How Comm’ant supports you to rethink processes with David Ruting from Comm’ant Management Systems

How Comm’ant supports you to rethink processes with David Ruting from Comm’ant Management Systems

#026: David and I talk about the BPM tool Comm’ant to explore if it is a human-centric BPM tool or not.

In this episode, I’m speaking with David Ruting, CEO and founder of Amsterdam-based Comm’ant Management Systems, about the BPM tool Comm’ant.

David and I talk extensively about the underlying philosophy of Comm’ant and how to model processes as a modeler and how to retrieve processes as an employee. David will also go over how Comm’ant supports you to design cooperation in and on the processes to meet people’s needs as well as how to involve people in the process to work on the process. Furthermore, David provides a detailed outlook into the BPM tool market and what role Comm’ant is playing. We’ll also explore the pricing model and how you can test it. But is Comm’ant really a human-centric BPM tool? Let’s find out together…

Today’s Guest

David Ruting

David is CEO and Founder of Comm’ant Management Systems. He founded the company back in 1992 in the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Today Comm’ant is used by more than 100 customers in 8 countries. They say that they have a clear vision and a razor-sharp mission: to improve the collaboration of people. They achieve this with their integrated result-driven process model, user-friendly software tools and a practical approach.

It is said that their most important starting point was that the software had to be accessible to everyone and above all understandable. Not just for managers and specialists.

In today’s episode, we’ll explore what this really means.

You’ll learn

  • What the underlying philosophy of Comm’ant is
  • How to model processes in Comm’ant
  • How employees retrieve their processes in Comm’ant
  • How Comm’ant supports you to design cooperation in and on the process to meet people’s needs?
  • How Comm’ant supports you to involve the people in the process into the work on the process?
  • What developments of the BPM tool market David sees
  • What Comm’ant has on its development roadmap
  • What Comm’ant costs and how you can test it


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Please note that the transcript was generated automatically and only slightly adjusted. It does not claim to be a perfect transcription.

Yeah, welcome to episode 26 of New Process Podcast. Today we’ll explore how Comm’ant supports you to rethink processes. Therefore, I’m talking to David Ruting. David is CEO and founder of Comm’ant Management Systems. He founded the company back in 1992 in the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Today, Comm’ant is used by more than 100 customers in eight countries.

They say that they have a clear vision and the razor sharp mission to improve the collaboration of people. They achieved this with their integrated result driven process model, a user-friendly software tool, and a practical approach. It is said that their most important starting point was that the software had to be accessible to everyone and above all, understandable. Not just for managers and specialists.

In today’s episode, we’ll explore what that really means. So with David, I’ll be talking about the underlying philosophy of command and how to model processes in command, as well as how to retrieve processes as an employee. David will also explain how command supports you to design cooperation in and on the process to meet people’s needs, as well as how to involve people in the process, into the work on the process.

In addition, David provides some comprehensive outlook onto the BPM tool market, and it explains what’s on command’s roadmap. We’ll also explore the pricing model and how you can test it. So enjoy the interview with David Ruting. 

Yeah. Welcome to the New Process Podcast. David, it’s great to have you here to learn more about Comm’ant today.

Thank you Mirko. It’s a pleasure to be with you and have a good conversation.

Yeah. Cool. Then let’s dive right into it. And as always, my first check-in question is, what do you prefer in an aircraft, aisle or window seat? 

Well, to be honest, I prefer the window seat because I like to look out of the window and have a clear vision of a beautiful sky. It’s dreaming away.

Yeah. That’s nice. That’s super nice. And what is your favorite airport?

Oh I really have to think about it because for quite some time I haven’t used airplanes. In our work, we’re very much used to Skype and WebEx, and today it’s teams of course, and Zoom. But I used to go to New York quite often, and then even though the Kennedy Airport is quite a messy airport, it always felt like coming home. So I go for Kennedy airport. 

Okay. That’s cool. Ah, nice. I would love to go there again soon, but no plans right now. Cool. Okay, perfect. So what was the best process you have ever experienced? 

Well, it depends a little bit on how you determine the word process and what you think of it. But if you think in terms of a system process like automated services, I’m really impressed all the time with what the web shops are providing me in service.

That is a digitized process, of course, and the speed with which they do accurate work and deliver it next door the next day. That’s seamless. It’s swift, it’s accurate. That’s really a wow experience. So there’s multiple websites where I shop and I’m really impressed very often. The other part of the process that I would think of is the people’s process where you talk more about the collaboration of people instead of the automated systems that are doing the process.

And there I was thinking of a recent experience with a large construction company where about 1400 people were orchestrated to collaborate based on process agreements. And Well, I noticed because Command was there to support this organization, and it’s actually not one organization. It was a virtual organization of four large companies, two out of Germany and two out of the Netherlands to build a large construction work with roads and bridges for the infrastructure from Skip Hole to Amsterdam.

Okay. Yeah. That’s super fascinating. As soon as the process goes beyond the borders of one organizational unit. Yeah, that’s cool.

I will tell the story about the S later on. It’s like a hive of s and where your first impression thinks it’s chaos. They actually work according to patterns.

Yeah. Okay, cool. Perfect. And now we already touched the topic of process, but how would you describe your relationship to processes? 

Yeah, that’s a good one as well, actually, if I think of process, I think of relationship . That’s funny. Maybe because it’s the same word as you state in your question.

But if I think about the process, it’s about things you do to improve the quality of your relationships with, let’s say, colleagues. In a chain of collaboration or the quality of your relationship with your customers because they experience the process and they feel good or bad about it. So for me, the process is much about the relationship that you’re trying to develop with the parties involved.

It’s about collaboration. And also if I think about processes, I think about professionality or maturity. Some organizations have very poor maturity in terms of process; it’s a, let’s say a hobby club. And they are doing a lot of nice things, but they’re not really working effectively and efficiently. But the more quality is required, the better the process must be. to orchestrate collaboration. 

Okay, cool. I love this relationship part that perfectly fits the new process. So it’s all about the people and relationships. That’s a super cool approach. Well, that’s great. I’m curious if that’s also reflected in the tool approach. So what is the underlying philosophy of command? 

Well, command originally comes from challenges in the collaboration of my personal experience over years ago where we had to support people from, let’s say, commercial roles, administrative roles, and IT roles, and they were all talking about the same activity, but they all had different opinions of what, what.

What was taking place, and once we tried to depict the process that they were jointly executing, they came to the insights that they were having different opinions or different ideas of what this process actually was. So the underlying philosophy is, first of all, to. Create a common language so that everybody understands how the work is organized, and secondly, so that you’re able to identify the essence of this collaboration of the work process.

Also to specify the needs for tools in terms of administration tools or registration tools and it, but also what type of craftsmanship is necessary to do their work, right? First, so it’s a foundation for an organization to produce quality outputs and render quality services. Yeah. That’s in essence our philosophy.

Okay. And if you go into detail, it’s actually we stem from a lot of research, which we still do with organizations to meet, to see what makes them unique and what makes organiz. Unique is their pattern of working. And you see also where they are strong and where they are vulnerable. And the moments where they become vulnerable is when the hint of information passing from one to the next in the process chain goes wrong.

So information handoff is the most fragile part in a process chain, and usually people neglect this insight. So they talk about activities and they say the next activity and the next activity, but they forget that what the chain makes a chain is how the information flows through it. So handoffs are really a focal point in our philosophy to identify the output, which is input for people further on in the process.

Okay. That’s super interesting. And you told me upfront a little bit about the name. So what does Command stand for? There are different interpretations, I guess. Yeah, 

Yeah. Well, for those who have seen the logo of command or how you write it, there is a first section, C O M M, and then you have the aro, and then you have a and t.

And the first section of com is com, and it stands for a community of. With a commitment to achieve their goals and communications, to arrange their work and to execute the process. So it’s community commitment and communications. And then the second part of the name and refers to nature. . If you look at the insects, which are very effective and efficient, but they’re also very agile and let’s say very strong survivors, they organize themselves very flexible in relationship with nature in their context.

And they have by nature also, good assignment of tasks. So their dna, n a properties makes them very strong fighters, builders. Food finders, et cetera, and they work as a natural system. So the concept of a natural system is very much reflected in the way hi or a colony of Anne’s work. And this analogy, you can also project on an organization where you have specialized peoples with their personal traits, their maturity, their experience, their education, and so, On an individual basis, they would not be able to get thus far.

But through collaboration and working together, they can build excellent products and render excellent services. So this is the analogy with, let’s say an organization and a colony of ants. That’s super cool. Wow. Yeah, and, last but not least, last but not least, yeah. If you express the word command in English, it means, yeah, it’s similar to control or to be in control of, yeah.

Well, whatever is necessary, the quality in particular. Yeah. Yeah. 

Okay. Cool analogy. That’s great. So that’s about the name, but how does the tool look? 

Well, it’s a web-based software tool that you can use on a pc, a tablet, or a mobile phone. Most people use it on a tablet or a pc. When it comes to the process, let’s say descriptions, and it’s looking at the process to talk together about what’s going on there.

So it’s, let’s say, a knowledge base of work and communication agreements. And in, if you look at the web interface on a PC, for instance, or a Mac, you work with a browser and you have some navigation features. And you have of course, the displaying of the process where some people are not interested in details and others are interested in details.

So they can filter out easily what is relevant for their needs, their information needs. Secondly, if they log into a command system, they get a personal entrance because the system recognizes you as a named user. And when you have set it up properly, then the system also knows your job title or your various jobs that you can perform.

And from this job perspective, you can easily access the information that is related to the. The whole objective is to give people oversight so that they have an oversight of what’s going on, that they have insights in processes and what’s relevant for their job, and that they can look forward in the process chain for what’s happening after they have done their task 

Okay. That sounds like a very human-centric approach. 

That’s, it’s a human-centric approach. And, and secondly, this is the process part. Actually, we have two platforms. So one is process, the other one is about registrations, workflow, actions, and reporting and dashboards on. So it, if you think in terms of plan, do check and act.

The process description is your plan. You train people, they do the work, and you need to have, let’s say, organize your own feedback with respect. Compliments, complaints, et cetera. And there you use registration forms with workflow and they get immediate insight in, let’s say, reports and dashboards to see how well their performance is.

So aware to be conscious of the process, but also be conscious of the performance that you’re looking into.

Okay. That’s super interesting. Then let’s have a closer look onto the modeling part itself. How does the process architecture look like? How do you map processes? 

Yes. Well, it’s an integrated results driven process model.

So there’s actually a very specific object-oriented process model on which command is based. And when I talk about object orientation, it is not a thing that you draw process diagrams, but you actually model it through click. Objects together, and every object and every relationship is stored in a database, which also allows you to report on, let’s say, inconsistencies and so on.

The top level is usually based on the concept of the berg typology of processes, so primary processes, supporting processes, management processes, and if you look for instance, at your primary processes, you could see a value chain of Mr. So that’s business science concepts that are on the high level. On the second level, you would see a process chain.

I will provide you with a diagram to support this explanation. So the second level is a process chain where you actually see a number of processes in a diagonal structure and from one process to another, you see lines with the title of the information that is flowing from one process to the other.

It can flow downwards like a waterfall, but it can also flow back as feed. This concept is based on I diff No, which is the integrated definition, which is a formal diagram model. Now, each process, which usually is stated in a name like a verb, for instance, sell or purchase or produce, if you zoom into that, you would come to the level of a flow chart.

And a flow chart we use cybook. So you see the. Supporting supplying process. I mean, so which process supplies the information? What input do you receive from them? What are your own activities or process steps? What outputs do you produce and what is the customer process? Who receives the information?

And this customer process can be an internal process or also an external process. So you see input coming somewhere from and output going to another. So that’s level three. And then you can go if you want to, into the details of activities or the details of input and output specifications, which you can compliment with Instructions.

And one step in particular I’d like to mention is that on the level of an output, we usually talk about the micro steps of who is producing the output, who ne if necessary, checks it, who if necessary authorizes the output? Who is using the information as an input, who takes action on it, and also when it’s information that needs to be filed properly, who is doing the archiving?

Paper archiving? Or digital archiving. On the proper location. So those are microsteps when you look at an output for the steps they do to produce it and then use it so that, that’s the structure. 

Okay, cool. You already said that you’re going to provide some slides which we can share with the listeners or Yes.

Have a look into the show notes. Maybe we can also produce a short video. On showing how to do this, especially with regards to the two use cases. Like how do I proceed if I’m a process modeler? How do I map processes in Comm’ant 

There’s a number of ways to do it, and you may have heard of the concepts of top down and bottom up.

We actually invented a third way. Okay. So that’s called Center Out. Okay, so on the middle level, we try to define the roadmap or the essential process steps, and then later on connect them to the higher level of the strategic pictures. And then if you dive from the middle lane into the details, then you build and configure the, in the content, let’s say, of a process.

So instead of bottom up, where you really have to start with all kind of detailed stuff or. Top down where the whole board of directors needs to start first before you can dive into a real process. We say there is a third way, and it’s called center out. So from the center process chain, you connect to strategy and to operations.

It’s the tactical level. And when someone wants to model in command, well they log into a system. They use personal accounts. They usually, use it in the cloud, but they can also render on their own server. So it’s a server-based software system that you model with your web browser.

It’s just like connecting the dots , it’s quite easy. Once you know the scheme of the process it’s really easy to model it and to adopt it to the well situation you want to show. And that could be a situation as it currently is, or it can be a future state, A two b design of a process, how you want it to be, which you can address.

Then in your discussion with the people who are. 

Okay. And if we switch perspective and now we as an employee would like to retrieve process, we just published in command, how do I proceed? I log into the tool and then 

Yeah. Well, there’s a number of ways how you can log into, usually people have a number of flavors, so to speak.

They could use a quick link from a SharePoint site or from their intranet or from a homepage or on a desktop. They could have a quick. And this quick link can go to the homepage of command of their command system, or it can be a deep link going to a particular area, a particular process, a particular output, or anything.

But if they do not have a particular deep link, they can also, by the way, if they use a E R P system. , regardless of the brand. They can also provide hyperlinks from their E R P screen to the process if they want to look up the process that they’re working on and find to do their job instruction or their checklist.

So we try to connect it as deep as possible. In their daily operations. But let’s say that they’re not in the system through a deep link, but they just come in through the homepage. They have the flavor of searching on keywords. They can zoom. In a number of steps to get to the particular information.

They can use a navigation tree, just like the old school navigator for your file system that you can open up. And this is something people really like a lot if you compare it to the current document based systems like, Google Docs and SharePoint, because you do not have the three menu.

People really miss the tree menu because it helps their brain to structure from large to smaller segments. And last but not least, people also have their personal access page, which provides them their job related information, right at firsthand. So instead of looking, they find all the information that they need to do, for instance, the job as a purchaser or a planner.

Okay. And how does the system know who I am, which roles I have?

Well, there’s two things. Your personal identification is through your Microsoft account, for instance, or your Google account with single sign on. And then the system needs to be fed, of course, with what role or special tasks are assigned to you.

This can be done on a central basis, for instance. Through hr, it’s often also done on a request basis that you sign up and request a particular role and then it first needs to be approved and then you get it or not. if I say, oh, I’m the chief , well, someone else wants to make sure that I am the chief

Gimme all the rules. It’s and actually from the perspective of information come out is very much about transparency. So I see processes where my chief is working on and maybe I can help. or learn so I can grow and maybe in due time I’ll be the chief, depending of course of the content that you put into it.

It’s a transparent system where processes are open to view. 

Okay, so transparency is a good keyword leading us to the new process principles. And there I would be super interested in learning more on how does Comm’ant support to design cooperation in and on the process to meet people’s needs. Yes.

Well that’s a good question. Cause if I sit silently in my chamber designing the process and say, TA-da, here is your process. Now you do it. And then you’ll probably have a lot of people that walk away say, well, great David, you’re the man of the process. And we are the people of the real work. , good luck.

Yeah. So the sooner I involve people with expertise who have opinions, strong opinions, maybe about how the work should be organized. The sooner I involve them, the better command is, of course very flexible. But when it comes to involving people, we train them, we guide them to learn what best practices are, and we initially start with live sessions with people.

It can be through teams, but preferably real life sessions in a workshop. And they use things like Process Mobile Compass, which is a. Big paper sheets with stickers and markers to, let’s say, do inventory of what elements are necessary in this process. And we have a certain design pattern in how we start.

We say, begin with the end in mind. What’s the end of a process? It’s a happy customer. of the process. What does she receive in terms of information and perhaps of goods? And then you work your way back to eventually construct the elements that are necessary in the process. So this is usually a live session, and then the session is supported by someone we call a process developer.

It’s a modeler, so to speak. And in a, let’s say a lunch break or a coffee break. During the session, he or she can input the collected information in the command system, and then they switch on the screen or the Beamer and they can continue their work in the more detailed configuration of the process.

So this is preferably not something you do behind the scene, but in the scene with the process team, we also have recommendations through our, let’s say playbooks, which is called Mount Easy, that you say there is a process owner, usually someone on a very high level, a director or manager. He’s process owner, or she’s process owner with regards to budget policy and so on.

And then he or she is requested to assign process experts, people who know by heart and trade the contents of the process. And this team is supported by a process developer who more knows about, let’s say, the structuring of information that eventually is put into the command system as a model.

And, he or she also supports the process team. Number of stages. One of them is of course, the design stage. Then you have validation against standard. Is it valid for all the standards that you put in there, all your requirements. Number two is the verification of executability. Can you execute this process in a realistic way, or is it too burdensome?

And if both are okay, then the process owner is asked to approve it, to authorize the process. and then the other section of work starts. You have to train people and help them practice to become experienced workers who support their collaboration with this process agreement. 

Okay, so these different approval steps are also part of the workflow in the tool, right?

Yeah, once the process is, let’s say authorized and people are trained and they’re doing their work, Let’s say the early life support stage, you want to have, let’s say, weekly contact with people to ask how things go, and if things do not go well, find out, analyze, support, and solve and train where necessary additional training sometimes is needed.

Then the processes or groups of processes are, let’s say, put in a schedule for periodic evaluation , so every six months you evaluate your processes and all the feedback that you have. And when you have certification, then let’s say each half year you do an evaluation and the other half year you do a process outed and ask them to make the formal outed report on the process which is needed for your management review.

Okay, so now the process is designed, it’s published, it’s live, and is there more to involve the people in the process into the work on the process? 

Yes, essentially because, well, we are convinced that the best ideas on improving a process is in the field cuz they do the real work. They experience the real successes, but also the real burden when things are not really fit for purpose.

So if you involve them in the stage of process verification, Right before you authorize it. you already get your first feedback. Secondly, in the early life support of a new process that you have designed and implemented, you ask people how are things going? You are interested to hear their view, their experience.

And you need to be sensitive and really try to pick up the details of what goes well and what needs to be improved. So here you start with, let’s say continuous improvement initially on a high frequent basis, but then secondly, on a bi-yearly basis to. Go around the fields and ask people their experience.

On the other hand, you also have, let’s say, spontaneous IDs or spontaneous problems. So Comm’ant has, apart from the process side, also the registration part, which allows people to , click on a button and make a compliment, a complaint and event. They can give notice of, things that are going different from what they expected.

And if you keep this form simple and. Call them or meet them, visit them and then ask the root cause analysis question, why, why, why, why, how they start to become more and more owner of their process as well to contribute to its wellbeing because it’s in their interest as well, that the process is working fine.

Okay. Cool. That’s super interesting. I love this approach and that fits very well with the new process. Working. But with regards to the time, is there anything else in terms of rethinking processes that you would like to share with our business that they should know about the tool before we talk about your outlook to the future and so on.

Yeah. Well I briefly mentioned this. If an organization wants to think and do process, she must identify the type of processes that they’re thinking of if it’s something they need to automate immediately. For instance, if I’m a telecom company and I have 2 million customers, I need to automate a lot for the, let’s say, distribution of new phones and sim cards and so on.

This is highly automat. However, within this same company in the Netherlands, you have KPN and some others, you see that a lot of the work outside of that automation field is people’s business. So you may have within one organization, two. Let’s say paradigms with which people look at process.

One of the is the automation paradigm. The other one is the organization Paradigm. So if you want to do something with process first, be sure. What are you looking at? Is it it driven? Then use something like BPMN or toga, or things with swim lanes, whatever the tech people find the most effective way to start programming and automating it to the.

But if it’s about workers, team leaders, managers, and the way people collaborate, our strong recommendation is to use something simpler. And which is about processes. The way command is doing them with I diff No and Cybook , that’s more on the human level. So both have their really important contribution for an organization.

But do not think that you can use, let’s say, a hammer in every case. Sometimes you need a screwdriver. Yeah. Great. So that’s one first, look at the method and the model that fits your , target population. Second for every situation, I would say focus on the quality of the information flows, the handoffs, because people are too much oriented on activities, please look at the information flow and make sure that the quality is good.

And when you design a process, please begin with the anti mind, which is a happy customer, a raving fan, customer. , it tells you everything you need to know. What is the minimum viable process? Keep it simple. Keep it to the minimum. Less is more. The last thing I had is leave room for professionals. To anticipate in the best way of working.

If you program your process too much in detail, you take away creativity and professional flexibility, which people need to anticipate in some occasions to make it flexible and work. if you’re too tight and like a doctrine force people to do microsteps, you see that they burnout. Those are my four recommendations.

Yeah. Cool. That’s good to know. I fully agree to what you said. that’s super cool. Thanks for sharing these. So let’s have a look into the future. So what trends do you see in the B BPM tool market coming up right now for the next. 

Okay. That’s an interesting thing. Recently I looked back at Gartner Reports.

A Gartner report of two years ago. Actually, I have it somewhere in my ST but , I was shocked to read about that B P M N or BPM systems would have a objective to create, let’s say, unstable process. on purpose. Okay. Unstable processes on purpose. And I was discussing it with some, professional colleagues and they say, yeah, well maybe this is to do with flexibility.

I said, yeah, but instability. So I, I really need to, research more who made the statement and ask them somewhere to explain about it. But if I look at the, let’s say the coming years, first of all, there is not one single market. , as briefly explained before, there’s a number of markets and some are highly oriented on automation.

Others are more on organizational improvement and quality and so on. So I would distinguish these two. And with regards to the tools for further automation, my expectation is they will continue to develop and they become a commodity. As you already see now, there’s a lot of free tools, open source tools to let’s say model and execute.

Also in the web shops, you see a lot of systems that are almost free of charge. You need to pay for the consultants to help you, but then it’s done. So they become commodities. And the question is how providers or the manufacturers of these tools then make income. Most of them will do this with income from professional services of consult.

Whether this is good or not, the quality is of course to be decided or determined by the customer who’s asking them for help. If you think of this as a market, then good references will distinguish the good guys from, let’s say, the lesser good guys. And I al always hope that people are aware of what quality is also in terms of delivering consultancy and services, cuz there’s still say, an imbalance.

Some goes for as much hours as they can, where for the customer, that’s not a success. So that’s about the future of automation and of course machine learning in the routing of transactions. Take a big role. So, robot process automation in combination with machine learning, let’s say self-steering transaction systems that are learning based on a neuropath analysis.

Well this is more complex. I’m into this, but neuropath analysis is sort of process mining. On the fly. So the system is constantly lo looking into the analysis of all the transactions taking place, and then automatically redirecting transactions for further automation if it looks that it got stuck.

So that’s self-steering systems that manage their workflow themselves. This is high-tech. This is specialized stuff yeah.

Mirko: Super interesting. 

David: Thank you. On the other side, I also expect things to see with business process management concepts where platforms will arise to configure and support temporary.

Highly flexible virtual workforces. So if there’s an assignment from a big company, say, okay, go build this bridge, then you see a lot of experts flying in from all kind of areas. , and they collaborate live, but also online to do the job. And to support this type of collaboration requires a new vision on BPM, modeling, supporting, and so on.

We are working on that field in some research projects to support, let’s say, highly flexible virtual workforces. . I expect this to become a parent in the coming two years. There’s another thing. We also work for companies in high tech industry, , where behind the scene you come to the notice that the way they work together is low tech.

So our original assignment of command to improve the collaboration of people is also very much appreciated in high tech companies where they come, they become aware that people’s work is still low. So I think that this part will make a comeback, as I think you see as well, that not everything is about automation, but there’s also a lot to do in creating clarity for people that they come to understand each other, that they meet each other, that they talk, that they have dialogue, that they identify their agreements, but also their disagreements and that they find a common language.

And I think the process model is. Common language to reflect upon together so that we do not have a coalition of A is in disagreement with B, but we look from A to the process and we look from B to the process. So our process is point C and we can talk about it without being in a personal conflict, and we can look for solutions by improving the process.

And then once we’ve done it, we are in harmony. So process as a reflection model, a mirror, so to speak, that we can talk to together to come to co Yeah. Let’s say agreement on collaboration is, I think, a very important, thing that we need to give more attention. Yeah. There’s a few more things I’ve been looking into the developments of business process management, where it was.

Focused on highly automation of services. And in, for instance, the Netherlands, you have some over 300 municipalities and they have a vast amount of systems which work quite different. So there’s not a Dutch standard for. Government services from the municipalities. There’s also a, quite a lot, a large community of people who cannot cope with it anymore.

They miss the human interface. I’m partly involved in a program that tries to develop, multichannel, omnichannel, or multichannel services. Where the underlying information systems are high tech, but they’re, multi-channel interfaces offer various interfaces for both people to do it online, but also to visit, let’s say, a teller, a counter that a service employee of the municipality can help them in a friendly way, but also in a safe way with regards to privacy and security of.

So the human interface is still for quite a large population necessary. And if you don’t look after that you exclude part of society to participate in all kind of important activities of our life. And last but not least, in the last 15 years, and this is not so much related to BPM, men to bpm, but more to the concept of the agile manifesto that self-steering has been interpreted quite often, quite wrong.

It cost a lot of stress because people lost their coordination mechanism. And BPM, I believe, can help them to restore the minimum necessary collaboration and coordination mechanism so that people have some more, let’s say, rhythm. and rest. And, sanity so they can focus on work that they’re good at and organize their collaboration in a well, let’s say social way.

Yeah. Okay. So I expect BPM to contribute to less stress and less frustration. That’s cool. 

Wow. Thank you for this comprehensive outlook into the future and all the insights. There are so many interesting parts in it, which would be worth having their own podcast episode. I would say.

But we’ll see. We’ll see, Mirko.

But to be more specific, what is, on the roadmap for the development of command? ? 

Yeah, good question. Well, briefly, I stated this already that we’re looking into the support of, highly flexible virtual teams. That come together for a particular assignment and then they fly away again how we can better support these, ambulance teams in the job they want to do.

So that’s something that we’re currently, already investing in. Secondly, our clientele has grown. International, not necessarily working in different countries, but at least working with different nationalities. And languages Since last year, end of last year, we introduced the integration of Depot translation in commands.

So if people design their process, they make their process description, instructions, and so on and so forth, they can do this in their core language , and usually they choose English, but now they have the possibility to automatically translate the content to up to 19 languages, which are provided through and it’s on the fly.

And it of course will give. Marker. This is an automated translation and it’s not authorized. Oh, okay. But you can authorize this by, let’s say a native speaker who will check Yeah. Okay. English against that language. And then they can approve it. But you can provide it as well as is, and then it says, okay, this is an automated translation for the original, please reserve back to the English.

But it helps so much even in the Netherlands, if or in your country as well, if people from Italy come and work in Germany. They have to read things in German and they do not master the language completely. It helps them so much to read the Italian in. They say, ah, now I understand. But they learn your language as well.

So they learn your core language because they see it side by side. Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s really nice. Yeah, 

That’s a super interesting approach to provide the translation afterwards, after publishing just, for information and telling the people that this is not an authorized translation. Instead of translating already in the editorial area and then publishing languages.

To the word out there, you say publishing, but in most cases, command is used real time online. Okay. So what I, what you see is what you get. What I change is what they get. Okay. Of course, I can have strong version control with all kind of delays, but, the system is running on a server platform that has, let’s say version control in the database model.

So if I want to, I can show people immediately the latest. Yeah, and that’s usually helping best to keep it trustworthy. Cuz if it’s delayed for weeks for someone to, let’s say, oh, I have to still look at it and I don’t have time, people start to ignore it because they don’t trust it anymore. If you want to have it up to date, make sure it’s swift.

Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. Yeah. Furthermore well we have been and will be in the harmonization of processes. So reducing complexity managing risk, assuring quality, make it more personal. So we already have a system that is very personal because it gives you the insights you can have personal favorites your job.

Related information, right? First time, but to make it even more personal so that it becomes a good companion for all workers in the organization. It’s not only for the IT or the process expert, it’s a companion for all the workers in the organization, which means directors, managers, team leaders, people who produce the work.

Supporters from hr supporters, from quality supporters, from purchasing supporters, from it, a companion for every. Okay, 

Cool. Now we heard a lot about the tool, but what about the price? So what is the pricing model you are using there? And to be more specific, imagine what would a company have to pay with about 1000 employees on the one end side as well as a startup with just 50 employees.

Yeah, it’s a good question. I prepared this through our license calculator , we have a license calculator. So command prices are based on let’s say the licensees for process. and for forms. So we have the process design. and we have the forms for execution. So there’s a server license for each.

You have developers and you have users. . And if I come to, there’s also a volume discount. So in an average case of a company with 1000 employees, the price would be six euros per user per month. Okay. And with the smaller size company, the 50 employees, the volume discount does not contribute that much, but then your price would be around 15 euros per user per month.

Yeah, that’s good for orientation. Cool. Yeah. Thank you very much for these insights. And now sure. If our listeners say, I have to have a closer look onto Command . Where can I learn more? Can I test the tool? 

I’ll tell you first of all, there’s, the website, or if you want to, is there in English, is there in.

You can look and preview all the information. You can request a demo. We do online demos, so with the personal touch to get to know people and to hear what their interest is about what type of problems they want to solve. And sometimes it’s a simple thing and in other cases it’s high complex stuff.

So we like to learn. As well from customers or interested parties, what they look for, so that we learn as well. We also offer pilots where, let’s say there’s a half a day skills training, which is paid, which is 500 95 euros. For a half day skills training. But then you get the software for a month to try.

Well, of course when you have access to the system, you have access to a large hi of help documentation. and we’re currently releasing the first sections of a new e-learning platform with video instructions and quizzes and assignments to , test yourself. So that people are less dependent on our team to support them with their needs for training.

Cool. Yeah, we’ll put all the links into the show notes so it’s easy for our listeners to find more about Comm’ant. Yeah, we already reached the end of the episode, the end of this flight. Is there anything else before we leave the aircraft you would like to share with our listeners? 

Always look at it from a people’s perspective.

An organization starts with people and it ends with people. And there’s a lot of high tech and low tech stuff for us to, let’s say, produce our services and products and collaborate together as professionals. And if you look at the interest of the various stakeholders, you’ll contribute into a better world, better world.

So that’s what I would give people with their Yeah. 

Cool. Thank you David. And now, before leaving the aircraft, how would you describe your flight experience with just three words? 

To answer your question, how did I experience this flight? First of all, it was very pleasant, miracle to meet you, not live, but online.

We’ve been chatting already for some while and I’m really glad it was a very pleasant flight. It was inviting to express more of, well, okay, our. Emotions even about why we do this. And also challenging because it’s deep questions that you asked. So we had to think deep in giving you good answers.

Yeah. I thank you very much.

Yeah, thank you so much. I think you made it pretty good. As I already said, we are going to provide the links in the show notes so it’s easy for the listeners to learn more about. Okay. So David, thank you so much for being my guest and I’m looking forward for further possibilities for corporation.

So have a great day. 

Okay, bye-bye. Thank you, Mirko. Bye-bye. 

Yeah, I hope you enjoyed this super interesting interview with David Ruting as much as I did. We’ll definitely put the video and additional information into the show notes, so don’t miss to check out the show notes for these.

And yeah, summing it up. I really love David’s perspective that processes are all about relationships. That’s 100% new process and that’s super cool. It’s super interesting, so feel free to contact David to check out Command on your own. To provide you an outlook. I’m super busy at the moment in some consulting projects, helping organizations to implement a human-centric BPM framework, which really inspires people for processes.

That’s why I’m going to stick to the biweekly publishing schedule here. I’m still exploring all the different BPM tools, and there are more tool episodes coming up in the future, but at least. I’m planning to have something like an intermediate conclusion after one year of starting my search for human-centric BPM tools.

So there I’m already preparing something really interesting with a guest and there will also be more. Expert interviews coming up in the future, so a lot of things to explore. Just stay tuned and be curious what is coming up for now. Thank you very much for listening. Have a great day. Bye-Bye. And auf Wiedersehen!

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Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. For more tools, methods, and best practices to rethink your process and push it to the next level. Next level. Thank you for listening.

Before you leave, just a quick question. As I already said, I’m still searching for a human-centric BPM tool, and I would like to know if there is another tool out there which I should invite to the podcast.

So if you’re missing something up to now, feel free to send me your recommendation to Thank you very much. Bye-bye.


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