Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Big Processes are Happening Now

Big data has made it's mark, Now it's time to consider Big Processes. Most of the low hanging fruit from simple processes were gleaned during the depths of the recent recession. This was a cost containment driven approach to BPM.  While the cost containment thing continues as a constant undercurrent, efforts are shifting fast to revenue generation and customer care. This implies processes that are larger in scope, more heterogeneous in nature and more complex. Like grouped stars pictured below, bigger processes will the gravity that holds multiple smaller processes together.

Larger Scopes:

The emphasis on the end to end experience for customers is dictating more pervasive processes that touch many people and systems. Instead of asking customers to select and deal with the complexity of business organizations, processes are emerging to deal with all the sub steps and organizational components necessary to get their desired outcomes. The days of simple and single function process are receding. Many organizations have been content with having their customers deal with silos of specialty process and employees. In the quest for capturing the hearts and loyalty, enlightened organizations are now consolidating into larger scoped processes that are aimed at customer outcomes. This is a revolution that is at it's begging. See the following examples of larger scoped processes aimed at revenue generation and increased customer satisfaction.

Increased Heterogeneity:

Larger processes will require multiple styles of processes to work together collaboratively, This means that larger processes are likely to have portions (snippets) of processes that employ various styles of process action. It would seem logical to have portions of straight through behavior tied to workflow and knowledge intense case work. This implies that there will be multiple process engines cooperating with each other as they aim towards blended goals and desired outcomes. This means that the stove pipe governance methods, process techniques and technologies will have to work together for the good of the larger process and it's goals. See some supporting articles:

Increased Complexity:

While the outcomes of big processes are desirable, some of the side effects pose problems. The biggest side effect is complexity. There are not only multiple styles,  but there are multiple outcomes and multiple interfaces that have to be blended together. This will put a new emphasis on human / process interfacing, process snippet cooperation, increased auto management leveraging big data and poly-analytic combinations thus demanding increased result visibility and  audit capabilities. Machine learning and agent behavior are coping mechanisms for increased complexity.  See some supporting articles:

Net; Net:

Big Processes will be emerging quickly in the coming years. It will start with the leading organizations and spread downstream to fast followers and the large pack of reactors. Those who fail to react will pay the price this time.