My Presentation and Interview from Cloud Camp

June 16, 2009

My blogging has been a bit anemic lately.  We had our big Blueprint launch in the middle of last month accompanied by the post launch clean up of all the stuff I had designated as “get to it after the launch.”  And then there was strep throat and visiting relatives…blah…blah..blah.

So here I am back in the saddle and finally getting around to posting my slides from Cloud Camp Austin where Lombardi Blueprint was a gold sponsor.  You’ll notice in the transfer to slideshare, some of the formatting is off and in slide 6 you don’t get to see the great build where the poor person collecting the process data gets buried under a mound of random documents – but you’ll get the idea.

To get some of the narrative behind this and more, check out the interview Redmonk’s Michale Cote did with me at the event.

But wait, there’s more…

For those brave enough to go beyond the last slide you’ll get a special bonus slide of all the cheesy 80′s bands used as code names for Blueprint’s releases right up to the the most recent, “Survivor.”

Pau for now…


Got 3 minutes? See what Blueprint’s all about

June 1, 2009

A little over two weeks ago the latest Blueprint update, the Spring ’09 release, was loosed upon the world.   We took the opportunity of the launch, which included launches for our other products and services, to overhaul our web pages.  In the specific case of Blueprint we created new pages for Overview, Features, Resources and Success Stories.

You gotta see it to believe it

For the top of the Overview and Features pages we created the following video that presents a 3 minute and 18 second overview of Blueprint. (I recommend you click the full screen button so you can see the details).  Check it out and let me know what you think :)

Pau for now…


Call Center outsourcer uses Process Mapping to help it emerge from Chapter 11

May 5, 2009

pman-headset

PRC, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, manages 14 domestic call centers and a handful of centers offshore.  In January of last year this 25-year-old company declared bankruptcy.  Six months later, after a massive restructuring they emerged from Chapter 11.

One of the efforts that helped in this restructuring and which continues today is an effort to document, standardize and communicate all of the company’s processes.

Rachel Pace-Maron, Director of Operations Support Service was asked to lead this effort with a shoe-string budget.  Last week I chatted with Rachel to learn more about her effort.

My conversation with Rachel (11:19)  Listen

Some of the topics Rachel tackles:

  • The goal with mapping PRC’s processes was to find out how they could do things better and faster and why things take so long.  They weren’t able to answer why a process took so long because no one person knew every step.  This is what lead them to process mapping.
  • One of the first processes they mapped was “agent time,” how much time do agents spend on break and what is the management process for keeping them on the phone efficiently and within break parameters.
  • They found each call center had a different process and none were doing it efficiently.
  • By standardizing on a process for all centers and bringing them into metric, they had a bottom line impact on revenue.
  • Before adopting Lombardi Blueprint for process mapping, groups had been using, Visio, Exel and Power Point.
  • PRC has a group of people who are visually oriented and a group who are narrative oriented. As Rachel explains, “Blueprint’s ability to marry picture to narrative has been fantastic and, I’m not going to say life altering, but certainly business altering.”
  • Her excitement over the latest Blueprint release and how the addition of participants will help PRC break down silos and take their process initiative to the next level.

Pau for now…


Pics and Prose from Cloud Camp Austin ’09

April 27, 2009

Michael Cote of Redmonk welcomes us all. (credit Dave Nielsen)

Michael Cote of Redmonk welcomes us all. (credit Dave Nielsen)

This past Saturday, Cloud Camp Austin was held down on the UT campus.  There was a very healthy turnout and a lot of great discussions were generated.

Sequence of Events

After opening salutations, camp got underway with a series of six five-minute lightening talks delivered by the camp’s gold sponsors.

My lightening talk: Mapping Processes in the Cloud (credit: Dave Nielsen)

My lightening talk: Mapping Processes in the Cloud (credit: Dave Nielsen)

The Main Event

From there, Dave Nielsen, the man who originally developed the cloud camp format (and who took most of the pictures in this post — see them all), guided us through the process of coming up with topics for session discussions.  That process, appropriately enough given that this was an unconference, began with an “unpanel.”

The Unpannel: Splunk representative, not sure, Cote, Dustin from Canonical, myself (credit Dave Nielsen)

The Unpannel: Michael Wilde of Splunk, (not sure), Dustin from Canonical, Cote, myself (credit Dave Nielsen)

All Together Now

The way it worked was the room first brainstormed a list of topics they were interested in discussing/learning more about.  Anyone who thought they were an expert on one or more of these topics got to get up from their seats and form a five person panel at the front of the room.   Each member of the panel then answered two questions from the board and as the question was answered the audience was asked if the topic had been covered by the answer or if it warranted further discussion in an afternoon session

(L->R) Dave Nielsen leads us through our unconference set up.  Canonical's Dustin Kirkland and hero-for-hire John West lend a hand.

(L->R) Dave Nielsen leads us through our unconference set up. Canonical's Dustin Kirkland and hero-for-hire John West lend a hand.

A Schedule is Born

After the panel, as a group we all decided what the final sessions would be and who would lead them.  To lead a session you could either be knowledgeable in the area or completely clueless but wanted to learn about it.

The completed schedule:  three sessions ran at a time and there were three time slots (credit Dave Nielsen)

The completed schedule: three sessions ran at a time and there were three time slots (credit Dave Nielsen)

Coming Soon

While at camp I did a couple of video interviews, one with Dustin Kirkland of Canonical and one with Todd Morey of Mosso/Rackspace.  I should be posting those in the next few days.  I also found myself on the other end of the microphone being interviewed by Mr. Cote.  That should be appearing in the near distant future on his blog.

Update:

Pau for now…


Symantec, process improvement and Blueprint

April 21, 2009

Devin Rickard is a Senior Director of Business Process Improvement at Symantec, the company best known for its Norton line of security products.  The team that Devin belongs to acts as internal process consultants at the company and they’ve adopted Lombardi Blueprint as the common process modeling tool for the group.  What they found however is that Blueprint has a wide appeal beyond their group.

I caught up with Devin to learn about process improvement at Symantec and how his team was using Blueprint.

>>My talk with Devin (11:53): Take a Listen

Devin Rickard of Symantec's Business Process Improvement team

Devin Rickard of Symantec's Business Process Improvement team

Some of the topics Devin tackles:

  • Symantec has grown through rapid organic growth as well as acquisition.  This has led to processes being executed in islands. Devin’s group works with the islands to try and “pull them together into a single continent.”
  • The team practices “stealth six sigma.”  They have adapted the processes and tools from Six Sigma so that they fit the Symantec corporate culture.
  • What started as a nice tool for the practitioners has ended up becoming the core catalyst that brings together individuals and helps them to visualize what they are trying to improve upon for Symantec customers and partners.
  • As business owners or process managers become engaged they are becoming aggressive adopters of Blueprint.  They find it gets them a picture of their business that they’ve never had before and they want to find the areas within their own processes that they can make improvements to.
  • The interest/involvement of the business has noticeably shortened the time to improvements.
  • Some of the projects Devin and team have used Blueprint for: transforming the quote to cash process and the procure to pay process (Blueprint helped to cut the time to pay employee expense reports from 3-5 weeks to 2-3 days) as well as working on ways to make the process of integrating acquisitions smoother.

Pau for now…


Blueprint to Sponsor Cloud Camp Austin

April 16, 2009

Rackspae, Microsoft and Sun find themselves in good company :)

Rackspace, Microsoft and Sun find themselves in good company :)

As an application that leverages all the agility and reach that the cloud provides, we thought it only appropriate that Lombardi Blueprint help sponsor Cloud Camp Austin 2009.

Along with lesser known companies like Microsoft, Sun and Rackspace, Lombardi Blueprint is a gold sponsor of the event (actually since I took the screenshot to the left, Aserver, Rightscale and Zeus have also joined the golden ranks).

As a gold sponsor we get to deliver a 5-7 minute lightening talk at the beginning of the event.  The only restrictions are that it be cloud related and it can’t be a product pitch.  I will be talking about the cloud and democratization of information.

What, When, Where…

The event takes place next Saturday, April 25th from 10AM – 4PM down at Austin City Limits on the UT campus. Here’s how the webpage sums up the event:

CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged you to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.

(Here are a few more thoughts regarding the event from co-organizer and Red Monk analyst Michael Cote.)

Free for All

The cost of the event is FREE and all you need to do is register online so they know how many folks are coming (heck, I bet if you showed up that day they probably wouldn’t turn you away.)  So come on down next Saturday and enjoy and learn.  And remember, since its an unconference that means anyone can propose and lead a session and we all learn from each other.

Hope to see you there!

Pau for now…


Top 10 Tech Skills: Process Modeling tops the list

March 31, 2009

I came across an article in yesterday’s NetworkWorld.com that listed today’s “Top 10 Technology skills.”  The list was based on work done by Foote Partners, which conducts quarterly assessments of IT pay trends in the US.

Foote Partners’ CEO David Foote says “what’s unique about this downturn is that IT departments are hiring talent in certain areas – such as business process modeling and project management – while laying off in others connected to weak product lines.”

And, indeed, coming in at the top of the list was Business Process Modeling:

1. Business Process Modeling

Business process management, methodology and modeling is one of the few IT niches that saw pay gains in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the quarterly IT salary survey compiled by Foote Partners. In particular, companies were willing to pay for workers with ITIL IT best practices and CobiT IT governance experience. Pay for these skills was up 10.3% from a year ago and 5.6% from the previous quarter, the Foote report says.

Kevin Faughnan, director of IBM’s Academic Initiative, says business process modeling is one of the key skills that business majors should be studying. “It’s about how does our business work, what are the business processes and how do we analyze them,” Faughnan says, adding that this is a key issue for companies to consider before applying IT to solve business problems.

This seems to make sense to me. It is always important to know your business processes  in order to be able to modify and refine them to keep pace with change… and today there is an extra helping of change that we all must not only keep pace with but get ahead of.  Business Process Modeling is a key first step.

And the rest…

For the curious, the other 9 skills were:

  • 2. Database
  • 3. Messaging/Communications
  • 4. IT Architecture
  • 5. IT Security
  • 6. Project Management
  • 7. Data Mining
  • 8. Web Development
  • 9. IT Optimization
  • 10. Networking

Pau for now…


Escape from Visio

March 2, 2009

Interestingly enough, the product that Lombardi Blueprint most often replaces for process mapping is not some high-end tool but rather Visio.  So to let Visio users know that there was a better way to document their processes we launched a PPC campaign on Friday.

The campaign takes the user to a landing page on our site where we feature a  2:49 video (starring yours truly in his very first role as a video pitchman).  After a brief intro, the video takes the viewer through a high-level overview of Blueprint and compares it to Visio.  Check it out:

If you like what you see and want to try a 30-day free trial you can sign up here.

Pau for now…


Latest Rev of Blueprint (Rock ‘n’) Rolls out

February 16, 2009

reo1The latest Blueprint update debuted this weekend.  Being a cloud-based application we are able to push out a new Blueprint release every ~6 weeks and drive continuous improvement in the product.  (In case you’re wondering about the picture to the left, each release comes with its own cheesy-band code name.  As you can probably guess, the code name for this release was REO Speedwagon).

We’re Listening

In this latest Blueprint release we tackled the top three customer requests we’ve heard over the past few months on the forums and out in the field:

  1. Autocomplete revamp
  2. Swimlane improvements
  3. File attachments and the word export

If you can spare 1 minute and 18 seconds, check out the video that Blueprint Product Manager Dave Marquard put together that takes you through the new features.

For more details on the release, check out Dave’s entry.

Coming Soon to a Browser near you

What’s next? Well alphabetically we are up to “Survivor” and its gonna be a cool one.  It’s coming out party will be in April at our Driven 2009 user conference.  Until then, you keep up with the latest and greatest in the world of Blueprint by following us on twitter.

Pau for now…


Forrester Posts Great Blueprint Review

February 10, 2009

At the end of last year, Blueprint Product Manager Dave Marquard and I had a call with Forrester analyst Clay Richardson to brief him on Lombardi Blueprint.  The result of that call and a considerable amount of further research was a 6-page report that debuted last Friday — “Vendor Snapshot: Lombardi Blueprint Bridges Gap Between Process Discovery And Execution.”

Here is the Executive Summary from the Forrester site:

Austin-based Lombardi Software’s latest offering, Blueprint, positions the vendor to extend its leadership in human-centric business process management (BPM) and takes direct aim at Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Visio as the tools of choice for process analysts. Blueprint provides a process modeling and discovery platform that blends collaboration and documentation capabilities into an easy-to-use, low cost, software-as-a-service offering that can be used by beginner to expert process analysts. To stay ahead of the pack, the platform needs to continue extending its collaborative Web 2.0 functionality as other BPM suite vendors play catch-up by introducing similar offerings. Consider Lombardi Blueprint if you need a collaborative and lightweight process discovery tool that is tailored to support geographically dispersed process discovery teams.

We are in the process of licensing this report and as soon as we do, we will be making it available on the lombardi.com site.  If you are already a Forrester client, you can log in access the report here.

Pau for now…


Teaching Process

February 6, 2009

Yesterday I chatted with Dr. Joyce Statz who has been teaching a course at St. Edwards University in its school of management and business.  Her course, “Multiple project and portfolio management” is offered as part of the Masters of Science in Project Management degree, and teaches how to manage multiple portfolios of project work in an organization.

I recently learned that Joyce introduced Lombardi Blueprint as a tool within her class and had a lot of success.  I called her up to learn more.

Take a listen:

>> My talk with Joyce (6:11): Listen (mp3) Listen (ogg)

Joyce Statz in the process of teaching process.

Joyce Statz in the process of teaching process.

Some of the Topics we tackle:

  • Who are the students that make up her class and what are their backgrounds?
  • Mixing concepts with hands-on exercises
  • Replacing Visio/Word/Excel in the classroom
  • How the strongest Visio advocates at the beginning of the term became the biggest Blueprint champions at the end of the course.

Blueprint Educational Program

Lombardi provides free Blueprint subscriptions for educational use.  If you are teaching or taking a course where you think Blueprint would be appropriate, please contact us at blueprint@lombardi.com to learn more.

Pau for now…


“Stalking and capturing a Business Process” — Blueprint grabs virtual ink in Forbes.com

February 4, 2009

When I was out at Cloud Connect, I met Dan Woods who writes the Jargon Spy column for Forbes.com.  Turns out Dan has a particular soft spot in his heart for BPM and I was able to give him a quick demo of Lombardi Blueprint.  The result was his piece that came out yesterday, “Stalking and Capturing a Business Process — We need a process for creating business processes.”

Be vewy, vewy quiet, we’re hunting pwocesses

Dan is clearly sold on the value of business processes and BPM:

“For large and small firms, the business process is the right way to think of what to do and how to do it better, whether or not it is automated or supported with technology. BPM puts the focus where it should be–on what you must do to make your company successful, not on the capabilities you happen to have.”

What he wants to know however is how are these processes captured in the first place?  If the processes being submitted aren’t of quality, how can you expect the BPM results to be?  Garbage in, garbage out.

Incremental and Collaborative…that’s the ticket

Dan argues that developing the processes incrementally is the only way you can be assured of solid inputs.  The three approaches he advocates are: Wiki-based process discovery, Task-based process discovery and Mash-up based process discovery.  And this is where the Blueprint shout out comes in:

Lombardi Software has recognized this trend and recently launched a Web-based service called “Blueprint” that allows for collaborative brainstorming and definition of processes. Using this service, you start with a bunch of ideas and can end up with a nice diagram. The JargonSpy imagines such a system could be used as the scratch pad for capturing and refining the processes that emerge in the other three methods.

Thanks for the mention Dan, and thanks for pointing out the importance of iterative and broadly inclusive input collection up front.  For without that, are we not building our BPM castles on diagrams of sand?

Pau for now…


Experience using Excel, Powerpoint…Lombardi Blueprint… a plus!

January 19, 2009

Last night when I was checking my Google Alerts, I came across a job description for a Process Modler/Analyst position.  In the Requirements Section it stated: “Experience with Lombardi Blueprint a plus.”  It looks like Blueprint has arrived :)

Blueprint recognized Across the Pond

In other Blueprint related news, at the end of last year there was an article in ComputerWeekly.com in the UK about how Blueprint was used by a “US dairy giant” to overhaul its processing.  The article focused on the Web 2.0 nature of the solution:

A huge dairy cooperative in the US, which supplies the likes of Wal-Mart, Safeway and Costco, has taken hold of Web 2.0 technology in order to reengineer its whole business.

Change came with the arrival of a new chief executive officer, who identified that IT could bring massive efficiencies to Tillamook in the form of business process management (BPM).

He gave Burge and his IT team his backing to investigate Web 2.0 technology, to see how it could be used to identify, capture and optimise the firm’s “tribal knowledge”, and drive down inaccurate information.

Tillamook examined several applications, including diagramming tool Microsoft Visio – which the firm found too complicated for its needs – but eventually chose Lombardi Blueprint.

Blueprint is at an inflection point right now.  With the economy in the shape its in right now, we are seeing quite a bit of interest in a solution that can be paid for on a monthly basis and help drive costs down and efficiencies up.

Here’s to saving money!

Pau for now…


West Bend Insurance uses BPM and Process Mapping to Create New Offerings and Streamline Operations

January 14, 2009

Over the the holiday break I chatted with Stacie Kenney, a Business Process Analyst with West Bend Mutual Insurance. West Bend is located in Wisconsin and has been around since 1894.  They offer property/casualty insurance for businesses, homes, autos, and personal property through independent agencies in six states.

stacie_westbend-edited1Stacie and I discussed how she worked over the last year to help create a small commercial offering which, before BPM and process mapping, had not been practical to offer.

We also discussed the role that process mapping played in the recent IT department re-org, helping to streamline processes and breakdown silos.

West Bend Business Analyst and Blueprinter, Stacie Kenney

Take a listen:

>> My talk with Stacie (7:17): Listen (mp3) Listen (ogg)

Some of the Topics we tackle:

  • West Bend’s “Smart Business” offering and how it leverages new technologies like services, content generation tool and Teamworks.
  • Given that the “Smart Business” premiums were small, the goal was to de-complicate the process so that the agencies could set up the policy with very little time up front.
  • Before Blueprint, the BA’s leveraged Visio for flows along with a “mammoth” spec doc in Word.  The biggest issue with this approach was keeping the content in sync.
  • West Bend was drawn to Blueprint by its collaboration and document generation capabilities.
  • The “Road To Excellence” and the IT re-org, breaking down silos and centralizing the BA’s.
  • Using process mapping to document the flow of work coming into the BA group from the business, categorize it and then deliver it back on a monthly basis.

Pau for now…


“Quiet Riot”: Last Blueprint release of ’08 now live

December 22, 2008

As the year 2008 draws to a close one more Lombardi Blueprint release has just just gone live.

login_screen_bp

The login-screen has been cleaned up (except for the coffee stains) and “Twitter-fied.”

The release, code-named “Quiet Riot” (in keeping with the official Blueprint code-naming schema) is characterized by a bunch of cool new features (you can read about them in detail or see the short overview video on Dave’s Blog) designed to make this process mapping tool more collaborative, more powerful and even easier to use.

Here is the high-level list:

  • File Attachments: These are powered behind the scenes by Mosso’s Cloud Files and allow you to attach screenshots, word docs, spreadsheets etc.   Additionally, your  files are conveniently added to the same place you collect other information regarding a particular process step.
  • Easy Invites:  Looking to give the gift of Blueprint this holiday season?  Well it just got easier.  We’ve cleaned up the homepage and now to invite someone all you need to do is to type in their email address in the space prominently located at the top of the page.
  • Password Rules: Password strength can be set at one of three different levels (high, medium or minimum) using a handy slider bar.

Twitter: This Enterprise 2.0 app just got 2.0-ier

Enterprise 2.0 features like collaboration via wiki-like functionality and IM are at the center of Blueprint. Now in this latest release we’ve added a Twitter feed which powers the “What’s New” section on the login page (see the screenshot at the top of the page).

If the thought of Twitter sounds a bit intimidating, don’t worry, the feed on the login page is transparent to you, all you will notice are postings that are updated from time to time.

If you do want to follow the Twitter feed directly along with your other feeds, click on the little Twitter icon (in the bottom right corner of the yellow sticky) and you’ll be taken to the actual Blueprint Update Twitter page where you can see all the posts.  Obviously Twitter works both ways so we’re looking forward to collecting feedback from you as well.

twitter_page_bp1

Check out the Blueprint Twitter feed directly at: twitter.com/BlueprintUpdate.

Hope you enjoy Quiet Riot.  As always the 6-7 week release beat goes on.  Who’s up next?  R.E.O Speedwagon.

Pau for now…


A Quick Peak at Blueprint thanks to Google

December 11, 2008

A couple of weeks ago Alex Moffat, chief engineer for Lombardi Blueprint, jetted out to Mountain View to record a video at Google headquarters.

The video, which is in YouTube’s new 16:9 aspect ratio (the only way you want to watch Lawrence of Arabia or Blueprint demos), is part of a series of developer videos Google is doing to show the cool things that can be built using Google Web Toolkit (GWT).

What you’ll see (and what you’ll get)

In the video, which is only a minute and 16 seconds, Alex shows how business users can enter info in outline form which then generates corresponding boxes in an adjacent map view.  These boxes can be easily moved around via drag-and-drop.  Additionally, at the push of a button this high-level view is auto-magically converted into a process flow diagram.  As Alex points out, thanks to GWT, all of this happens completely within any browser without the user having to download any plug-ins like Flash etc.

Extra-Credit Reading

Pau for now…


Blueprint: See what’s so cool about it

December 9, 2008

Yesterday, Dave Marquard posted a cool video on the Lombardi blog that provides a great introduction to Blueprint.  The video, which is less than three minutes long, was created by Nachi Chidambaram, a Lombardi Business Process Management Analyst.  Check it out below.

For those who prefer to read — Spoiler Alert!

The video starts out by showing how a process mapping project works using Visio and the tremendous amount of double-work that’s involved: transcribing from sticky notes, managing and incorporating a blizzard of feedback and keeping track of attachments.

With Blueprint on the other hand, as Nachi explains you can capture the original brainstorming session directly in the browser-based product and then, at a push of a button, transform your discovery map into a process flow diagram.   Also due to Blueprint’s collaborative and wiki-like nature, keeping track of feedback and input is easy and attachments are all stored in a central repository accessible to all.  And given that Blueprint is cloud-based you can get started as fast as you can enter your credit card number :)

Pau for now…


Turning 100 years of “tribal knowledge” into documented processes

December 4, 2008

tillamookartisansA while back I posted a podcast with Steve Burge of Tillamook where he talked about how Tillamook, a cooperative, made up of over 150 dairies, took on a process mapping effort to turn 100 years of “tribal knowledge” into documented processes.

Since the story was a great example of tackling a process documentation effort that involved the whole org, rather than just IT, we decided to turn it into a webinar.  We worked with ModernAnalyst.com and created a 35 minute webinar which you can check out here (you can also check out the slides below).

What the webinar’s about

Steve talks through the slides for about 25 minutes and then fields questions for about 10.  Here are some of the topics he discusses:

  • How he built a core team where IT was in the minority and the majority of the members came from the business side.
  • How the team decided where to begin
  • How they involved over 150 people, from all over the company, to help detail the processes and how by doing so it helped eliminate silos and highlight “white spaces.”
  • How this effort led to a “new” view of BPM.

Pau for now…


Morphis: Accidental Process Consultants

November 17, 2008

Morphis is a company that provides currency supply chain management software and counts among its customers the U.S. Federal reserve as well as central banks, ATMs and armored car companies around the world.  Process mapping was the furthest thing from their minds when they started in business but they quickly found out that if they didn’t start leading their customers in process mapping sessions they wouldn’t be able to sell their product.

Last week I chatted with Gary Faulkner of Morphis about how they found themselves unexpectedly leading process mapping sessions for customers or, as Gary likes to describe the turn of events, “A funny thing happened on the way to the software business.”

Take a listen:

>> My talk with Gary (6:59):  Listen (mp3) Listen (ogg)

pair-o-dime_shiftsmallarrow3

Blueprint enabled a pair-o-dime shift for this currency manager. (sources: my fingers and my dimes)

Some of the Topics we tackle:

  • Conundrum: Morphis is meant to be customized to fit a customer’s process but if a customer can’t describe their process how can Morphis be customized?
  • Being new to process mapping they were looking for something that was intuitive and easy to use.
  • The power of seeing the process laid out visually and the importance of working on the exercise collaboratively.
  • How Morphis’s implementations are all done virtually over Webex around the globe

Pau for now…


The Tillamook Podcast — 99 yr old Dairy Cooperative embraces Process Mapping

November 3, 2008

If you’re not familiar with the name, Tillamook is a 99 year-old cooperative made up of over 150 dairies that produces high-end dairy products.  The award-winning cooperative, officially named the Tillamook County Creamery Association, is located up in the north west corner of Oregon.

Until recently, processes were passed down from artisan to artisan in the form of what Steve Burge, who runs TIllamooks’ Business Process Management Office, jokingly refers to as “tribal knowledge.”

There’s a new Sheriff in town and he’s a fan of BPM

When Tillamook’s new CEO came on board he realized that he needed to get a handle on the company’s processes in order to move forward and compete in today’s market.  It was Steve’s job to put together a Process Management Model to lead the collection and documentation of the company’s processes.

>> My Interview with Steve (7:06) : Listen (mp3) Listen (ogg)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • How Steve built a core team where IT was in the minority and the majority of the members came from the business side.
  • How the team decided where to begin.
  • Why they decided to abandon Visio and cocktail napkins for Blueprint and the value they saw in a hosted application.
  • How they involved over 150 people, from all over the company, to help detail the processes
  • How they got process owners from the business to own execution after the initial documentation effort.

Pau for now…


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