Real-time process management #BPM

The following is a guest blog by Tom Molyneux. Tom is a business process consultant at some of the largest enterprises in the world. His experiences in the strategic use of technology give him thoughtful insights into the rapidly changing world we live in. Tom is stepping in while Chris climbs in the Himalaya.


Every Fall, my wife and I look forward to spending a Saturday at the MCAS Miramar Airshow in San Diego. One of the thrills of the show is seeing the new hardware.  Last year, the big new thing was seeing the F-22 Raptor fly for the first time. This year, we didn’t see any new planes, but we did see what truly could be called a killer, real-time app. Of course, it had everything we’ve come to expect in a successful app – it was mobile, supported video, was interactive, featured a touch screen, and provided a mashup of real-time, event-driven data.  It also came in a unique package.


All of this was found in an air conditioned tent that could be transported anywhere in the world and fully setup in under three hours.  Inside the tent was the most lovely, man-sized touch screen that showed real-time video, mapping, and logistics.  It offered complete situational awareness. Think about the comptetive advantage being displayed – in a situation where knowing where the enemy (or your forces) were an hour ago has little value, but knowing where all of the players are right now is the game changer.  It wouldn’t be much fun to face off against an army with type of command and control system with anything less than this capability in my own portable tent.

Competitive advantage

These real-time, event-driven capabilities are making their way into business process – and bestowing similar competitive advantages.  Just one example from a client we are working with today: The challenge is simple – the government loses a multi-million dollar satelite and needs to replace it with something temporary until a full replacement can be built and launched.  The competitors only have two weeks to come up with a bid.  If the processes are stored the old way – locked away in disparate, static documents, it will likely be impossible to capture the end-to-end business process of what actually needs to be done to put together the temporary satelite.  Never mind developing the the required costing. Never mind having a competitive bid that also is reasonably profitable.


Imagine that the model for building a temporary satellite is stored not as separate documents, but instead is configured as an end-to-end process model in a truly integrated management platform.  The platform natively supports Activity Based Costing (ABC) which can be tied directly to the bid preparation system.  Now the BPM system  becomes the real-time “calculator” of project cost. The alternative to being able to ‘pull’ cost from the system is to pad your costs heavily to ensure against a loss…making your bid higher and less competitive.

This isn’t a complex example of what can happen in the future. This is a real, real-time example in place in the market that is a major competitive advantage. 



Categories: Workplace Reality

Author:Tom Molyneux

A business process strategist with a focus on real-time event management.

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3 Comments on “Real-time process management #BPM”

  1. October 10, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Hallelujah! Someone else out there is thinking/has applied BPM to engineering processes such as “design and estimate a temporary satellite” or (my favorite) “design a bridge”. The end result is not the physical satellite, but a design for a satellite that meets the requirements of the customer. ABC is the only way to proceed to get an accurate, and competitive enough cost that is generated as part of the design, not a separate effort.

    I am trying to market BPM services to Canadian Engineering Firms. Any pointers? Any opps down there? I have not applied for any special status to work in US aerospace. I have worked at Boeing on their 787 program, but not in an engineering role. Plz contact me at

    All the best to you and great to hear you are/may be using BPM in a knowledge-based process.

    • October 11, 2011 at 7:14 am #

      Scott – thanks for the post – I’ll reach out to you via email as requested. –Tom

  2. October 10, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Enjoyed the blog, Tom. Thanks for covering me while I climb.

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