Production, Operations Mgt and BPM at Texas State

May 28, 2009

Dave Angelow, adjunct professor at Texas State University just finished teaching a semester long course in Production and Operations Management.  The course, which focuses on the supply chain and value chain as well as some production methods, is a core requirement in the school of management.

I talked with Dave to hear how the course went and how BPM fit into the syllabus.

>>My talk with Dave (5:12): Take a Listen

Prof. Dave Angelow of Texas State

Prof. Dave Angelow of Texas State in action.

Some of the topics Dave tackles:

  • How a fair number of students also have day jobs (the course is taught at night) and how this allows them to directly apply what they’ve learned.
  • How BPM, both Business Process Management and Modeling, fit under the quality management section
  • BPM as a means of compressing cycle time and extracting more value for customers.
  • Using Blueprint for a hands on modeling exercise and value the students saw in the tool.

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…


Forrester Report on Blueprint now Available

March 17, 2009

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Forrester review of Blueprint that was published in early February.

We recently purchased licensing rights to the report, “Vendor Snapshot: Lombardi Blueprint Bridges Gap Between Process Discovery And Execution” and it is now available here.

Quotable Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the report:

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.

Blueprint combines the best of both worlds for analysts: the “ready-to-use” feel of office productivity tools and the comprehensive knowledge repository found in traditional BPA tools.

Lombardi Blueprint represents a new way of developing, delivering, and interacting with software — the combination of SaaS, Web 2.0, and business process.

From the very beginning, BPM suite vendors sold business and process analysts on empty promises of easy-to-use modeling capabilities. Lombardi is one of the first BPM suite vendors to deliver on the promise of ease of use for process analysts. Lombardi Blueprint combines collaboration, ease of use, and a centralized process repository into an inexpensive and elegant SaaS-based offering.

But don’t take Forrester’s word for it…

And if those quotes don’t get you to sign-up for a free 30-day trial of Blueprint, I don’t know what will. 🙂  Check Blueprint out for yourself.  Sign-up for a free trial here.

Pau for now…



Conferences going Virtual

March 9, 2009

Taken from the Process 2010 reg page

Taken from the Process 2010 reg page

On Friday Jon Hansen of Procurement Insights, sent me a link to a virtual Business Process conference that he had received an invite to.  I thought it was kind of intriguing.

Today I found out that Gary Comerford across the pond had blogged about the conference last week and was actually associated with the group putting it on.

As Gary explains:

The conference is called Process 2010 and will take place in March next year. This BPM showcase offers the most up to date insight on business process strategy and operational agility and will feature process excellence studies and successes across all industries, Workshop tutorial sessions and Keynotes on both old and new methods, and looking at advancing process management using new combinations of techniques and tools such as GIS (Geospacial Information), Workflow Artificial Intelligence and Virtual World Process Simulation.

Pretty heady stuff.  Who knows how this will come off but I’m interested in following its progress.  (BTW according to organizer Theo Priestley’s status on Linkedin, Microsoft signed up yesterday).  And the number one reason Theo cites for holding a Virtual event?  Cost.

In today’s current economic climate, cost reduction is king. What better way to reduce over-burdening costs for flights and accommodation as well as the attendance price than to remove them entirely.

Speaking of the Economy…

Next month is our annual customer/partner conference, “Driven.”   We knew that times are tough so back in December we surveyed our customers to see what their chances of attending the event were.   At that time  75% told us attending would be a possibility. As we haven gotten closer, however, we’ve started getting a bunch of feedback that many companies are now on travel restrictions (read: no travel).

As a result, today we made the decision to change our format to meet the need and are taking the conference online. While we will lose out on the personal interaction that is a big part of Driven we have already heard from a ton of customers this afternoon that this new format will allow more people at their company to participate and get educated on BPM.

So maybe there is a silver lining to this global economic downturn after all? 😉

Pau for now…


A Batch of Lombardi News

March 6, 2009

A bunch of cool Lombardi-related news bits came out last week.   I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake so I thought I’d put them together into one entry.

Lombardi Announces ’08 Results

A cause for celebration!

A cause for celebration!

Last week we announced results for last year (our fiscal and calendar years are the same).  It was our best year yet and particularly cool was that fact that our software sales grew 47% year over year.

My favorite quote from the release was from our president Phil Gilbert,  “[customers] need to lose fat while building muscle. Lombardi helps our customers do both.”

And of course I’m biased but my favorite bullet from our release was:

  • SaaS Adoption: Surpassed 4,500 companies using Lombardi Blueprint, an on-demand process-documentation tool that is used to collaboratively map an organization’s business processes, identify problems, and prioritize improvement opportunities, making it the most widely used Software as a Service (SaaS) BPM product.

Cap Gemini goes with Lombardi

Under the heading “with a little help from our friends” (especially the ones who are big Systems Integrators), we announced that Cap Gemini’s Business Process Outsourcing Platform “will deploy Lombardi Teamworks as the standard process framework for all of its BPOpen 2.0™ BPO managed processes and will make it available to both existing and future customers as a way to help drive further efficiencies in their businesses.” (And for those of you prefer your announcements in French, voila).  (Or Dutch).

Gartner 2009 BPMS Magic Quadrant released

And under the heading “everyone’s favorite 2×2 matrix,” Gartner released its ’09 Magic Quadrant for Business Process Management Suites.  (Man are there a lot of players in the space these days!)  Lombardi was very pleased to find itself in the leaders quadrant once again.  To see exactly where, click here.

All in all, a good week last week 🙂

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…


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…


Introducing, Process Mapping 101 – An online course

October 24, 2008

Yesterday we launched Lombardi’s first on-demand training course, Process Mapping 101.  Appropriately, it features our on-demand product, Blueprint.

Rather than putting together a how-to-use-Blueprint course, we wanted to go broader and create a how-to-get-started with Process Mapping.  What we’ve been hearing from a lot of our customers is that, while the Blueprint product is fairly straight forward, they are looking for a methodology on how to approach and drive process modeling project.   They know it involves getting group of folks together in room and capturing the info but who do you invite? How  do you run a session so you get what you want out of it and capture and come away with useful info?  Whats the best way to communicate your progress and get buy-in from senior management?

With a Little Help from Our Friends

To put this together we teamed up with BPM heavy-weight Bruce Silver and Shelley Sweet of I4Process. Here’s how Bruce describes the course:

Broken out into 5 segments of Flash video, the [2  hour] training provides a step by step approach to getting started with mapping your as-is process: the team members needed at each step, roles and responsibilities, how to facilitate the mapping sessions, how to drive the Blueprint tool, and how to organize the generated process diagram for maximum effectiveness.  Much of it takes the form of simulated team mapping sessions.  Most of the rest is hands-on for the student.  We’ll describe a scenario of information gathered from the team session, and you’ll put it into Blueprint – training video in one browser window and Blueprint open in another, so you can compare your result with what it should look like.  Hands-on exercises are the only way to learn it.

Who’s it targeted at?

Like Blueprint itselft, rather than process-jocks, this course is designed for Business Owners, Subject Matter Experts, Project Managers, and Business Analysts who are looking to get started with process mapping from a real-world perspective.

To get a flavor for the course, you can watch a few short snippets from the training here. Check it out!

Pau for now…


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