How ShiftX supports you to rethink processes

How ShiftX supports you to rethink processes

#047 Let’s find out how the tool ShiftX with a human-centric approach and its own notation can help to rethink processes!

In this episode I’m talking to Eigil Sagafos about the BPM tool ShiftX that he and his colleagues are developing. Eigil explains what the ShiftX philosophy is and what it looks like.

He points out why it has a completely unique notation and how he thinks ShiftX helps get people excited about processes.

Eigil also ends with a really cool offer for the New Process community.

Today’s Guest:

Eigil Sagafos

Eigil is CTO of ShiftX. He co-founded the company together with Nikolai Strandskogen and Kjetil Jortveit in 2018 in Oslo.

ShiftX is a fast-growing tech company from Norway, and ShiftX is also the name of the BPM tool they are developing.

They say it is an easy-to-use, no-code, drag-and-drop process visualization tool with connected data that enables everyone in an organization to quickly map and understand processes, routines, and customer journeys.

You’ll learn:

  • What the underlying philosophy of ShiftX is
  • How it looks like
  • How to map processes
  • How to retrieve these processes in ShiftX
  • How ShiftX helps to inspire people for processes and how it supports to trust people
  • What on the roadmap for the future is, what it costs and how you can try 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 47 of the New Process Podcast. Today, after a very long time, we’ll have another tool episode to find a human-centric BPM tool. This time we’ll deep dive into ShiftX. Therefore, I’m talking to Eigil Sagafos. Eigil is CTO of ShiftX. He co-founded the company together with Nikolaj Strandskogen and Kjetil Jortveit in 2018 in Oslo.


ShiftX is a fast-growing tech company in Norway and ShiftX is also the name of the BPM tool they are developing. They say it is a user-friendly, no-code-drag-and-drop process visualization tool with connected data which enables everyone in an organization to quickly map and understand processes, routines and customer journeys. But you’ll learn more about Eigil, ShiftX and their story in the interview. So, in detail, we are talking about the underlying philosophy of ShiftX, how it looks like, how to map processes and how to retrieve these processes in ShiftX. We’ll also talk about how ShiftX helps to inspire people for process and how it supports to trust people. You’ll learn what is on the roadmap for the future, what it costs and how you can try it. And Eilgil also has a special offer for the new process community. So I find ShiftX super interesting and you just have to learn more about this cool tool. So enjoy the interview with Eigil Sagafos. Yeah, welcome to the new process podcast, Eigil. It’s great to have you here to learn more about ShiftX. I’m really looking forward to our conversation. Welcome, Eigil. Thank you.


Miko, it’s great to be a part of this podcast After I met you a while ago. I’ve been, and after I actually said yes to do this podcast, I’ve listened to a lot of the other tool podcasts, so it’s been a great learning opportunity for me as well. So thank you for doing this.


Yeah, sure, it’s the first tool interview after a long time, so we had to wrap up last summer and now we’re looking into more tools. There are other interviews coming up, so that’s super interesting here. But as always, let’s start with a check-in. So what do you prefer in an aircraft aisle or window seat? I do prefer.


Eil, I thought why don’t you have a middle seat as an option, have you?


ever been asked, when you checked into the flight, if you want to have a middle seat.


I only know the standard question. If you have the five-seat row, I like the number three, the middle seat. Okay, I do like the aisle seat. I like the idea of the window seat, but I always choose the aisle for some reason. But it’s good to know that there are Not everyone likes the aisle seat, so that a lot of people get their wish.


Yeah, yeah, exactly, it often depends. So what kind of flight it is, what you want to do on the flight, and so on. Yeah, that’s super interesting. What is your favorite airport?


It’s a good question as well. I’m from Oslo, Norway, so I like the airport in Oslo. It’s always sufficient and time from getting off the train to the plane is usually very short, so that’s good. But I think my favorite airport might be Kona, Hawaii. Okay, it’s a small airport, it’s outside and I’ve been there a couple of times a long time ago, but it’s a beautiful destination and just a small, simple airport, with being in the outdoors seeing the volcanic landscape. Yeah, it’s a nice spot and good memories from going on vacation.


Yeah, okay, I’ve never been there, but we plan to go there for honeymoon, but we decided to go somewhere, maybe.


Would it get?


enough, I can’t tell. Just 200 kilometers away from Hamburg, at a small nice hotel where we have been several times already in the past.


You had the choice between flying to Hawaii or taking a road trip in Germany.


Germany, exactly.


I don’t know.


We always say, oh, we can do it later. Yeah, we’ll see, Maybe in a few years, maybe together with the kids, so it could be nice. Yeah, that could be nice, yeah, right. So final checking question what was the best process you have ever experienced?


Yeah, also a good question.


It’s been fun listening to the answers of your other s. I have two. Maybe One is just like and I didn’t think about it before. I heard it on the TED Talk but when you go to the airport in Oslo, there’s something called the Airport Express train, okay, and there was a guy who compared the process of getting to the airport in Oslo and getting to the airport in Gothenburg in Sweden. I was not called him. I think it was Okay.


And the way it works in Oslo is you just swipe your credit card and you enter. So it’s just so easy, so fast. You don’t think about it. It’s just swipe, enter and then you swipe to get out and then you can find your receipt later. And then I remember this talk. In TED Talk he had the picture of the two different ways to buy tickets, and in the one in Stockholm there was like a huge vending machine with like 100 buttons and all these options and you had to make a lot of choices to be able to get your ticket. Like, I just want to get to the airport, why is it so hard? And then the one in Oslo, which is swipe your credit card, get on the train and that’s it. I like that efficiency and you know, simple, a simple, efficient process.


But then I also thought about the something I picked up, or I, during COVID. A lot of people in, at least in my circles, they started baking with sourdough and it took me a while to catch on because people, you know, they were talking about all the steps and it just felt so hard and so tedious. And then I started looking into it myself and I met someone who had a very simple process for making sourdough. So I finally started and then I tweaked it myself. So now it’s like I’ve gotten down to. Yes, it takes, like it takes time in total, but each step is so fast, so I probably like five minutes total is the time I actually spend making the bread and I think I like the. You know, it’s the contrast between something taking a lot of time and where you just have to wait for it to turn out good, but then also being able to tweak it and make it efficient and kind of see the whole variations and you know. So that’s that’s the process I enjoy.


Yeah, ok, now I’m really curious how would you describe your relationship to processes?


I’m a curious person.


Now being in the BPM space, I kind of maybe fell into it a little bit, but I’ve always been curious and always wanted to understand how things work. So I’ve always, you know, thought about a process and you know I like things to be efficient, I like to challenge myself to make things more efficient and just through that, just through asking questions, and that throughout my life, eventually led to me and my co-founder starting shift six years ago, just because, you know, not being the combination of being curious and not letting yourself be satisfied with this, you know, with the current situation, and, hey, we want to make things better, we want to make things more efficient. And it’s not just about time, it’s not just about making things more efficient, because that could sacrifice other things. So it’s about finding the balance between different problems, different criteria and trying to make that as enjoyable for everyone involved. And just the idea of making, you know, always improving is something I like.


So, yeah, I think I’ve always been fascinated about processing. Before I knew process was, you know, a term that people nerded out on. Yeah, what we’re doing now, I guess that’s at least that’s part of it. You know how I got into it.


Okay, yeah, that’s interesting, cool, and how did you end up in process? What was you?


know, I think it was in my first internship. I did a study in cooperation with a company, so which is a program here quite special in southern part of Germany, or at least it was 20 years ago Now. It’s also often applied in other areas, but it was in Baden-Württemberg that time and I was working for Lufthansa Cargo and studying in Mannheim, and I had an internship at Lufthansa Cargo and this was in a project where they developed claims and complaints process. So whenever you have cargo shipped to somewhere and it’s damaged, as soon as you receive it, then you can open a request to get money back and so on.


They were talking a lot about processes and I was just in the middle of this discussion and I was asked to map a specific part of the process and I did that more or less intuitively, without thinking about that in PowerPoint and draw some boxes and arrows in between, so I never really realized. Oh, now I’m working on processes. It just happened there was no lecture on process management that time, only one about organizational development, where we draw some boxes for org charts and that’s it, but no process management lectures at all. Yeah, so step by step I got more and more into that topic and I ended up where I’m today full-time process nerd.


I like that. You didn’t think you were working on a process. That’s a good statement, I guess, and probably why some people say we don’t do process, we don’t have processes, but they do.


So then you founded the company Shift-X, and what is the underlying philosophy of the tool?


Yeah, so I guess it’s how philosophical do you want to get?


Oh, quite open.


So I think when we started Shift-X it’s a combination of life and journey and getting to that point and especially me and my one co-founder, nikolai, who had been working on a lot of customer journey improvements at the consultancy just coming together and seeing the joy of people getting together and seeing the common picture and what happens in those discussions, when you actually have that visual common understanding. And I remember doing workshops with him where you could have people. We found ourselves in these situations before we started Shift-X and we were consultants helping with usually customer-facing processes and you would have different people coming from company and maybe you had like five or ten different department heads suddenly in the same room, people that shouldn’t be talking together normally but in the business of life and it didn’t happen frequently enough. And then we are two kind of young guys who are supposed to be specialists in process, which I guess in one way we were, but in another part it’s just about getting people together, so we were just facilitators. And then you see this you just help them, let’s just lay it out on the whiteboard and that’s how we worked at the time. Let’s just get the process up there and then in some cases you would have people who could have been.


You had people that had grudges against each other. They hadn’t been able to see the same picture. They were fighting, or at least not the best friends. Suddenly they would realize they saw each other, they saw each other’s pain, they saw each other’s problems and they got away from that competition into Hokey. How can we solve this together? So it’s just that, seeing that and also when we were doing this, we were looking for tools, we were looking for ways hey, how could we do this digitally?


because there should be other ways than whiteboard and then working in Illustrator or some other tool softwares to make a beautiful printout. And, honestly, we didn’t find anything. Because either so this is six, seven years ago we didn’t find anything. That was all the specialist tools. They were either too expensive or you couldn’t even sign up because you had to go through sales, which, if you’re just a single person trying to find a tool, you don’t do that process. So you ended up using PowerPoint or Illustrator, or maybe today people use Miro or Sigma.


So finding ourselves in this situation and also seeing that kind of magical experience when people just start talking because that’s what I feel it’s about often like hey, just get the people talking and how can we help make that happen, and how can we maybe make it happen continually and not just when the consultants are there that’s kind of what birthed the idea of ShiftX. Where could we make this into a digital experience or could we make this facilitation happen at the more regular frequency, continuously? So that’s kind of what started it and for us, I think our team is very we’re used to working more on consumer facing products, so I think as a team, we’re very user oriented, and making something that’s beautiful and simple and easy was at the top of our list when we started ShiftX. So that’s making something that’s friendly and that’s easy and that’s simple, and that’s maybe the question we want to try to answer is okay, what if you could get everyone in the company excited about process, even, as you said, even without thinking about process? It’s just like get more people involved.


And I think in our finding, I would argue that probably the best selling or the most used process tools is not us, it’s not the other people you interviewed, it’s the whiteboard, it’s Miro, it’s PowerPoint, and when you use that for a while and you want to get a little bit more serious about long term process work, the alternatives, I believe, are still way behind in terms of the user experience. And one thing could just be hey, I want to try it, and then you go to the website of the tool and, oh, I have to talk to someone, which is, in my mind, that’s bad UX, because I just want to try it, and why do you have to make this wall between us and not let me just try it? So that was kind of. That’s some of the foundational. You know the reasons why we exist and why we started the company and why we still exist.


I can feel it and I really love your approach. So how does the tool look like? I know it’s a challenge to just talk about that. Maybe we can also publish a video afterwards when we are releasing the podcast where our listeners can have a look at, or you can go to your website and so on. But if you try to put that into words, how does the tool look like?


Yeah, I guess the people listening can probably just go to our website while listening and they can see it as we go along, because I’m just driving to work or to the car, yeah, so you all are driving out there. I’ll try to explain. I have a side note though, miro, because when we first talked, I found you a late in and I reached out and we had a conversation, and then I let Nikola, my co-founder, know about you and that we had discussed doing a podcast, and he went to your website, the New Process Lab, and he found that document you created a couple of years ago, the request for tools or something.


Yeah, exactly yeah.


Yeah. So he read that and he came back to me and he’s like I go, he’s describing shift decks. And then I read it and like, yeah, I think we checked some of the boxes. So I agree with you to a certain extent. But then, as I was listening to all your other episodes and then all our competitors or all the other BPM tools who, at the time at least, when we started shift decks, we felt that they didn’t check the boxes. We felt they were not user friendly enough and easy enough and approachable enough. All of them also thought they checked all the boxes Exactly. Yeah, so it’s interesting, and maybe it’s even the reason why you should work on processes, because, or why you should visualize things is because the picture you get in your mind when you read something might be very, very different for someone else, even though you think you see the same picture Absolutely. So let’s see if we actually do check some of the boxes. So, yeah, I mean that was a long, long side conversation, I guess. Yeah, so again, our I want to say also that there’s a few things that we set out to do when we started ShiftX, and one was that, hey, we want a tool that doesn’t get in your way when you do workshops. So if you’re in a room with like two or 10 or 20 people, you shouldn’t reach for the whiteboard because the tool is too hard to use. So that was kind of the sign goal number one we want the tool to work live and it should be better than the whiteboard. So that’s part of it. And then on that journey we also looked at all the different notations that exist for process and it got apparent to us pretty quickly that we couldn’t use BPMN or UPN or others. And I listened to some of the other episodes and people said you’re crazy. One guy said you’re crazy if you make your own notation. But that’s essentially what we set out to do. So I guess we made our own notation where the goal again was to make it as simple, as friendly and as efficient as possible to map out the process.


So in ShiftX the tool looks like maybe any other modern SAS tool. You get in there you can just click create process or we call it flow. Right now. It might change back to process tomorrow, but right now it changes between flow and process. You create a new process and then you get a line with a plus and you press the plus and then you add either a step, which in BPMN would be an action, or a split, which would be a gateway, essentially. So those are your two options, and then you write the story. So when you add a step, you start writing the narrative.


So who does what? It could be user, fill out form, and then we have a concept that we call actors, which is the who’s and the what’s of the process. Systems, roles, departments, anything that is part of the process could be an actor, and you could use the act key on your keyboard while you write to include those into the step, and then that will be visually presented as part of the actual step in the process. So you have a line, you add the steps, you add decision points, and I don’t know if I can describe it any better than that, but that’s the gist of it and then it’s easy to drag and draw up.


You never draw a line in ShiftX. The line is there and then you fill in the steps and you can drag things around to reorder. And you can also do one more thing and that’s to connect processes together. So that’s kind of the last step, and then you have what we call references, which is links to other processes. So you could have processes that are deeply nested and then you could navigate those connections. Later you could also expand the labs and you can open up those in the UI.


Okay, so basically you have several flows or processes in the system. Is there also something like a process map to get an overview, or how do I get the process architect an overview on what we’re working on?


Yes, that’s a great question as well. So what our customers do right now to get more of the overview map is to create one process where they reference all the others. So you could have a value stream map, or you have maybe three or four or five processes and then you just add them as five icons and then you could open them up to see the details and the complexities to navigate through them. We are exploring ways where we could generate the process maps based on the actual data, because that’s another thing that at least differentiates us to some tools, and at least if you go to Miro and other drawing tools, is that everything is data. So it’s a structured format and we always look for ways to kind of pull out as much value as possible from the data that’s in the process, and analytics is one, and you know you can look at times, durations, probabilities. There are some other options as well you can do, but we’re also looking at ways where we could automatically generate the process map and the hierarchy of your processes based on the information.


That’s interesting. My former boss would be very happy to have a feature like that. That’s what he was always talking about in the past. I want to have a process cockpit where all the processes appear and I can navigate through them based on the mappings or on the relationships of the process models on the detailed level.


Our first onboarding we had. I think we were like nine months into building the company and we had a very rough first version of the product. We had sold like five pilot packages and our first onboarding. I was talking to this lady at the company we were at and she was very forward thinking and she knew about the trends and we started talking about everything in shift is data and they’re connected and you can connect process. And then we started like, oh, maybe put on the VR goggles and then we could walk through them. And I’m like yeah, why not? We don’t do that yet, but it’s definitely possible to find different ways to view them and navigate around.


Yeah, that’s cool. I think you already pretty good described how you map processes as an employee. If I want to look up a specific process to find out how to do this and that, how do I do that?


Yeah, so in essence we don’t have very different use. So it’s one tool for everyone. But what most customers do is that they embed. So if you have one process or you have a couple of processes that you want a lot of people to have access to, then you would normally either link to them from other tools or embed them in Microsoft Teams or Atlassian Confluence or SharePoint, et cetera. So that would probably be the most common way to gain access. But once you’re in the tool there’s a list of all the processes. You can filter them by tags, you can filter them by owner what person owns them, what actors are involved, you can see the calculated duration and sort by that. So there’s a lot of ways to kind of filter them. And then we also have like a search function where you can search through anything in the system. So there’s several ways to access it, but I would say the most common for people still is to embed the specific processes in other tools they have.


Okay, cool, that’s interesting. Perfect, and I’m doing a lot of research on how to rethink processes, how to get to a more human-centric approach, and there are these new process principles and I would love to know how Shift-X supports to inspire people for excellent processes.


Yeah, and that’s probably why we exist. Like again, the way I read it, it’s like oh, that’s why we exist. Everyone’s the same, so that’s good. There’s a lot of fun stories behind all the different tools and there’s a lot of good. I feel there’s a lot of very good intent. They’re like hey, we really want to help people talk and collaborate, and such and the same for Shift-X I would say we’ve seen.


Something that really inspires me is when people who have never thought they work with process or never some people when they hear the word process they get a little bit nauseous and like oh, because maybe they have experiences where they’re reading a very complex process map and they have to pretend to understand it, to not look foolish in a team or something Like there’s lots of different experiences with process and with Shift-X. I at least feel we’re challenging that, because we’re really about how can we make process as friendly and as easy as possible, and that means involving people. And we’ve spent a lot of time asking questions like hey, how can we make this button seem not scary? How can we? Because a lot of some tools, you get the feeling that this is super serious, like you’re afraid to make changes because you’re afraid what will happen. So we’ve spent a lot of time trying to get away, take away as many of those obstacles as possible. Also, you have process mining and sometimes we say, if people ask us so what’s the difference between Shift-X and process mining? We say that Shift-X is about it might be a wrong way to put it but mining the information of the employees. Because I still believe, even in our day and age, with AI and everything happening, I still believe that the most important part of the business is the employees, the people. At least if you give them a chance, if you give them the tools they need to do a good job. And that’s something that we really strive for.


Shift-x to be a tool for everyone, and I was a software developer for a while before I started Shift-X. And in the software world you will hear that JIRA is the go-to management tool for doing software, but it’s a tool made for the project managers. So most software engineers and developers, they don’t like JIRA because it’s not tailored for them. I remember going into JIRA. I had to prepare myself because it was so hard, it was so slow, it took so long, I had to do so many clicks to do this one. I’m just going to close the task and I was like where do I start? So you have Trello and Linear, and there are other tools that are way more easy to use, and that’s the same we feel with Shift-X.


Hey, the tool should be easy for the people. You shouldn’t have to go to training to start using it. And I might give you long answers and go off topic here, but I feel that’s the question where it’s really at the heart of why do we breathe, why do we spend time nerding out on this button and making things simple. So I feel, I feel and we hear also from the feedback we get that people say, oh, this is fun, I thought it was going to be. How can we make processes work fun and how can we remove all the barriers? So and I would say we would argue that we’re hopefully the easiest and fastest processes modeling tool out there, but we’re still trying to make it even better and take away as much friction as possible from it.


So yeah, that’s so important. So thank you for your thoughts on that. And another question regarding the principle. It’s another principle is to trust the people working in and on the process. So, for example, to take out control steps out of the processes to provide the information they need. So how does ShiftX support this? To trust the people.


Yeah, I love that question because you know we also, with ShiftX, we decided to have an open by default approach where we believe that for people to do a good job they need access to information and some systems are closed by default so to get access you have to be granted access, but ShiftX is open by default so you can make a process private if you want to, but you know as a default we want it to be open and then also really just enabling. This might not be true in every culture, but at least in this kind of Navian culture. I think you know there’s a high trust in general and there’s a high trust in business and at least I know myself that I thrive when I’m granted trust and autonomy in the business. And I get frustrated and I feel, you know, less productive if it’s hard to get access to information, if I have to do a lot of hoops to get you know basic things done. So, yeah, I mean it’s a good question and again, I maybe answered some of it in the previous question as well.


But also I remember these times where we saw repeatedly where in our before starting Shift-X we met leaders and mid-level managers who were they were in essence process owners and we could ask them hey, okay, can you show me your process? Do you have it written down or do you have it visualized somewhere? And like yeah, yeah, sure. And they pull up a PDF made by some consultant four years ago or something like that, and then kind of proudly presided to us and like, oh, cool, okay, now, now could you explain it to me? And they were like well, I don’t really understand it. So I think that’s a interesting problem.


And where again, you know we felt when building Shift-X that you know some of the consultants are good and great, but ownership of like core process of the business should not be outsourced to consultants, it should be in-house. And you know it probably is in-house. But then what’s the point of having, you know, a four-year-old representation of that process that you can’t even understand? So, hey, how could we, how could we give this power back to you and how could you yourself maybe be able to map the process and not have to rely on some external or internal resource who is a specialist?


And that’s also you know, we felt or we saw that a lot of times these BPM tools are gate-kept by a few privileged individuals who live in some corner, somewhere in the silo, in the organization. I’m like why in the world, you know? And if you read about enterprise architecture and business process management, you know the idea behind is great, like, hey, it’s about creating this common understanding, it’s about getting people involved. But then again you see that it’s not really the case with a lot of the tools and or culture and that sometimes go hand in hand. But I feel it’s. You know, you should be able to and the tools should facilitate for building that trust and letting people play, letting people explore and not be afraid, and that you don’t have to have these gatekeepers.


So I don’t know if I answered the questions precisely but you know, you can dive deeper in them, for sure.


Yeah, sure, I don’t think that there is a precise answer or right or wrong answer. It was just interesting to see your thoughts on, or to listen to your thoughts on, that, and it made me think about some aspects like having a dedicated process modeler. Is there a specific role that is allowed to map the processes or can all users edit the processes?


Yes, in again, as long as you have, you know, the basic user access role. Anyone can create a process. You can also just sign up and make a private account and you know play around as well. If you don’t want to, you know work in the organization’s workspace, you can create your own workspace and play around with the tool there, but definitely you know it’s for anyone to take part of it.


And then there is, like, we have version history so you will always see the changes. So you know everything that is done is recorded, you know. So you can always go back and, you know, let the person who did the mistake know if needed to, or just, you know, clean it up later. But you know that playfulness is definitely something that I think is important and, you know, for the tool not to be scary and for beginners as well to learn it quickly.


We had another workshop we did a while back with a government institution back in Norway, I think that set up like a two or three hour workshop with a group of four or five people, and we heard that one of the people coming were they were a little bit reluctant, this was a Wednesday because they had to finish a process model by Friday in Visio. But then, you know, she was told by her boss that she was to attend the workshop in ShiftX and maybe the first hour is just, you know, talking and chatting and pleasantries and you know introductions and then everyone is given access to the tool. And this woman, she was able to finish the job that she had set aside three days to do in Visio. She was able to do it in less than two hours in ShiftX, and you know, having never touched it before.


Yeah, oh, that’s cool. A lot of good impetus to think about or to rethink the approach traditional BPM tools are working, and that’s super interesting.


So I would even challenge, you know, the whole BPM community and you know, until? I would think until, like, Miro, PowerPoint, Excel and Figma and the others are not the obvious process tools for most people, then we as a community have not succeeded. Yeah, so I think that’s, at least that’s the mission we’re on. Like, hey, there should be something better, something easier, that’s the go-to solution, or there probably gonna be many.


Yeah, I love this approach and, yeah, we could talk about that for hours, but let’s focus on the tool. So is there anything else in terms of rethinking process and you gave a lot of good examples already, but did we miss anything? Anything else you would like to share with our listeners with regards to the tool that they should know before we go further?


into the future. Yeah, I mean like test it out and we love feedback. We’re very like, we love talking to our users and we developed a tool based on the feedback that people give and then at least now you’ve kind of heard our why and why we access. So if that is something that speaks to others, then feel free to try it and know that you can come alongside us and talk to us and bring your feedback. And there’s definitely more parts of the tool that we haven’t discussed for sure, but I think we’ve got the gist of it.


OK, perfect, and let’s have a look into the future. So, in general, what trends do you see in the BPM tool market for the upcoming years?


What trends do I see? You know, I did hear your study, or the, what do you call it? You did at New Year’s the looking forward to.


BPM Topics 2024 survey.


Yeah, I was happy to hear that a lot of people are looking for and wanting to find ways to involve more people and make it easier, and that’s what we’re all about. And, of course, there is the AI hype going on, which is probably both real and there is hype aspects to it, which means that everyone is scrambling to add some AI spice to their life and tool and business and organization. So that’s happening everywhere and we’re also looking at a couple of options there and maybe by the time even this is I don’t know when you’re hearing this episode, but we are close to getting our first AI feature in ShiftX as well, where you can, as a way to get started quickly, just enter a prompt and you’ll get a template in ShiftX. So that’s something that we’re doing. And I did hear I think it was both two of the tools that you talked to where they described the tool more as a digital twin than process management tool, and I think that really speaks to where we want to take our tool as well.


I don’t use that. I don’t feel we live entirely up to being a digital twin yet. I like the idea of moving from business process management to more like hey, how could we visualize the business? How can we make the organization tangible in a digital model where we can look at it from different angles? Like me, as a person I have these roles I can look at the universe, I can look at the organization from this perspective, and if you put on VR glasses or just look on the screen, that’s not the point. But really making that highly personal touch is something that I think is important and I hope both us and others will continue on. And, of course, as consumers, we’re getting used to very user-friendly and tailored services and if that being Spotify, which they know your listening habits and they tailor it to you. So I think where the business apps and the business tools are usually lagging, but it’s coming and I think that’s something that will differentiate the different tools if we’re not keeping up to the changing scenery.


Yeah, that’s good to hear More specific what is on your roadmap for ShiftX.


Yeah, so we’ve never had a fixed ordered roadmap, but I call it like our bag of IDs or something where we have a lot of thoughts and we’re still a small team building ShiftX, so we usually only work on one or two things at a time and we pick those together with our users and customers. We try to see what’s the next thing to do Before us. Specifically, more integrations is definitely the one thing we’re looking at making the tool accessible in whatever space you’re in, and we’re looking at better teams integration and better confluence at last-end SharePoint. We have a lot of IDs where we see that happening. We also have a beta that we’re releasing our second beta very soon called ShiftX Run. It’s something that we’ve discussed since we started ShiftX and when designing our notation, I guess, and the tool, we’ve always said that the underlying data structure and the visualization should make sense for people and it should be runnable, and we finally decided to make a proof of concept in ShiftX where you can actually run the process and start it and assign the different tasks to users. So I think maybe a good comparison to what we’re doing would be process street or processst, which is like any process that has a lot of humans and where the handovers might be the biggest problem. That might be a good use case to try out ShiftX Run. That’s something we’re working on. We’ve also talked about more of a PowerPoint view where you would almost see the process as a slideshow and you could step through it.


So we have a lot of these IDs and I’m always happy to talk about them and we’re not usually very secretive, so feel free to reach out as well if you want to talk about them to your listeners. And I think it’s interesting with process and there are so many different users who could benefit and where today, if you talk to a service designer, they use Figma or Illustrator because they like the creative freedom. And then you talk to the IT people and they use an enterprise architecture tool and you have to find a very specific type of person to actually get into the BPM tool. So you have all these different areas where I think they should be tighter connected and customer journeys are processes. But why do you use other tools and the process tools and why are they so different? Is there a way for us to not have one tool to rule them all, but at least make them more interconnected, maybe, and at least broaden.


I hope for the business process world that we could broaden our perspective a little bit and make it also usable for customer journeys and for more people. And one thing that we’ve looked at is also business analysts, where you want to look at the timings and the numbers and the cost, and we have some functionality in that regard. But we’re also looking at more like simulations and ways to look at throughput and what would happen if we remove this one step. What would that outcome be? And we have a lot of the groundwork for that already. So that’s also something we are interested in improving in ShiftX and really tailoring the needs and expanding more and more roles, more and more people that would actually benefit from being part of using the tool.


So, these are just some of the IDs that are on the horizon and that we’re kind of always evaluating. Which one do we pick next and work on?


That’s super interesting to hear. So thank you for your decisions.


What do you think is the most important thing? What’s the biggest pain that you see?


For me it’s kind of the notation itself. So to have it as easy as possible, and I already played around with ShiftX and I know how to map processes in your tool and I like the approach. But we already discussed that I’m a big fan of swim lanes so, as I learned, that’s something you dismissed from the tool after you had it for a short time, right?


Yeah, we played around with it in the beginning and then we might add it back as a view. It’s funny when we talk to people and if we’re in the sales call or something with ShiftX, some of the things they ask about like, hey, can you import PPMN? Or export PPMN, and we’re like it’s in our road bag, it’s something that we might do, but we never do something until we see the actual need. So there’s a lot in that bag and there’s a lot of IDs, but we never do them. And once customers have started using ShiftX, we’ve never heard the question again. Hey, could we export it? And import it.


And one might be that it’s so quick to create the process that importing it is I don’t know. And then with swim lanes as well, that’s something that we’ve talked to some people about, but then, as they’ve started using ShiftX, we haven’t heard the question come back. But if you become a frequent ShiftX user and you keep asking the question, then it might pop up from the bag and that might be the next feature. So who knows? But essentially the reason why we didn’t go that way or why we discarded the ID, at least for now, was that as you add more and more swim lanes. We weren’t able to find the easy way to make that check the other success criteria that we had for our tool, so maybe we can find a way, but definitely as a view layer, I think it would be very feasible to do it. Yeah, so that’s something I’m super excited to do in the future is just add different views and different ways to view the same process.


That’s interesting and maybe we can continue the discussion later on. For today so we learned about the tool, but what about the price? So what is the pricing model for the tool? Taking two different examples, for example, working with a company which has about 1,000 employees and also another one, startup, with 40 to 50 employees what is the price there?


for them. Yeah, we have a very like. We have a pretty simple price structure and you can see most of it on our website. And then, of course, as you grow, there’s some volume discounts and so on. But if you’re up to 50 users, it’s 20 euro per user per month and if you’re up to 1,000, it’s down to 12 euros per user per month. So that’s the basic price. And then there is, like, I think, if you pay yearly, there is a reduce rate in character to 10 euros, two-month discount, and you know. So there’s some options and, yeah, but, that being said, you know Our pricing has changed a couple times already and we know a lot of our competitors. They, they differentiate between read and edit users. So we’re always discussing, you know, ways to to make our pricing make sense for customers. But that’s our, that’s our current pricing model. So there is, essentially, once you get to a volume, there’s a tier where, as you cross different thresholds, the the price per user goes down.


Yeah, okay, that’s good to know.


Yeah, and then we have the free forever. So you know, sign up and there’s a basic free forever package where, with the limit of how many processes you can Create, yep.


Okay, I guess that’s my plan at the moment. Cool, but so I know about the answer. But where can our listeners learn more about the tool? Where can they go to? Where can they test it? Can they test it? Yeah, I do have a special offer for our listeners.


Yeah, so yeah, shiftexcom is our website. Go there, test it, just sign up and test it. We’re also, you know, we, we really want the friction to be low to test it Mm-hmm. So that’s something we’re also trying to improve. And one thing that we want to get to is is we’re working on on really isolating our Process engine, or the modeling engine, mm-hmm, to make it into our public website so that you could take any, any process model and then you can embed it on our website. You can start playing with it right on the website and then you can just import into your workspace.


So we’re looking at ways to make that testing shift. That’s cool, yeah, butter, and easier and and you know, yeah, but right now you have to sign up, they have to log in and start creating your process, yeah, and then we, you know we have a blog where we, every once in a while, post something and and you can always reach out to us. Our customers are usually very happy about our response on the support. So that’s something we try to be. We try to be available and we have people now in different time zones, so we should be able to to cover most of the People around the world looking to try it out.


Yeah, that’s very good, cool and I can just encourage oh the office, sorry yeah.


Yeah, yeah. So I’ll ask forgiveness for my co-founders afterwards, but if you reference this, this call, and you you buy shift tax in in 2024 with 20 or more users, will give you 12 months of half price. Wow, that’s cool. It’s because Mirko is such a friendly.


That’s perfect, cool. Thank you for all these insights. Just to wrap it up, what is your key message to our listeners? To rethink processes, just in general.


Yeah, I think process should be easy and fun, and you should it. You know, it should be something that you strive to involve more and more people in and, you know, just start where you are, start with. That’s usually what we say hey, what’s, what’s the process that is Giving you the most pain right now? Okay, let’s map it out. And I would say, like, if you get five people in the room and and have a consultant come and help you if needed, like there is, like I’ve seen, a hundred percent Success rate, once you get to that point, like, get the people in there, start talking, start visualizing it, because the picture people have in their minds are a hundred percent, sure, different Until you’re able to kind of get that, get people to this, to the common understanding of it, and that’s when you can start really improving and that’s when you get people into the Mode of actually changing it and fixing it and you get people into from, you know, being reluctant to oh yeah, we can do this, we can fix it.


It’s clear now, it’s easy, you know. So, yeah, I would say, hey, make it fun, make it involve people and, yeah, just start where you are. That would be my, my key message.


Yeah, perfect. I think these are already the perfect closing words, but my final question, as always, is how would you describe your flight experience of?


this episode was just three words fun, friendly and nerdy, and my question is what was your role on this flight? Are you the captain? Are you the you know? Are you just a friendly neighbor sitting in my you know if I’m in the aisle seat? Are you in the window seat, you know? Are you across the aisle?


I think I was sitting at the window seat.


Yeah, you are the window.


Out of the window, I have a meaning of how a shift X really looks like. So you were sitting in a window and joined the view.


And then you had this nerdy yeah. Conversation right next to you, Bugging you about processes yeah.


Okay, now we reach our final destination. Maybe it’s Hawaii.


I’m. Maybe it’s why that’d be nice, wow, thank you. Thank you, mirko, it’s. It’s been the fun getting to know you a little bit better and I’m very happy that you you did this and that you Created this space and community.


Yeah, thank you so much for being my  and providing all these insights. It’s super interesting and, as you know, I’m not a big fan of people man 2.0. That’s why I really love your approach, and I’m still looking for a Tool that really fulfills all my requirements there, and that’s why it’s Cool to learn more about shift X, and I definitely Recommend to our listeners to have a look at your tool, try it out, play around with it, as I did, and it’s way easy. So, thank you so much. I’m looking forward, so, wherever this journey will lead us, on the next flight for a go.


Thank you so much for being my  today. Have a great day. Bye, bye, bye.


Wow, that was inspiring. I already signed up for ShiftX and it is really simple to get started. It is not necessary to have a training, everything is explained on the fly. So the conversation with a girl gave me a lot food for thought. Do we really need a trained process Modeler if a tool is so easy to use? I’d be curious to learn more what you think about this. So, to share your thoughts, just send me an email to Mirko@new processlabcom to experience how this could look like, you just have to test ShiftX. To do so, just go to and give it a try.


Yeah, in the next episode We’ll learn how to inspire different generations for processes. Therefore, I’ll be talking to. Leona Holzbecher will also be Facilitator in a deep dive session at the new process conference in April. That’s going to be super interesting too. So if you haven’t got your ticket yet, make sure to get them on new process lab comm slash conference. But for now, thank you very much for listening. Have a great day. Bye, bye and auf Wiedersehen.


Before you leave, we are slowly approaching the second birthday of the new process podcast and I’d like to ask you for your feedback. So what do you like about the podcast? What would you like to see changed? I’m really interested in learning more from you and making the new process podcast even better. For you to give me feedback, just go to new process lab comm slash feedback. It’ll only take a few minutes to answer four simple questions, but it would mean a lot to me. So thank you very much for supporting me. Just go to Thank you much, bye, bye.



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