I believe one of Vassiliki’s greatest achievements is in spreading the BPM culture and ARIS capabilities throughout diverse audiences in Europe and Africa and I am thrilled to learn more about the 40% females in her company
Q: Vassiliki, I know you have a great history in BPM. How did you get into it?
VS: At the Athens University of Business in Economics, I studied informatics where I got some experience in programming. I thought that a masters’ degree course would open new roads to explore, and I took the next step. There I had the opportunity to use ARIS in a real-life project for operations management class.
Q: So, after you got your Masters in Information Systems (MIS) and a degree in Applied Informatics, where did you go from there?
VS: I worked on some BPM projects for Epsilon Software S.A. and ZENON S.A, then moved to SPIRIT in 2001, specializing in business process analysis projects for many customers, including banks and telcos. There I got involved with training in the Software AG ARIS products and promoting and specifying WebMethods implementations.
Q: One of the questions I like to ask is why do you think that women are so good at business process management?
VS: They’re adaptive. They are inclusive. They have excellent interpersonal skills. In applying BPM in a company, I believe that women are open to discussing problems, and are open to hearing all the different opinions. Then they can synthesize them and propose some concrete proposals for things.
In our company, we have proof that women can work well in that sector as 40% of our employees are female. We promote that because we believe that diverse talents make a difference.
Q: That’s very good news, 40%. So maybe you don’t need any more women in BPM in your company?
VB: No, we need more. My goal is to persuade more people, and more companies to leverage BPM, and we have to work with new challenges like sustainability and the pace of digitalization. We have to include more women in this.
Q: How can we persuade more young women to get involved? What advice would you give yourself 20 years ago?
VB: I would tell myself that from the beginning you need to be open so that you can gather as much information as possible. Then you should probably invest more in your self awareness, and self regard, to maintain a concrete personality.
Q: How would you describe process management in simple words?
VS: BPM is a set of practice tips and methodologies to manage the everyday operations of your company and achieve the objectives that are set – not only at a specific point in time but even in the long term. It is not a tool. It is not a theory. It is a practice you have to work on; you have to prove that your analysis is giving the desired result. You have to give feedback to your stakeholders and revisit.
Q: How would you explain process management to your grandma or grandpa?
VS: OK, my mom used to be a dressmaker, and she asked me what is process management? I said, if you were to teach someone how to make a new dress, how would you do it? You would analyze what are the necessary materials to make a dress. Then you would model it and then you would get all your resources there to create it. Then you would fine-tune some details.
Q: Sustainability is a huge topic right now. What is your perspective on how processes and sustainability come together?
VS: Due to climate change, it is more than evident to everyone that we have to take care of emissions reduction, save energy and what we can do to optimize our everyday life. We have a clear benefit when using BPM.
Q: Does process mining fit into this?
VS: In general, the monitoring part is essential for BPM. To reduce our waste, we also need to optimize how we spend our resources, and how we utilize them. So process mining will be the tool that convinces everyone of the measures that are necessary for sustainability.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
VS: I believe in honesty and building trust. It’s great to be a collaborator and facilitate everyone to feel comfortable when we are together on project, so I need to be honest.
Of course, there is more to our interview, watch the video of our complete interview on YouTube:
And to learn more about how ARIS supports companies in their sustainability initiatives (diversity belongs to it), check our ARIS for sustainability video ARIS for sustainability video | Green BPM | Software AG