with the proper data sources.

Increasing Speed of Business 

Organizational speed is increasing significantly. The idea of pondering operational adjustments is just not as feasible as it was just a few years ago. Tactical decisions have to be done quicker than ever because of customer demands and competitive pressures. The number and speed of opportunities and threats is accelerating faster than ever, so measured responses have to be done quickly.


Forces That Boost Decisions:

Increasing Intelligence

The number of intelligent coping mechanisms is growing rapidly. Traditionally algorithms have been the bastion of intelligence applied to data and this source continues to grow. Now we have miriad Machine Learning (ML) capabilities that can be used in conjunction with Deep Learning (DL) and eventually Cognitive Components (COGs) that can be assembled in combination with the aforementioned intelligent components.

Agility Features in New Software Platforms

Recently the spotlight has been on low code approaches that leverage model driven, menu driven and parameter driven code. While this is good, there are also other forms of explicit forms of rule and policy change that do not require changing of any code. A new promising form of rule agility is driven by a decision standard known as Decision Modeling and Notation (DMN).

Better Decision Reference Information

Catalogs of available helpful decision components (ML, DL. COGs, DMN, PMML, etc)  can be searched and leveraged during any decision journey. These reference catalogs also contain data sources that describe available data resources. These are one of the main ingredients in a Decision Management Platform (DMP)

Better Real Time Collaboration Work Spaces

Work Spaces have been in the headlines for a number of years now, but they have not been aimed at the decision management problem in a consistent fashion. The potential of work management spaces of decision collaboration is largely untapped

Net; Net:

The forces need to be matched by the proper boosts combined in innovative ways. This matching process should be guided by Decision Management Framework (DMF) that explains the nature of the decision(s) in a collaborative fashion. The DMF communicates both the business and technical attributes of a decision so that a good Decision Management Journey (DMJ) can be mapped out and supported by a Decision Management Platform (DMP). I will be writing more about the DMF, DMJ and the DMP in future posts, but you can attend the following free webinar.


For a FREE WEBINAR on DECISION MANAGEMENT CLICK HERE

Additional Reading:

Better Decisions with Decision Management
Decision or Data First Post
Beware of the Data
Intelligence










Monday, April 9, 2018

Art for 1Q 2018

After moving away from people portraits and creature paintings for a bit, I'm back at it this quarter with my turtle painting. This time trying something very detailed with acrylics (I usually use oil paint for these kinds of paintings).  I have no name for the turtle yet, so I would like some suggestions please :)  I have a couple of new fractals for your viewing pleasure as well. www.james-sinur.com

                                                             Mr  Turtle 


Glass Star 


                                                     
Spiral Crazy 


Throwing Star Convention 



Ice Necklace 


Loopy Monday



Thursday, April 5, 2018

Decision or Data First?

There is a debate brewing about how the best decisions are actually made and executed. With the birth of Decision Management as a discipline recently, this debate is starting to emerge. There are many technical platform vendors that are pushing "data first" approaches to decisions and digital efforts. It turns out that business professionals are pushing decisions first based on business outcomes. The question is "What approach will dominate?"


The Case for Decision First:

Decisions link the an organization's metrics and objectives to its operational processes, applications and systems. This is particularly true of known operational goals, targets and SLAs. Decisions are a forgotten first class business object, just like processes and data. Often decisions are not modeled first in order to select analytics, AI Services to create a decision management journey. This needs to change. Even decisions that are related to discovery of opportunities or threats can be better planned than we do today. Decisions should be explicit and not buried or subsumed with processes, applications or program code to support the agility required to manage organizations. Decisions need to be documented and shared amongst business and IT professionals alike. Build and model the decision and then link to the necessary data.

The Case for Data First: 

Data offers enormous and growing opportunities to create competitive advantage and operational advantage. Most organizations do not know what data they really have or how important the data they have in their possession. In fact most organizations do not have a significant or complete strategy defining how data really contributes to their organization. There is a lot of dark data in organizations and the amount is expanding and coming at speeds not seen before. Studying pools of accumulated data or kinetic moving data can point out opportunities and threats for organizations. Quite often these are discovery treks that can lead to opportunities at best and dead ends at worst. Many feel that the best opportunities for organic growth lie in data. Look at the data in new ways and take advantage of discoveries.

Net: Net: 

The nature of the decision context will dictate Data or Decision first.  Known operational contexts that have specific goals will likely dictate Decision First. Tactical or strategic situations where management is exploring options or where operational processes and applications are throwing off unknown signals and patterns will require a Data First. It boils down to known or unknown situations. There are situations that will cause both approaches operate interactively.


Additional Reading:

Introducing Decision Management
Data Issues