Am No.1 in the Top 12 Most Week of Nov 25

Am No.1 in the Top 12 Most Week of Nov 25….. Check this link @
This is a happy moment… The numbers of readers, shares, feedback has been remarkable… Way beyond my imagination :)…

Its a great start for the first post on 12Most… Looking forward to have the next few posts up on the site in coming weeks…


How many people do you follow on Twitter?

There’s a lot of observation, interest and comments around the number of people you follow on Twitter… Almost as if it is you’re a part of your identity…

On the one side, the people you follow on Twitter is a reflection of many things – People you know, People you are interested in knowing, Topics that you are interested in.  In reality, you can choose what and whom you wish to follow – whatever may be the reason.

I wonder how anyone can actually follow Thousands of Twitter handles? The underlying dissonance comes from the fact that is it humanly possible to actually read, understand and reflect on all the tweets from everyone you follow even if you are on Twitter for most of your time every day.

Simply because all tweets typically fall into 2 categories

1)      A text tweet

2)      A link tweet – To a blog, article, etc.

 So let’s put some data here to bring things into perspective:


Average time it takes to read, understand and internalize for a human with average intelligence [Mins]

A text tweet 1
A link tweet –  To a blog, article, etc. 10

Assuming a scenario with an probable distribution of each of these categories, in 1 hour you can probably humanly read, understand and internalize about 4 link tweets (40 minutes) and 20 text tweets (20 minutes).

And so in 5 hours, this translates to 20 link tweets and 200 text tweets….[ And I am discounting many things – like all the theories and research on how alert you are at different times of the day, How much you can possibly read at one stretch, what other things you do on a daily basis, etc, etc.] .

And so if you follow 1000 people, I wonder how and what you are really doing? Guess it all boils down to why you are on Twitter? [Refer my earlier post A Perspective on Twitter]

Would be interested in hearing and learning on your tips, tricks, learning’s, observations and insights…

If you want to share, do leave a comment…

BPM in the Kitchen…

One of the primary activities done in the kitchen is cooking. And cooking is a process. In fact, a creative process. Hence, one of the best applications of the principles of BPM [Business Process Management] is while cooking..

In this blog, I have attempted to list the application of the key BPM principles which I have applied over the years while cooking


One of the easiest and most powerful applications of BPM is to define the processes for cooking. The process can be defined in your head or on paper; but it’s important that it is well defined.

 (i) Identify the end-to-end process flow. Each step in the process needs to have clear inputs, outputs, tasks and actors. Also, the dependencies between the various processes should be explicitly highlighted.

[1] Have a high level end-to-end process view beginning from procurement of ingredients for cooking and ending at optimal utilization of these ingredients

[2] Have the second level of process definition for a day which includes all the cooking required to be done in a day. This should include all meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner.

[3] Have the final level of process definition for a specific meal like dinner

(ii) What really helps is to break up the process into sub-processes and identify

[1] The sub-processes which can be completed prior to the actual cooking. For e.g: Chopping vegetables

[2] The sub-processes which can be scheduled to be completed in parallel. For e.g.: Boiling vegetables and preparing the gravy for the vegetable

[3] The sub-processes which can be delegated to others / outsourced. For e.g.: Ask someone to chop the vegetables for you OR buy chopped vegetables

(iii) Plan and Schedule the execution of these sub-processes / processes


Once you have a clear process definition, identify steps or tasks that can be automated. For e.g.: Use a blender or mixie to make a puree / paste. Eliminate manual tasks and aim for automation. With the range of cooking appliances in the market today, selection of the right one for you could be the challenge. Do keep in mind that automation using an appliance does have other implications – For e.g.: Additional shelf space to store the appliance, Additional maintenance time and effort for cleaning, Additional costs in terms of electricity consumption, etc. The final decision for the extent of automation is a personal choice based on your individual requirements and preferences


The next step is to actually execute the process that you have defined. And this is the most important step as the real cooking is done here. And how efficiently you are able to cook depends on your plan, process definition and experience. Of course, nothing like the Midas Touch to bring out the “PERFECT” dish. And in this, no process can really help!


In reality, there will be deviations to the process. For e.g.: Some of the ingredients are not available, Blender is not working, etc. It is good to think about possible process deviations and plan for them in advance. Of course, this will directly link to experience. With experience, one will be able to handle and adapt to most process deviations. While you cannot always be prepared for all deviations, the one mantra to handle any process deviations is presence of mind


One of the most powerful ways to get better at cooking is to define KPI [Key Performance Indicators] and measure them. The KPI definition should be linked to an individual’s context – There can be KPI’s around Process efficiency, Turn Around Time (TAT), productivity, etc.. For e.g.: Cook a balanced healthy meal in 40 minutes, Or Chop vegetables in 20 minutes. Once defined, do track and measure the KPI’s periodically. This will give a view of the process performance


Once you have measured the KPI’s, the last step is to focus on improvements. It’s important to optimize the process to improve efficiency and productivity. And for this – Identify steps which can be eliminated, Identify if the right person is assigned the right task – in terms of skills, capability, etc. (check your rules) and lastly Identify steps which can be made more efficient and how to do this..

And most importantly, Enjoy Cooking…. Happy Cooking!!

NOTE: All the above are based on personal experiences and are supported by years of data, real-life application and statistical analysis.



Vendor Milestone


2002 4 Key Vendors : Feugo, Savvion, Appian, Lombardi All 4 had Software featured model-driven design based on the BPMN standard
Sep 2002 IBM acquires the BPM vendor Holosofx Holosofx products add the capability for the customer to design, deploy, monitor and improve business processes.
Jun 2004 Oracle acquires Collaxa  
Mar 2006 BEA acquires Feugo 87.5 Mn$. The addition of Fuego to BEA’s AquaLogic product line means BEA can offer a unified SOA-based family of software to integrate business processes, applications and legacy environments
Apr 2007 Software AG acquires WebMethods 546 Mn$
Nov 2007 Cordys acquires abAAX This acquisition enables Cordys to rapidly grow its presence in the German market with a proven team and strong customer base and augment its innovative BPM suite with rich industry-specific applications. abaXX associates competence in portal solutions with knowledge in industry specific Business Process Management and thus offers standard software solutions enhancing the customer loyalty and increasing the efficiency of the business
Jan 2008 Oracle acquires BEA [includes the AL BPM suite]  
Oct 2009  CSC and Cordys Collaboration CSC leveraging this newly acquired ability, will offer implementation services and has become a global reseller for the Cordys Business Operations Platform
Dec 2009 – Jan 2010 IBM acquires Lombardi Lombardi’s department-level approach to delivering process management complements IBM’s existing strengths in enterprise-wide process management software and adds a new and compelling dimension for customers looking for an end-to-end, integrated solution that automates human tasks and workflows. 
Jan 2010 Progress acquires Savvion 49 Mn$. Savvion’s pioneering, best-in-class BPM technology complements Progress technology to enable enterprises to achieve Operational Responsiveness
Mar 2010 Pega acquires Chordiant Acquisition will enable Pega to deliver more powerful solutions to enhance customer experience and drive profitable growth
Feb 2011 OpenText acquires MetaStorm 182 Mn$ in cash. Metastorm will add complementary technology and expertise that enhances our ECM solutions portfolio [BPA, BPM & EA]
Aug 2011 TIBCO acquires Nimbus (Staffware) To provide Business Process Discovery and Business Process Analysis capabilities
Oct 2011 Lexmark acquires Pallas Athena Approx. 50.2 Mn$. Lexmark to build on its managed end-to-end print services (MPS) and business process solutions
Dec 2011 Progress acquires Corticon Technologies To provide BRMS capabilities available from Corticon
Dec 2011 Kofax buys Singularity Enables Kofax to increase its addressable market

Compiled from published sources – References below:

BPM Product Acquisitions & Milestones

By Nischala Murthy Kaushik Posted in BPM

The 65: 20: 15 Mantra for a Blog

In my experience as a blogger, I have realized that there are 3 key aspects for any blog:
1) Blog Content
2) Blog Marketing
3) Blog Reader Engagement (after the post is published)

The 65: 20: 15 Mantra is a guideline for how you should apportion the time towards a blog.
65% of your time should go towards Blog Content
20% of your time should go towards Blog Marketing
15% of your time should go towards Blog Reader Engagement (after the post is published)

Let’s say you have 60 minutes which you can devote towards a blog. Of this, 39 minutes should be invested on the content, 12 minutes on the marketing and 9 minutes towards engaging with blog readers after the post is published.

Blog Content – The 4 Most Important Aspects
1) Choose the blog title right – The blog title should
a. Be short and concise
b. Be Self-explanatory [unless you specifically intend it to be otherwise]
c. Should catch the reader’s attention [Remember the 30:3:30 principle according to which readers can become either a 30-second reader, a 3-minute reader, or a 30-minute reader based on what they read at the outset. So a 30-second reader can move on to be a 3-minute or 30-minute reader based on what they read in the initial 30-seconds or 3-minutes]

2) Align the blog content with the blog title – Ensure that the content in your blog is a description of the title. Else readers may start reading your blog because the blog title appealed to them, but mid-way they don’t see the connection and just discontinue reading your blog. And in all probability, you would have lost a potential reader forever as there is no dearth of blog content in the online world!

3) Structure your blog well to ensure readability – Use italics, bold, bullets, numbering, tables, pictures, etc. to improve readability. Your objective should be how easy it is for anyone to read your blog and understand the message as quickly as possible. Also, structure the content logically into paragraphs and ensure that there is at the very least an introduction, a body and a conclusion

4) Ensure that there are take-away’s from your blog for any reader – Could be data, information, learning, an insight, a message, a thought, a question, wisdom or emotions [Yes! Your blog can make someone cry, laugh or just happy ]

Blog Marketing – The 3 Most Important Aspects
1) Be Clear on the target audience for whom you have written the blog – A lot of the blog marketing related aspects are directly linked to the target audience that would be interested in your blog and your understanding of their pulse and general sensibilities

2) Choose the right platform to post your blog – It could be your own personal / professional blog, a corporate blog, a community blog, a guest blog, etc.

3) Inform your target readers that you have published a post and share the link – It could be through mail, a tweet, a LinkedIn update, a Facebook update, a mail signature, a call, a chat communication, etc. Whatever be the channel, be sure to inform any reader who would be interested in your blog. Also, for a wider reach, you can request friends / family / colleagues / fellow bloggers to share / tweet / forward, as appropriate

Blog Reader Engagement – The 2 Most Important Aspects
1) Acknowledge Comments – It could be on Social media channels like Twitter or as in reply to comments on a blog OR through one-o-one channels like e-mail, phone, personal chat, etc.

2) Respond to Comments and Feedback – It is important to continuously engage with your readers by responding to their feedback and comments in an eloquent way. Not only does this engagement result in reader’s coming back to your blog, but also provides the blogger additional topics to blog about..

Happy Blogging!!

How do you identify a TOP BLOGGER?

A lot of corporate or community blogs feature a specific blogger as a TOP BLOGGER…
I wonder how they identify the top blogger… Here’s my view on the parameters that should be considered:

1) Quantity of Posts: The number of posts you publish on a specific forum / community is one of the most important criteria. Simply because it is important for a blogger to be able to create and publish a volume of content over a period of time. Typically, the content on these blogs would be reviewed and approved by a content editor / manager. Hence the ability to generate meaningful content as qualified by the concerned authority is itself a testimonial of the bloggers ability.

2) Quality of Posts: Quality of content is another definite criterion for evaluation. Quality should be assessed in terms of the Topics written about, the views expressed, the accuracy of data and references mentioned, the originality of thoughts & articulation and the literary style.

3)Readership for the Posts: The readership that a post gets is another important parameter. The rationale is that if a blog is published in the right forum, then it will get a basic number of readerships. And by virtue of what readers like, they will share / forward / tweet it to others who may like / enjoy reading the blog. And when considering this parameter it is important to consider the active life of a post. For e.g.: The date on which a post was published?. And also the readership for a post in terms of All Time Views or Views in a specific time duration [For e.g.: In a month like October 2011]. These variables will impact the final decision

4) Reader Feedback for the Posts – The reader feedback can be expressed as a comment or Like to the post published. This factor is determined completely by the nature of readers. According to published sources, less than 5% of readers actually provide feedback for blogs they read.

In my assessment, the percentage distribution for assessment and evaluation of bloggers should be as below
Quantity of Posts: 35%
Quality of Posts: 35%
Readership of Posts: 20%
Reader feedback for the Posts: 10%

Do you think any other parameter should be considered? If yes, leave a comment…

Content Life Cycle on Twitter

The content life cycle typically consists of the following stages
[1] Content Creation,
[2] Content Review
[3] Content Approval
[4] Content Publishing
[5] Content Distribution
[6] Content Consumption
[7] Content Modification
[8] Content Archival
[9] Content Retirement

Typically, each of these stages has different owners, different activities, different costs, different entry and exit points, different tools, different revenue models, different actors, different end-users, etc.

On Twitter, the content life cycle is significantly different in comparison…..
1) A single tweet by a user is a combination of Content Creation, self-review of the Content, self-Approval of the Content and self-publishing of the content
2) Content Distribution is done on Twitter itself when a tweet is published
3) By virtue of the followers / Re-tweets on Twitter, Content Consumption is also done on Twitter itself
4) Content Modification is possible by the Content Creator / Content Consumer by adding / enhancing and editing the original content as a new tweet
5) Content Archival and Retirement is again the responsibility of the Content Creator. In the long run, this can be a challenging ordeal if one has not thought about the primary objective of Twitter usage and structured their tweets accordingly..

In conclusion,
• Twitter is the medium that is used for all these stages of the content life cycle & hence completely transformed the content life cycle
• In the long run, individuals / enterprises which are able to define monetization strategies around this new content life cycle will have a competitive edge

Who Rules Social Media? – Content Creators or Content Consumers

“Content is King” was originally written by Bill Gates in a 1996 article. That was 15 years back… Since then, a lot has changed and evolved in the online world. With the evolution and rapid adoption of social media platforms [Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.], there is an opportunity for everyone to be content creators and continue to be content consumers. The volume of content being generated every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year is mind boggling. And hence, the real challenge for the content consumer is how to rapidly reach the right content as relevant in his / her context..

It’s hard to say whether social media platforms have played a significant role in providing a medium for content creation [online, real-time, easy & mostly free] OR if they have provided a channel to reach potential content consumers [again online, instant & mostly free]. Nevertheless, social media platforms have impacted both these dimensions.

Hence there will always be a debate around who drives the other – Content Creators or Content Consumers?Arguably, content creation means focused efforts and a dash of creativity! And hence content creators rule. On the other hand, content consumption depends on availability and access to content, time and interest. And hence, content consumers empower creators to rule.

The social media paradigm has definitely proved one thing – A lot of us want to express and in the process create content and the social media platforms are thus enablers for both content creators and content consumers.

On that note, here is a question for you – When was the last time you tweeted/blogged/updated your status or simply expressed in this new social world with a like? If not here is your chance!

Co-authored by Meeta L Gangrade and Nischala Murthy

Originally published @

Leadership Lessons from Jim Collins new book

When Jim Collins wrote his best-selling book, Good to Great , he became an instant business hero. Executives from around the world aspired to be Level 5 leaders and focused intently on finding their hedgehog concepts.

But there was a question that remained unanswered. In a world that is increasingly in financial turmoil and constant change, how do you succeed? Methodology similar to Good to Great , Jim and his team studied companies that outperformed the marketplace by significant margin. He called these the 10x companies.

There were 3 main attributes of a 10x company –
• Fanatical Discipline
• Empirical creativity
• Productive paranoia

Fanatical Discipline: Discipline can mean many things —The best-performing leaders in their study exhibited discipline as consistency of action — consistency with values, long-term goals, and performance standards; consistency of method; and consistency over time. Collin’s gives us the metaphor of the 20 mile march. Starting out on a cross-country journey, the metaphor goes, you’d be much better off walking 20 miles per day consistently than walking much more on the good days and much less on the bad days. In business, the 10x companies realized that a similar principle applied – that you should do whatever you need to do in order to get results in the down years, and resist the urge to grow too wildly in the up years. When John Brown of Stryker set the long-term goal of 20% annual net income growth, year in and year out (he hit it in more than 90% during 21 years), he was so committed to this quest that it could only be described as, well, fanatical. Markets down? Competition severe? Recession? Market hype? He did not care. He built a system of fanatic discipline to achieve the quest, no matter what. He was highly disciplined by showing consistency between his words (the goal) and his behaviors (everything he did to make it happen). According to Investor’s Business Daily, “John Brown doesn’t want to hear excuses. Markets bad? Currency exchange rates are hurting results? Doesn’t matter.” Describing challenges Stryker faced in Europe due partly to currency exchange rates, an analyst noted, “It’s hard to know how much of [the problem] was external. But at Stryker, that’s irrelevant.” The 20-Mile March is more than a philosophy. It’s about having concrete, clear, intelligent, and rigorously pursued performance mechanisms that keep you on track.

Empirical Creativity: Fire bullets, then cannonballs is a great metaphor for the process of creative experimentation and planning that seems to be popular with web startups, but I bet that will now also become more popular with the mainstream business community. The idea is that if you were down to your last bit of gun powder, and had an enemy ship bearing down on you, you’d need to be judicious in your use of last reserves. Take it all and fire a cannonball, and the chances are that you are going to miss, and perish. But fire bullets first instead, and sooner or later you are going to find the right trajectory for your shots. Then, and only then should you load up the cannonball and take your shot. When Peter Lewis of Progressive, the car insurance company, had the idea of expanding into the safe-driver market, he did not move in one big swoop. Rather, he started with trials in Texas and Florida, then added more experiments in other states, and finally, three years later, when the concept was validated, he bet big on the new business. His idea was rooted in empiricism, not analysis alone.

Productive Paranoia: Bill Gates was hyper-vigilant about what could hit and damage Microsoft. “Fear should guide you,” he said in 1994. “I consider failure on a regular basis.” Andy Grove ran around “looking for the black cloud in the silver lining.” Productive paranoia is the ability to be hyper-vigilant about potentially bad events that can hit your company and then turn that fear into preparation and clearheaded action. You can’t sit around being fearful; you must act, like Herb Kelleher, who insisted on cutting costs and running lean operations in good times, so that they would be prepared for the next storm, imagined or real.

Summary: You need all three leadership skills in an uncertain world: Fanatic discipline keeps you on track; empirical creativity keeps you vibrant; and productive paranoia keeps you alive.

Content is extracted from the Book itself

By Nischala Murthy Kaushik Posted in Leadership

How many followers do you have on Twitter?

Why there is so much observation, focus and attention given to the number of followers one has on Twitter?

The more followers you have – the more elevated is your social status – both in the real world and the online world…..

Is it because it makes you happy?
Is it because it makes you proud?
Is it because it makes you feel good?
Is it because it increases your visibility?
Is it because it is a personal achievement?
Is it because it makes you feel like a mini-celebrity?
Is it because it gives you a wider reach for your expressions?
Is it because they have the potential to make you a celebrity?
Is it because it improves your networking? – Personal & Professional
Is it because it enables you to create, manage and enhance your personal brand?

Would it not suffice if you have a select set of followers (however small) who really value your tweets and you are able to create an impact on their thoughts, on their decisions on their life?