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Blogs > MWD Advisors

When worlds collide... should process professionals fear extinction?
Neil Ward-Dutton By: Neil Ward-Dutton, Research Director, MWD Advisors
Published: 23rd October 2012
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
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“One week, one community, one vision for excellence.”

That’s the tagline for PEX Week 2013, when over 400 process excellence professionals will descend on Orlando next January to discuss and discover the future of customer-centric process management strategies. Mark McGregor, Principal Analyst in MWD Advisor’s Process research program, is part of the speaker line up at this global event. He’s busy preparing for an imminent business trip to Australia, but I managed to grab five minutes of his time to find out what’s going to be happening at PEX Week.

Editor: So Mark… “one week, one community, one vision for excellence” … what does that mean to you?

Mark: For me, it’s all about people, process and technology, all working together in perfect harmony to deliver effective change and consistently high results. Perhaps it’s a pipe dream, but until we can all learn to work and play together, then we are all part of the problem. It’s time for us all to work together and ensure that we remain part of the solution.

Editor: That all sounds very “nice”! But just how real is it? You’ve got a lot of practical experience as a seasoned BPM practitioner and a Six Sigma Black Belt… is it really that simple?

Mark: Not always! And that’s why gatherings like PEX Week are so important to help move things forward. One of the topics I’m really looking forward to exploring with attendees is the clash between Process Excellence and BPM. It seems that BPM folks have a tendency to talk down to their Lean and Six Sigma cousins, often seeing them as technological Luddites; on the other hand non-BPM folks see the BPM teams as nothing more than technology zealots. Seems to me that the only way we are going to sort this out—and sort it out we must—is by taking more time to listen and learn and less time talking and preaching.

Editor: What’s the risk if that doesn’t happen?

Mark: In the long run if we can’t unite our efforts at improving processes with intelligent use of process automation, then we run the risk of everybody being sidelined. With the mix of people who will be attending this major gathering, it seems to be a great place to do some listening. So if anyone out there has a view or think you might have some answers be sure to let me know and we can try and arrange to meet while we are at the event. You may even be interested to hear what I’ve already learned on this topic.

Editor: I know that one of the things you’re passionate about is the whole topic of change—to what degree will your experience and insight here manifest itself at PEX Week?

Mark: Having a vision for process excellence is one thing, but the reality of making change happen is often more challenging. Earlier this year I presented a webinar for the PEX Process Excellence Network in which I discussed some of the barriers to change and how we can overcome them. The session proved really popular, so I’m delighted to be able to explore this subject further at PEX Week alongside Vincent Pierce, SVP Business Transformation at Office Depot. Together we’re going to explore tried and tested tactics to help people remove barriers to change.

Editor: What are you personally hoping to get out of this event?

Mark: For me events like these provide a great opportunity to listen to and learn from people out there walking the talk. With many people sharing their stories and experiences I know that we’ll all learn a great deal about what success looks like inside organisations. I’m really looking forward to hearing these stories and identifying what helps move these companies’ improvement initiatives from one-off projects to creating a culture of continuous change.

Editor: Thanks for your time Mark and for that sneak peek of what people can expect. What’s the best way for people to contact you in advance of the event or while you’re there to arrange a meeting?

Mark: Email me at mark@mwdadvisors.com—I look forward to some great discussions! I’d also just like to add that as a PEX Week partner, MWD Advisors is able to offer enterprises a 20% discount on the attendance fee. Just quote PEXWEEK_MWDA when you make your booking. See you there!

Editor: Thanks Mark.

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